Jeffreys Bay, South Africa (Tuesday, July 4, 2000). Defending Billabong MSF Pro and current world junior champion Joel Parkinson (Aus) today continued his dominance of Jeffreys with a thrilling victory over world number two Taj Burrow (Aus) in the final heat of the afternoon. In 3-foot (1m) glassy conditions at ‘Supertubes,’ Parkinson fought his way back from Burrow’s early lead and outstanding 9.5-point ride to advance into round four.
Parkinson, 19, sent shock waves through the surfing fraternity last year when he won the World Championship Tour (WCT) event as a wildcard. His victory today ensuring added confidence in the quest of a repeat result.
“I’m pretty stoked,” said Parkinson on the water’s edge. “I think Taj is a great surfer and one of the best to come out of Australia in a long time. I wish him the best of luck for the rest of this year. I think he could do it (win the world title).
“That’s a good confidence booster for the rest of the contest,” he continued. “Knowing he had a 9.5 and I only had two fives, which is a really hard thing to come back from, I was lucky enough to get an eight and a seven. It was good, I’m quite happy with myself.”
Burrow, 22, waited an agonizing 10-minutes for the last wave he needed, letting many go by un-ridden, and ultimately ran out of opportunities. The two friends shook hands out in the lineup seconds before the siren sounded, then Burrow – in a skilled yet futile gesture – caught a great ride after the heat had finished.
“I waited for a 6.86 and I couldn’t get it,” explained a disappointed Burrow. “Just the way it went, there wasn’t that many waves. I was glad I got one good wave, but needed two more. I didn’t think those last waves had the potential I needed.”
Current ratings leader Sunny Garcia (Haw) today survived a tough battle against South African wildcard entrant Sean Holmes. Holmes, who proved a giant killer in last year’s Billabong MSF Pro defeating Mark Occhilupo (Aus) en-route to his quarter-final finish, scored the only perfect 10-point ride of the event so far against Garcia, but failed to secure a third high scoring wave in the 25-minute heat held at ‘Boneyards.’ After their match, the tournament moved back to the usual venue of ‘Supertubes’ as conditions improved.
“All day there wasn’t enough waves,” explained Garcia after his win. “We opted to surf at the top (‘Boneyards’). The wave quality isn’t as good, but at least there are more waves and if you do fall off on a wave you can still get back out and find another one. I got three good waves right at the start and then Sean got a 10 at the end of the heat, but it was a little too late, which was fortunate for me. I had priority and I knew I had a five in my total. For me, if something good came in, bettering a five is not too hard. I felt pretty comfortable.”
Holmes took the defeat professionally, acknowledging his great opponent and what cost him the heat.
“Sunny’s a great competitor and unless you get three good waves you’re not going to beat the guy,” he reasoned. “I managed to get one good one, and there weren’t many out there, so I’m stoked with that. It just doesn’t get you through heats at this level. Good luck to Sunny, though, I hope he does well in the rest of the contest.”
Current world champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) also survived a nerve-wracking ’bout this afternoon with Hawaiian Andy Irons. Both competitors were instrumental in having the tournament move back to the main venue at ‘Supertubes,’ though ‘Occy’ admitted he wasn’t confident he had made the right decision halfway through their heat.
“I was scared out there,” said the world champion. “We decided to move it and then I went down the point and it just wasn’t the same spot. Everyone was free-surfing going ‘It’s pumping out here!’ So I just waited and 10-minutes later I said, ‘hang-on, it’s not pumping out here.’ I passed up a lot of waves that Andy took and I was scared. I could have got left out there if I didnn’t snap out of it and start taking some small ones. I even felt tentative on them because I didn’t want to fall off; I knew I didn’t have much time. Then my last couple of waves I loosened up and felt good. My small wave boards feel great. It all turned out for the best.”
Australian Richie Lovett topped the day’s highest scores with 23.65 out-of-a possible 30-points when he eliminated Brazilian Guilherme Herdy.
Official Results of Men’s Round Two
Heat 1: N Webster (Aus) 18.90 def. Y Sodre (Brz) 15.90Heat 2: D Wills (Aus) 17.50 def. C Lopez (USA) 15.25
Heat 3: R Machado (USA) 19.75 def. CJ Hobgood (USA) 8.20 Heat 4: L Egan (Aus) 16.50 def. K Malloy (USA) 16.10Heat 5: M Campbell (Aus) 19.65 def. G Emslie (SAfr) 19.10Heat 6: R Lovett (Aus) 23.65 def. G Herdy (Brz) 18.15Heat 7: P Rosa (Brz) 17.50 def. T Curran (USA) 14.75Heat 8: S Garcia (Haw) 23.50 def. S Holmes (SAfr) 18.25Heat 9: M Occhilupo (Aus) 21.25 def. A Irons (Haw) 10.85Heat 10: D Hobgood (USA) 20.60 def. B Emerton (Aus) 18.25Heat 11: F Padaratz (Brz) 17.75 def. R Williams (Haw) 15.90Heat 12: R Rocha (Brz) 18.50 def. V Ribas (Brz) 12.60Heat 13: J Parkinson (Aus) 20.85 def. T Burrow (Aus) 16.85
Remaining Round Three Heats
Heat 14: M Lowe (Aus) vs. S Lopez (USA)Heat 15: S Dorian (Haw) vs. K Robb (Haw)Heat 16: J Paterson (Aus) vs. S Powell (Aus)