What: ASP World Masters Championships

Where: Barra de Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro

When: June 30 July 6, 2008

For the first time in five years, some of the most legendary names in professional surfing will assemble on Rio de Janeiro's Barra de Tijuca for the ASP World Masters Championships. To be held from June 30th until July 6th, 2008, the contest will crown the 2008 ASP World Masters and ASP World Grand Masters Champions.

The Rio Masters will feature two divisions: the ASP Masters (surfers aged over 35) and the ASP Grand Masters (surfers aged over 47). The top 14 in the ASP career ratings in each division will be automatically invited, based on the points they have accrued through winning ASP World Titles, their number of top 10 world rankings and time spent on the ASP World Tour.

"To look at this list of names, I find it just a staggering congregation of talent," Brodie Carr, ASP CEO, said. "This field is well representative of the pioneers of our sport, and those who have seen these living legends surf recently will attest that they haven't lost a step at all. They're all still ripping and so hungry to get back in the competition singlet. It's very exciting to have the ASP World Masters Championships back on the schedule in 2008 and I feel like this season's event will be one of the year's highlights."

Confirmed athletes to this season's Rio Masters include former ASP World Champions Mark Occhilupo (AUS), Shaun Tomson (ZAF), Peter Townend (AUS), Rabbit Bartholomew (AUS), Tom Curren (USA), Damien Hardmen (AUS), Martin Potter (ZAF) and Derek Ho (HAW) as well as former ASP World Masters Champions Gary Elkerton (AUS), Michael Ho (HAW), Cheyne Horan (AUS) and Terry Richardson (AUS). Other confirmed athletes include Brad Gerlach (USA), Rob Bain (AUS), Dave Macaulay (AUS), Hans Hedemann (HAW), Buzzy Kerbox (HAW), Simon Anderson (AUS) and Ian Cairns (AUS).

Tomson, who claimed the ASP World Title in 1977, is eager to return to the competitive scene and looks forward to rejoining his fellow surfers in the idyllic beachbreaks of Barra de Tijuca in Brazil. "Wonderful to have the Masters back on again," Tomson said. "I'll be there with bells on and definitely looking forward to seeing the guys again and having a great event in Rio."

The 2008 Rio Masters will be the first of a three-year license for Brazil, and this year's event will stand alone in terms of Masters events, crowning both the ASP World Masters Champion and ASP World Grand Masters Champion.

The 2008 ASP World Masters Championships begins its waiting period on June 30, 2008.