Billabong Pro Trestles 2000 – ASP Intro

San Clemente, California (Monday, Sep 25, 2000) The inaugural Billabong Pro to be held at ‘Lowers’ Trestles was officially launched last night upon the 105-foot yacht ‘Dream On’ with the majority of competitors, contest organizers and officials, as well as local and international media present. This event marks the 11th stop on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2000 World Championship Tour (WCT), and while it was decided to postpone the first two days of competition from yesterday the 24th of September until tomorrow, Tuesday the 26th, due to lack of swell, all other factors are geared toward a fantastic tournament.

Hundreds of guests were treated last night to fine food, plenty of drinks, a press conference, and then a live musical set by band ‘Sunchild.’ Billabong USA’s Paul Naude officially welcomed everyone and thanked those responsible for all their hard work leading up to this event, before ASP President Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew made the following speech:

“Trestles has always been on the wish list,” claimed the 1978 world champion surfer. “And dreams come true in 2000. It is the premier venue in Southern California and surfers will be cutting loose. With three events left, this is pivotal on this years’ tour. Sunny Garcia (Haw) and Luke Egan (Aus) have been blazing all year, but with Rob Machado (USA) just winning two events in Europe, Shane Dorian (Haw) at Mundaka (Spain), and CJ Hobgood’s (USA) maiden WCT win at Hossegor (France), things have tightened.

“We’re in the home stretch now,” Bartholomew continued. “But there are some major wildcards in the draw here. Kelly Slater (USA), Joel Parkinson (Aus)…. Congratulations to Billabong. I’m looking forward to a fantastic event at Trestles.”

A handful of the worlds’ best surfers then answered questions posed by former top professional John Shimooka (Haw), who will act as commentator during the Billabong Pro. He began by asking Egan the importance of this event for his campaign to catch ratings leader Garcia before the year is over.

“Sunny’s been incredible all year,” acknowledged Egan. “We both did similar throughout Europe and I’ve been maintaining my position, but he hasn’t lost early and I haven’t really gained ground. I’m stoked to surf Trestles in an event, though. It’ll be the best surfing in the history of the spot.”

Machado, who returned to the winning circle with two WCT victories in France, recently, agreed the surfing level is sure to be extremely high at Trestles, and added how glad he was to be close to his own bed for a change.

“It’s nice to be home,” he stated with a laugh. “I grew up surfing at Lors and am looking forward to it. Man-on-man heats at Lowers… the level will be amazing.”

Six-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA), who actually won his first professional surfing event at this same location back in 1990, now finds himself filling a wildcard position offered by event sponsor Billabong. Despite choosing not to compete full-time the past couple of years, Slater has still managed two major wins. The Pipeline Masters last December in Hawaii, and then at Teahupoo, Tahiti, earlier in 2000. With nothing to prove and already being presented as a ‘spoiler’, his heats at Trestles are sure to be the most anticipated.

“I feel good,” stated the six-time world champ. “I’m excited about surfing at the moment. I have some new boards that I haven’t even used yet, but I’m going to use them here. They’re exact replicas of some old boards I’ve had.

“I’m glad to see Rob win some events again,” Slater added. “I’ll try to win this if Rob doesn’t (laughs). I’ve been interested in the ratings. Luke is up there and Sunny has been maintaining. I’m glad I’m not up against either in the first rounds and hope I don’t see them for awhile in this event.”

Dorian, rated sixth after the last WCT event in Portugal, was next on the microphone to offer a few words.

“Mathematically I’m in the (ratings) race, but it’s not likely,” he reasoned. “I’ll have to start greasing up Luke’s wax (laughs).

“It’s nice to have Kelly back,” he added. “And Benji (Weatherley) and Donovan (Frankenreiter – two additional Billabong wildcards). It’s a perfect time of the year to have everyone here at Trestles. Should be good.”

Current world champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) then provided the main entertainment for the evening, admitting to surfing ‘Upper’ Trestles earlier in the week by mistake, as he had forgotten ‘Lowers’ was another couple of hundred yards further south along the beach, where the event will be contested.

“I haven’t surfed here a lot,” ‘Occy’ said. “The other day I was surfing ‘Uppers’ and thought it was ‘Lowers’ (laughs). I was going to ask this guy in the water, but never did. Then the next day I went with Luke (Egan) and he kept walking past where I’d been.”

When asked about how he sees his chances, the world champ responded to hysterical laughter with:

“If I find the spot for my heat….”

Current ratings leader Garcia, who has been out-in-front since winning back-to-back WCT events in Australia at the start of the year, wasn’t really in a partying mood last night. Despite showing up for the press conference, he wasn’t afraid to admit his main priority was to just make it through the week and then return home to Hawaii and recharge his batteries. A solid finish at Trestles would obviously help his cause, but having lost the title race before after an early lead, Garcia was doing his best to avoid too many media questions at this stage of the game.

“To tell the truth,” Garcia stated. “I’m looking forward to next week and going home. I’ll do what I have to do, but I want to sleep in my own bed after four weeks of hell in France. I’m not worried about this event.

“Billabong brought Kelly here to spoil some things and we’ll have to deal with that when it comes,” he continued. “Having lead the ratings before and lost time and time again before the end, I never feel secure. There are three more events and I would like to win here and get the title in Brazil, as all these guys (present at the press conference) could do it at Pipeline (last event in Hawaii). 1995 I felt secure and I still lost it. I’m just going to go out and do my job.”

The event should be underway at 8am (local time) tomorrow morning, conditions pending.

Upcoming Heats of the Billabong Pro Day One – WCT Event #11

Round One

Heat 1: F Padaratz (Brz); D Wills (Aus); P O’Connell (USA)
Heat 2: M Occhilupo (Aus); R Rocha (Brz); K Malloy (USA)
Heat 3: J Paterson (Aus); S Powell (Aus); P Canning (SAfr)
Heat 4: S Dorian (Haw); T Curran (USA); A Irons (Haw)
Heat 5: T Burrow (Aus); F Gouveia (Brz); T Martin (Aus)
Heat 6: R Machado (USA); R Williams (Haw); C Hayes (Haw)
Heat 7: CJ Hobgood (USA); A Daltro (Brz); K Slater (USA)
Heat 8: S Garcia (Haw); R Lovett (Aus); D Frankenreiter (USA)
Heat 9: L Egan (Aus); M Lowe (Aus); B Weatherley (USA)
Heat 10: M Campbell (Aus); V Ribas (Brz); J Parkinson (Aus)
Heat 11: S Lopez (USA); B Emerton (Aus); R Winter (UK)
Heat 12: C Lopez (USA); T Knox (USA); G Ringrose (Aus)
Heat 13: N Webster (Aus); D Hobgood (USA); S Sutton (Haw)
Heat 14: G Herdy (Brz); T Prestage (Aus); B Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 15: L Hitchings (Aus); S Beschen (USA); G Emslie (SAfr)
Heat 16: K Robb (Haw); N Padaratz (Brz); Y Sodre (Brz)

 

return home to Hawaii and recharge his batteries. A solid finish at Trestles would obviously help his cause, but having lost the title race before after an early lead, Garcia was doing his best to avoid too many media questions at this stage of the game.

“To tell the truth,” Garcia stated. “I’m looking forward to next week and going home. I’ll do what I have to do, but I want to sleep in my own bed after four weeks of hell in France. I’m not worried about this event.

“Billabong brought Kelly here to spoil some things and we’ll have to deal with that when it comes,” he continued. “Having lead the ratings before and lost time and time again before the end, I never feel secure. There are three more events and I would like to win here and get the title in Brazil, as all these guys (present at the press conference) could do it at Pipeline (last event in Hawaii). 1995 I felt secure and I still lost it. I’m just going to go out and do my job.”

The event should be underway at 8am (local time) tomorrow morning, conditions pending.

Upcoming Heats of the Billabong Pro Day One – WCT Event #11

Round One

Heat 1: F Padaratz (Brz); D Wills (Aus); P O’Connell (USA)
Heat 2: M Occhilupo (Aus); R Rocha (Brz); K Malloy (USA)
Heat 3: J Paterson (Aus); S Powell (Aus); P Canning (SAfr)
Heat 4: S Dorian (Haw); T Curran (USA); A Irons (Haw)
Heat 5: T Burrow (Aus); F Gouveia (Brz); T Martin (Aus)
Heat 6: R Machado (USA); R Williams (Haw); C Hayes (Haw)
Heat 7: CJ Hobgood (USA); A Daltro (Brz); K Slater (USA)
Heat 8: S Garcia (Haw); R Lovett (Aus); D Frankenreiter (USA)
Heat 9: L Egan (Aus); M Lowe (Aus); B Weatherley (USA)
Heat 10: M Campbell (Aus); V Ribas (Brz); J Parkinson (Aus)
Heat 11: S Lopez (USA); B Emerton (Aus); R Winter (UK)
Heat 12: C Lopez (USA); T Knox (USA); G Ringrose (Aus)
Heat 13: N Webster (Aus); D Hobgood (USA); S Sutton (Haw)
Heat 14: G Herdy (Brz); T Prestage (Aus); B Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 15: L Hitchings (Aus); S Beschen (USA); G Emslie (SAfr)
Heat 16: K Robb (Haw); N Padaratz (Brz); Y Sodre (Brz)