Roxy Pro France

Lee-Ann Curren to Compete as Roxy Pro Wildcard

Paula Lehman

Lee-Ann Curren (FRA) will compete at the 2014 Roxy Pro France as the local wildcard.

Curren surfed on the elite Tour in 2010, before the women's WCT had events on her home turf. A knee injury kept her out of one contest and nagged her for three more. Unable to get the results she needed, she eventually lost her spot on Tour but continued to surf professionally and compete in Qualifying Series (QS) events. When the Tour did make it to the shores of South West France, Curren finished ninth as a wildcard in 2011 and 13th in 2013.

The wildcard has big shoes to fill: Her father Tom Curren (USA) has three World Championships to his name and is still putting up Perfect 10s. The family heritage does have its benefits.

"I started surfing with my dad, and my mom -- she surfs, too," Curren told Surfer in 2011. "They taught me in Biarritz when I was probably three or four. Surfing was in my life since I was born. First my dad would put me on his board and I would just lay on the front. After that I learned to surf playing with my brother in the shorebreak. Since I was little, my dad always gave us advice."

Curren also has her father's flair for music and the arts. In 2011, Lee Ann co-directed Titan Kids, which won the Special Jury Award at the International Surf Film Festival in Anglet.

But there are important distinctions between father and daughter: First, location. While Lee Ann still visits her dad to surf Santa Barbara, Calif., spots like Rincon and Sandspit, her training has been at the beachbreaks of South West France. Secondly, Tom Curren was never an underdog. Lee-Ann, in contrast, has nothing to lose and is known for big upsets: In 2008, Curren upset then-reigning World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) as a wildcard.

Curren will face rankings leader Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Californian Courtney Conlogue in Round 1 of the Roxy Pro France, which holds an event window from September 23-29, 2014