Quiksilver Japan Pro
C.J. Hobgood wins his second event of the season.
With four minutes to go in the final of the 2004 Quiksilver Japan Pro, Parko was a sure shot for his second win of the ’04 campaign-until he got blindsided by ever-smiling Floridian Clifton James Hobgood, better known as C.J. “What can you do?” asked a baffled Parko after losing his sixteen-point lead with four minutes to go. “I surfed as hard as I could but got beaten by someone who surfed way better.”
Four minutes and sixteen points would normally be considered a done deal, but not when dealing with 2001 World Champ C.J. Hobgood. “I saw Parko just ruling the whole time, but I kept telling myself I was still in it,” says Hobgood. “Then I got that left and went for broke on my last wave. I knew I had nothing to lose and was able to do a couple of nice turns. I remember standing on the beach, and I seriously thought I didn’t get the score. I heard the crowd erupting, but wasn’t sure if they were screaming for me or just because it was the final, and everything was going on. When I knew (that I won), it was the best feeling.” Yeah, getting paid 30,000 dollars for surfing six heats has a way of making you feel really good. That’s the equivalent to getting paid 5,000 dollars for six half-hour sessions.
Having won earlier in the year at Teahupo’o, C.J. now stands in second place in the ratings, passing by fellow Floridian Kelly Slater, who placed equal fifth (along with tour leader Andy Irons) after losing to a fired up Kalani Robb.
Irons scored the only perfect ten in the event, yet was comboed (in need of two scores) by Parko in the quarters. “That’s what you call peaking way too early,” recalled Andy of his early-round ripping. “He’s comboed me two heats in a row now, so I’m feeling pretty sour right about now,” the two-time champ added.
Kelly Slater was most likely feeling a bit sour as well after losing to Kalani Robb. “I made a mistake I was totally aware of. I gave away priority with six minutes to go, and Kalani just waited until a wave came through with shape. He got a long ride, and even though he fell at the end, he got the score. A big opportunity missed as far as points go. Now it makes every contest from here on out a little more work,” said the six-time champ.
Not only did C.J. win the comp, he won the brother-versus-brother battle in the quarterfinals. For the first time in the twins’ glorious WCT career, they surfed against each other, C.J. outpointing his bro Damien 15.5 to 6.96. “That was an experience not too many people get to enjoy,” stated an elated C.J. “In the quarterfinals of a ‘CT-the highest level of competition for surfing-with your brother.”
Official Results Of The Quiksilver Japan Pro
Official Quiksilver Pro Results
1. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.7-$30,000
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.33-$16,000
SF1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.13 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 9.5
SF2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.0 def. Kalani Robb (HAW) 12.77
QF1: Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.0 defeated Darren O’Rafferty 12.5
QF2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.17 defeated Andy Irons (HAW) 6.33
QF3: Kalani Robb (HAW) 14.34 defeated Kelly Slater (USA) 14.26
QF4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.5 defeated Damien Hobgood (USA) 6.96
Current ASP Ratings After WCT #6
1. Andy Irons (HAW) 5,748 points
2. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4,644
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 4,284
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 4,008
=5. Damien Hobgood (USA); Nathan Hedge (AUS) 3,912
7. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 3,876
8. Jake Paterson (AUS) 3,696
9. Dean Morrison (AUS) 3,492
10. Michael Lowe (AUS) 3,468