3 To The Beach – H.I.C. Pipe Pro

Generation Gap
Irons gets past the veterans to win the H.I.C. Pipeline Pro.

The H.I.C. Pipeline Pro, held February 20-March 4, was all about youth versus the establishment. With but a sprinkling of Top 44 pros around, the guard was bolstered by the regular Banzai big boys-a veteran group of infamous Pipe chargers. It really didn’t seem like any of the young freedom fighters could make too much noise with that crew waxing up their pintails on the golden sand of the Banzai Pipeline. And what a lot of sand there was. After a nonstop three-month blast of every kind of swell known to man, it stopped-cold. And the sand, tons of it, filled in the Ehukai Park like a big yellow parking lot. H.I.C. has a certain charm with this event, and the slated first day opened big. The problem was that the contest organizers had already cancelled the contest-bummer, but everyone got barreled all day anyway. The first day of competition was nuts-big, scary, double-dipped pits everywhere. The highlight of the day was Adam “Biff” D’Esposito’s twelve-foot suicide tube on the opening horn, which he made, so consequently he advanced through the heat as well. By the third round, competitors were into four-man heats, and lady luck took a backseat-now it was time for experience to show up, and it did. Mark Healy, Davey-Boy Gonsalves, Dave Cantrell, Tamayo Perry, Gavin Sutherland, and company began banging. Jamie O’Brien, who’s lived and surfed at Pipe for about 100 of his seventeen years, was looking very smooth; he was playing with it, really. Last year’s champ, Carlos Cabrero, was badly injured with a severely dislocated shoulder. The final looked like it might go one of two ways: with Bruce peaking, it could be over in ten minutes, but Cantrell took the early lead with two high-scoring lefts. Strider hit his head on the bottom and was dazed. Myles Padaca and Bruce got some solid lefts and high scores-Myles went Backdoor and scored big, only to have Bruce get a wide left straight into a shifting right peak and get tubed all the way to Off The Wall for a nine-something. To top it off, Bruce caught two more bomb rights with the last scoring a ten-game over. Myles finished a strong second, Cantrell third, and Strider in fourth with a slight concussion and a horn growing out the side of his skull. “The Bruce” was unstoppable. Once Sunny was done, he just stepped it up wave after wave, heat after heat, building momentum. He may be (with the exception of his brother Andy, Slater, and Dorian) the new king of the Banzai. Only time will tell.-Rik Iaconnetti

The 2001 Billabong Juniors At Sebastian InletCalifornian Dane Johnson shocks the home team.

As everyone arrived the day before the start of the first Billabong Juniors contest of 2001 at Sebastian Inlet in Florida, surfers and contest directors all came to the same conclusion: “Let’s do this tomorrow because we may not be able to finish afterward.” Due to weather fronts passing into the Atlantic Ocean, surfers on the East Coast are usually pretty accurate when it comes to surf forecasting. So as the waves went from small and fun to smaller and fun the first day, they realized they wanted to finish before things went flat. The contest, initially slated for March 3 and 4, finished in one day, and instead of the favored local boys dominating, Californian Dane Johnson surprised everyone by winning the 1,500-dollar first prize. Top juniors of all ages from the mainland United States and Puerto Rico showed up and included locals Phillip Watters, Eric Taylor, Tommy O’Brien, and Justin Jones; North Carolina’s Richard and Matt Gilligan; Puerto Rico’s Bryan Toth and Gabriel Escudero; and Californians Nate Yeomans, Mike Losness, and Dane Johnson. Although extra small, the waves at Sebastian are faster and more inviting for progressive surfing. Thanks to a sideways wave created as swells hit the jetty, the combination of the two creates a fast peak that gives an extra push down the le. Early highlights (or lowlights) included a young thirteen-year-old-gladiator Adam Wickwire literally battling for waves and getting two interferences, and local favorite Phillip Watters losing to Toth and Johnson in the second round. As the day went on, the clean offshore surf turned somewhat sloppy from a sideshore wind-although protected from it, the inlet still had a lot of texture. For the finals, everyone had the necessary three solid waves needed, but Johnson’s use of solid turn combinations gave him the edge. “I tried to go fast and vertical to show strength in my maneuvers,” said Johnson. “I’m kinda shocked and really happy. Everybody else was surfing really good, and it was pretty tight. I’m just thankful I came out on top.”Although goofyfoots Mike Losness and Bryan Toth both were surfing flawlessly all day into the final, they didn’t get the waves that earlier heats provided for their very consistent and quick backside turns-they finished third and fourth, respectively. The only local to make the final, sixteen-year-old Eric Taylor, also won the only East Coast Billabong Junior in North Carolina last year. Despite frontside turns and local knowledge, he couldn’t edge out Johnson and ended up in second. “I was looking forward to this contest all year and we had fun waves for it-it was good,” said Taylor. “There were pretty much waves the whole heat. There weren’t super long walls, and everybody was getting wave after wave and surfing good-it was really close.”

The following are the results of the first contest of the 2001 Billabong Juniors season held at Sebastian Inlet, Florida:

1. Dane Johnson (Carlsbad, California) : $1,5002. Eric Taylor (Vero Beach, Florida) : $8003. Mike Losness (San Clemente, California) : $6004. Brian Toth (Isabela, Puerto Rico) : $4005. (tie) Justin Jones (Melbourne Beach, Florida) : $350 Tommy O’Brien (Melbourne Beach, Florida) : $3507. (tie) Shane Upchurch (Oak Island, North Carolina) : $300 Ryan Kimmel (Locust, New Jersey) : $300

The Second Annual Greg Browning Winter ClassicGray and Caples double up.

Not everyone gets to name a surf contest after themself, but if you’re in the South Bay of L.A. and your name’s Greg Browning, it’s probably okay. After a successful first run last year, the Second Annual Greg Browning Winter Classic came through with a huge turnout and even better waves. Rippers of all ages look forward to it because there isn’t anything like it all year. “It’s a chance to get the community down to the beach, support surfing, give these kids a chance to hang out together, get some prizes, and rally up the boys,” says Browning. It rained during the contest from start to finish-the unusual weather also created some unusual conditions with offshore winds and head-high surf all weekend. “This morning’s the best I think I’ve ever seen El Porto,” said the Boys’ and Juniors’ winner Alex Gray. “I don’t surf here all the time, but it’s so fun, and everyone’s just having a blast.” Although he’d never admit it, Browning’s a bit of an icon who young South Bay talents like Gray look up to and appreciate. “Personally, for me,” says Gray, “this contest affects my entire repertoire of surfing from here to here holds hands apart because Greg Browning has helped me throughout my life. He got me started on this whole contest/pro surfer thingy. I just want to support him, so I think it’s a big privilege.”

Though frustrating at times, the rain didn’t stop a huge turnout with heats running all day both days. “I’d say we pretty much came close to doubling last year’s entrants,” said Browning. “The waves have been outrageous. I’d say the only thing missing was the sun.”

In addition to the heats, an autograph signing with posters made for the contest was held on the first day and included such famous names as Rob Machado, the Malloy brothers, Josh and Tim Curran, Geoff Moysa, and Kelly Slater, who missed the signing and opted for judging a few heats instead.

Browning used his industry contacts to get a large number of prizes, including surfboards for a raffle and respective first-place finishers. The lucky winners, in this case-Evan Caples and Alex Gray, took home two brand-new boards each. Congratulations go out to the winners and to Browning, who made it another successful year.-A.C.

The following are results of the Second Annual Greg Browning Winter Classic:

Menehune
1. Matt Calderon
2. Marty Weinstein
3. Dane Zaun
4. Tyler Campbell

Boys
1. Alex Gray
2. Chad Chiles
3. Jeff Nunez
4. Garrett Daniels

Juniors
1. Alex Gray
2. Fernando Mauro
3. Jamie Meistrell
4. Justin Schwartz

Men
1. Evan Caples
2. Richard Silva
3. Rusty White
4. Noah Budroe

Masters
1. Evan Caples
2. Noah Budroe
3. Ted Robinson
4. Kelly Gibson

Women
1. Jamie Gee
2. Tara Lentz
3. Jamilah Istfanhoje
4. Emiko Hoshino

the signing and opted for judging a few heats instead.

Browning used his industry contacts to get a large number of prizes, including surfboards for a raffle and respective first-place finishers. The lucky winners, in this case-Evan Caples and Alex Gray, took home two brand-new boards each. Congratulations go out to the winners and to Browning, who made it another successful year.-A.C.

The following are results of the Second Annual Greg Browning Winter Classic:

Menehune
1. Matt Calderon
2. Marty Weinstein
3. Dane Zaun
4. Tyler Campbell

Boys
1. Alex Gray
2. Chad Chiles
3. Jeff Nunez
4. Garrett Daniels

Juniors
1. Alex Gray
2. Fernando Mauro
3. Jamie Meistrell
4. Justin Schwartz

Men
1. Evan Caples
2. Richard Silva
3. Rusty White
4. Noah Budroe

Masters
1. Evan Caples
2. Noah Budroe
3. Ted Robinson
4. Kelly Gibson

Women
1. Jamie Gee
2. Tara Lentz
3. Jamilah Istfanhoje
4. Emiko Hoshino