Competition Reports

TransWorld SurfFile: Issue: 7#10Slater Makes Big Statement At Jeffreys BaySix-Time world champ wins his third ‘CT of the year.

If anyone on the World Championship Tour (WCT) wants to win the 2005 Men’s World Title, they better get their butts in gear-because Kelly Slater is on fire. The 32-year-old Floridian won his third WCT event of the year at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay in nearly flawless overhead surf at the world renowned right-hand point break in South Africa.

In their first man-on-man final ever, Slater and Andy Irons had what could only be described as a “battle royale.” While Andy started off strong with an opening ride that scored an 8.33 and led for almost the entire heat, Slater would not be stopped and sealed his victory with 35 seconds remaining in the 45-minute final. This is what happened: Andy, who held priority, had ridden his last wave to the rock-lined beach and waited there to see if Slater could score a 9.23 in the dying minutes of the final and overtake his lead. A set approached, and the crowd on the beach roared as Slater took off on a sizeable set wave and proceeded to blast the lip five times. It was a close call, but the judges deemed it a 9.5 and crushed Andy’s hopes of narrowing Slater’s Vise-Grip-like lead on the ratings. A stunned Irons was later quoted by the ASP as saying, “Darn him (Slater)!” but to those who know Andy, he probably had more choice words.

While the showdown between the two multiple world champs stole the show, there were some inspiring sideshows. California’s Tim Reyes had his best result in an otherwise less-than-stellar year with his third-place finish. Reyes’ smooth and powerful style translated perfectly to the long walls of J-Bay, and he took down some heavy hitters such as Trent Munro, Luke Stedman, and rookie sensation Fred Patacchia until he was eliminated by Slater in the semis. Reyes’ third-place finish dragged him out of the cellar and put him thirty-third on the ‘CT ratings.

Another personal-best performance was put forth by South African regular-foot, Greg Emslie. Using local knowledge and supported by throngs of vocal supporters on the beach, Emslie powered past some real contenders, Joel Parkinson and Taylor Knox, on his way to a third-place showing and $10,000-which will go a long way in the Republic Of South Africa.

Official Results For The Billabong Pro WCT At Jeffreys Bay

1) Kelly Slater (USA) $30,000

2) Andy Irons (HAW) $16,000

3) Greg Emslie (ZAF), Tim Reyes (USA) $10,000

5) Luke Stedman (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS) $8,000

Official Men’s WCT Ratings After The Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay

1) Kelly Slater (USA) 5,342

2) Andy Irons (HAW) 4,596

3) Trent Munro (AUS) 4,286

4) Mick Fanning (AUS) 4,230

5) Joel Parkinson (AUS) 3,732

6) Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 3,628

7) Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 3,599

8) Cory Lopez (USA) 3,575

9) C.J. Hobgood (USA) 3,546

10) Nathan Hedge (AUS) 3,443

The 2005 Bank Of The West Beach Games Featuring The 2005 Honda U.S. Open Presented By O’NeillA Circus In The Sand

What began as the U.S./West Coast Surfing Championships way back in 1959, which was won by a Mr. Jack Haley (whatever happened to him?), has morphed into the largest surfing contest in the world. Google it if you’re a nonbeliever-over three-million pieces of information will explode your cranium. Lucky for you, TransWorld SURF is the media sponsor of the Huntington Beach blowout, and we were there to document every last bit of hype available.

The Crowd

An interesting geographical nuance about Huntington Beach is the fact that it’s the main artery into the Inland Empire of California. Remember the Op Pro riots of 1986? Go ahead and thank the good ol’ never-seen-breasts-before residents of Santa Ana, Riverside, and San Bernadino for that fiasco.

But damn if there weren’t eight-million hot girls who flocked down to the dusty sands of Huntington Pier. Just ask annumber of Australian blokes who turned up for the six-star, WQS comp-the boys were slaying it! One particular e-mail from an Aussie ‘QS battler read like this: “Mate, I’m f-kin’ losin’ it! So many hot birds here!” Apparently, all these lucky bastards had to do was open their mouths and spew out some Down Under game, and it was on. Needless to say, the Australian contingent will be back next year (let’s just hope they save some tail for us seppos).

It wasn’t just sex-crazed Australian’s and Inland Empire dwellers who showed up, either. Dennis Hopper, of Easy Rider fame, made an appearance on the final day with his son, Henry, who’s an avid surf fan. While not as impressed with the conditions at Huntington compared to the last contest he saw, the Eddie at Waimea Bay, Hopper was stoked to be able to take his son down to see, among others, the tattooed devil, Christian Fletcher.

In total, an estimated crowd of over 400,000 fans flocked to Huntington Beach for the B.O.T.W.B.G.F.T.H.U.S.O.O.S.P.B.O. (Bank Of The West Beach Games Featuring The Honda U.S. Open Of Surfing Presented By O’Neill), and while perhaps not everybody realized there was a surf contest going on, the U.S. Open will go down as the most highly attended surf comp ever.

Flying Dirt Bikes

The first day I rolled up to the intersection of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway-ground zero Huntington Beach-I almost ran over Dean Morrison because I was checking out some of OC’s finest. After finding a parking spot, which was remarkably easy, I cruised through the mob of tattooed-up, pit-bull-walking dudes and punk-rock chicks with spiked mohawks, before running into Andy Irons and his crew. While we were exchanging greetings, a glint of steel shone through the throngs and caught the three-time world champ’s eye. “What the f-k? Did you see that? It’s the motocross demo! Let’s go check it out!”

Yeah, nice talking to you, Andy. But I couldn’t blame him; the crazy-ass motocross guys were stealing the thunder from everyone-babes included.

The most insane thing about the motocross demo wasn’t that they were flying 60 feet above the beach and covering a distance of over a hundred feet, but how they have to deal with the wind factor. This is how it goes: The rider lines up with a massive launch ramp, sticks his index finger in his mouth, points it up in the air to measure the wind speed and direction, and guns it toward the ramp at an angle to compensate for the unpredictable, cross-blowing wind. Imagine blasting off a ramp at 45 mph and hoping the wind doesn’t all of a sudden decide to die. Mix in their super tweaked-out jumps with the bike above their heads and you’ll understand why the motocross demo stole the show.

Beware Of Beach Volleyball

Watch out for these tall, ripped, and athletic volleyball dudes-they’ll steal your chick faster than you can shout, “Side out!” I stayed away from the Karch Kiraly 4-Person Invitational for these exact reasons; they make me feel short, fat, and sloth-like. At least I wasn’t the perv sitting at the back of the court interested in nothing more than well-toned female buttocks. Departing from my personal issues, the tourney was for a good cause-it was presented by the nonprofit environmental group, Keep California Beautiful.

The Target Women’s Junior Pro

With a name like Nikkita Robb, I imagined a sword-wielding, Xena-like warrior princess when I checked the heat sheets for the $10,000 Target Women’s Junior Pro. I would not be disappointed. While small in stature but big in heart, South Africa’s Nikkita Robb (no relation to Kalani Robb) came from behind with just a few minutes remaining in the final to win the junior women’s event by scoring a 9.83-an incredible feat in the pitiful conditions. Robb finished ahead of Karina Petroni, world champ in-the-making Coco Ho, and Erica Hosseini, in that order. It was the first year that the Target Women’s Junior Pro was held, and I’ll tell you what-these girls were ripping! Robb was awarded $2,500 for her efforts. …Lost Pro Junior

The $10,000 …Lost Pro Junior, America’s answer to Australia’s famed pro junior event, featured 120 of the world’s best twenty-and-under surfers from around the globe. After battling through round after round in the small, red-tide-stricken surf, the final came down to two Hawai’ians, two-time runner-up Dustin Cuizon from Ewa Beach, O’ahu and Hank Gaskell from Hana, Maui. Cuizon was leading the final until-and this was a popular theme throughout all divisions of the U.S. Open-Gaskell scored just enough points on his last wave to defeat Cuizon by a score of 14.8 to 14. Gaskell, who bolted to England for WQS action the day after the final, was a gracious winner: “Dustin’s a great guy and a competitor who I really respect. I was really nervous, just hoping to get another wave that might carry me through. I got really lucky.”Gaskell pocketed $2,500 and valuable points that will solidify his entry into the ASP World Junior Championships in Australia.

U.S. Open Of Longboarding

Joel Tudor is the greatest longboarder of our time. Nobody else really comes close, and his eighth U.S. Open longboard title proves just that. He doesn’t try to ride a nine-foot board like a shortboard, he rides a longboard like it’s supposed to be ridden-smooth, stylish, and in control.

The waves for the longboard final were some of the best throughout the entire U.S. Open, and Tudor was able to capitalize on that by (on one wave) cross-stepping to the nose, backpedaling while still cross-stepping, hanging ten, doing a clean cutback, and then, in the shorebreak, grabbing his foot while hanging ten. I’m not sure what that last maneuver is called, but either way, it was pretty amazing stuff on perfect equipment for the day. Tudor, riding a nine-footer with his son’s name, Tosh, written on the deck, defeated Colin McPhillips, Taylor Jensen, and Matthew Moir in that order and took home $2,500 for his efforts. Asked what he would do with the money, Tudor replied, “Diapers.”

Women’s U.S. Open

I’ll go out on a limb here and say this: Women get screwed at surf contests. No, not the groupie chicks, the actual athletes. Event organizers consistently put the ladies out in what seem like the worst conditions they can possibly wait for. The U.S. Open was no different, and one unlucky finalist, Rebecca Woods from Australia, was unable to even catch a wave due to miserable conditions. It’s a shame, too, because Woods is an excellent surfer and deserves to have her skills displayed in better conditions. That said, Julia Christian, from nearby Carlsbad, California, was able to rustle up a couple waves and scored a big win that will help considerably in her quest to get back onto the WCT.

On the bright side, the best female surfers in the world, from four-time World Champ Lisa Andersen and perennial contender Rochelle Ballard to preteen sensation Carissa Moore, showed up to greet their fans and sign autographs. Christian received 2,500 WQS points and $4,500 for her efforts. The only consolation to Woods is that she still leads the WQS ratings and got paid $2,300 for sitting in front of thousands of people for half an hour.

Men’s U.S. Open

To take in the magnitude of the U.S. Open, one must understand the difference between the WCT and the WQS. The WCT (World Championship Tour) is where surfers, both male and female, graduate to after battling through the lower ranks of the WQS (World Qualifying Series). The higher ranked WCT surfers really have no point concerns involving the WQS. So why would nearly every single WCT surfer show up for a WQS contest? Because they care about us surf fans (it’s also written into a lot of their contracts)! The U.S. Open is the only venue on the North American continent where fans can rub elbows with their favorite pros and maybe even buy ’em a drink at Duke’s. Yeah, there is a WCT contest at Lower Trestles in nearby San Clemente, but you try walking ng! Robb was awarded $2,500 for her efforts. …Lost Pro Junior

The $10,000 …Lost Pro Junior, America’s answer to Australia’s famed pro junior event, featured 120 of the world’s best twenty-and-under surfers from around the globe. After battling through round after round in the small, red-tide-stricken surf, the final came down to two Hawai’ians, two-time runner-up Dustin Cuizon from Ewa Beach, O’ahu and Hank Gaskell from Hana, Maui. Cuizon was leading the final until-and this was a popular theme throughout all divisions of the U.S. Open-Gaskell scored just enough points on his last wave to defeat Cuizon by a score of 14.8 to 14. Gaskell, who bolted to England for WQS action the day after the final, was a gracious winner: “Dustin’s a great guy and a competitor who I really respect. I was really nervous, just hoping to get another wave that might carry me through. I got really lucky.”Gaskell pocketed $2,500 and valuable points that will solidify his entry into the ASP World Junior Championships in Australia.

U.S. Open Of Longboarding

Joel Tudor is the greatest longboarder of our time. Nobody else really comes close, and his eighth U.S. Open longboard title proves just that. He doesn’t try to ride a nine-foot board like a shortboard, he rides a longboard like it’s supposed to be ridden-smooth, stylish, and in control.

The waves for the longboard final were some of the best throughout the entire U.S. Open, and Tudor was able to capitalize on that by (on one wave) cross-stepping to the nose, backpedaling while still cross-stepping, hanging ten, doing a clean cutback, and then, in the shorebreak, grabbing his foot while hanging ten. I’m not sure what that last maneuver is called, but either way, it was pretty amazing stuff on perfect equipment for the day. Tudor, riding a nine-footer with his son’s name, Tosh, written on the deck, defeated Colin McPhillips, Taylor Jensen, and Matthew Moir in that order and took home $2,500 for his efforts. Asked what he would do with the money, Tudor replied, “Diapers.”

Women’s U.S. Open

I’ll go out on a limb here and say this: Women get screwed at surf contests. No, not the groupie chicks, the actual athletes. Event organizers consistently put the ladies out in what seem like the worst conditions they can possibly wait for. The U.S. Open was no different, and one unlucky finalist, Rebecca Woods from Australia, was unable to even catch a wave due to miserable conditions. It’s a shame, too, because Woods is an excellent surfer and deserves to have her skills displayed in better conditions. That said, Julia Christian, from nearby Carlsbad, California, was able to rustle up a couple waves and scored a big win that will help considerably in her quest to get back onto the WCT.

On the bright side, the best female surfers in the world, from four-time World Champ Lisa Andersen and perennial contender Rochelle Ballard to preteen sensation Carissa Moore, showed up to greet their fans and sign autographs. Christian received 2,500 WQS points and $4,500 for her efforts. The only consolation to Woods is that she still leads the WQS ratings and got paid $2,300 for sitting in front of thousands of people for half an hour.

Men’s U.S. Open

To take in the magnitude of the U.S. Open, one must understand the difference between the WCT and the WQS. The WCT (World Championship Tour) is where surfers, both male and female, graduate to after battling through the lower ranks of the WQS (World Qualifying Series). The higher ranked WCT surfers really have no point concerns involving the WQS. So why would nearly every single WCT surfer show up for a WQS contest? Because they care about us surf fans (it’s also written into a lot of their contracts)! The U.S. Open is the only venue on the North American continent where fans can rub elbows with their favorite pros and maybe even buy ’em a drink at Duke’s. Yeah, there is a WCT contest at Lower Trestles in nearby San Clemente, but you try walking down that trail in high heels and a miniskirt.

Willpower is an unrecognized factor in human capability. Take Andy Irons, for example. Surfing in one- to one-and-a-half-foot waves, he came up against lightning-quick Rob Machado, perhaps the greatest small-wave surfer of all time-especially at Huntington Beach Pier where he’s been victorious before. This wasn’t “retired Rob” either. Machado had won every single one of his four-man heats from the round of 96 up until the final where he was pitted against Andy Irons. Andy, who had been out celebrating The Bruce Movie’s release the night before, showed the fire and drive that earned him three world titles and devastated the knee-high slop. With 30 seconds left and Machado in need of a 7.77 to overtake Irons, it was looking good for the Irons family, and members of Andy’s posse began filing down to the water’s edge for their much-practiced victory carry up the beach.

Then, with seconds to go, a small yet well-shaped left popped up, and Rob was on it. The immense, pro-Machado crowd finally had something to stand up and scream about, and over 100,000 people did just that. As Rob floated and weaved his way through the flat middle section and into the shorebreak, he gave it all he could and collapsed into the soup after his ride. Final score: 7.33.

2005 U.S. Open Winner: Andy Irons.

The only quote I got out of Andy was as he hugged Fred Patacchia’s dad: “I just willed it, man! I’m so stoked!” And with that, he was whisked away by his formidable entourage and into what was no doubt a wild night and a fitting end to the world’s largest surf contest.

For slideshows, video interviews, and more U.S. Open info, go to transworldsurf.com

The Billabong Surfrat Series Super FinalHigh Stakes For The Super Vermin

The Billabong Surfrat Series has grown to ten events this year: five on the West Coast, three on the East Coast, and two in Hawai’i. Each year, the winners of every event are invited to the Surfrat Super Series, which was held this year at a secret military-base location in Southern California.

A military base?

That’s right, instead of a normal, “throw a tent up on the beach” style of contest, Billabong teamed up with boat company Nautique and ferried contestants to an out-of-the-way beachbreak accessible only by watercraft and military personnel. Judges were set up on PWCs in the shorebreak, and it was game on.

After going through opening rounds, the sixteen-and-under final consisted of Ben Graeff, Corey Arrambide, Matt Mohagen, and Kai Barger. With a trip to Tavarua on the line, Hawai’ian Kai Barger stepped it up and took the hard-fought final.

The thirteen-and-under division, truly rats by any definition, was also a closely contested battle with Kokoro Tomatsuri, Tanner Hendrickson, Kolohe Andino, and Dane Zaun making it to the final. In the end, Kolohe Andino, with his superior surfing genes, took out his fellow vermin and earned himself a trip to Tavarua. Congratulations to all Surfrat Series competitors; and to all the wannabe rats, go to www.billabong.com for more info.

ing down that trail in high heels and a miniskirt.

Willpower is an unrecognized factor in human capability. Take Andy Irons, for example. Surfing in one- to one-and-a-half-foot waves, he came up against lightning-quick Rob Machado, perhaps the greatest small-wave surfer of all time-especially at Huntington Beach Pier where he’s been victorious before. This wasn’t “retired Rob” either. Machado had won every single one of his four-man heats from the round of 96 up until the final where he was pitted against Andy Irons. Andy, who had been out celebrating The Bruce Movie’s release the night before, showed the fire and drive that earned him three world titles and devastated the knee-high slop. With 30 seconds left and Machado in need of a 7.77 to overtake Irons, it was looking good for the Irons family, and members of Andy’s posse began filing down to the water’s edge for theeir much-practiced victory carry up the beach.

Then, with seconds to go, a small yet well-shaped left popped up, and Rob was on it. The immense, pro-Machado crowd finally had something to stand up and scream about, and over 100,000 people did just that. As Rob floated and weaved his way through the flat middle section and into the shorebreak, he gave it all he could and collapsed into the soup after his ride. Final score: 7.33.

2005 U.S. Open Winner: Andy Irons.

The only quote I got out of Andy was as he hugged Fred Patacchia’s dad: “I just willed it, man! I’m so stoked!” And with that, he was whisked away by his formidable entourage and into what was no doubt a wild night and a fitting end to the world’s largest surf contest.

For slideshows, video interviews, and more U.S. Open info, go to transworldsurf.com

The Billabong Surfrat Series Super FinalHigh Stakes For The Super Vermin

The Billabong Surfrat Series has grown to ten events this year: five on the West Coast, three on the East Coast, and two in Hawai’i. Each year, the winners of every event are invited to the Surfrat Super Series, which was held this year at a secret military-base location in Southern California.

A military base?

That’s right, instead of a normal, “throw a tent up on the beach” style of contest, Billabong teamed up with boat company Nautique and ferried contestants to an out-of-the-way beachbreak accessible only by watercraft and military personnel. Judges were set up on PWCs in the shorebreak, and it was game on.

After going through opening rounds, the sixteen-and-under final consisted of Ben Graeff, Corey Arrambide, Matt Mohagen, and Kai Barger. With a trip to Tavarua on the line, Hawai’ian Kai Barger stepped it up and took the hard-fought final.

The thirteen-and-under division, truly rats by any definition, was also a closely contested battle with Kokoro Tomatsuri, Tanner Hendrickson, Kolohe Andino, and Dane Zaun making it to the final. In the end, Kolohe Andino, with his superior surfing genes, took out his fellow vermin and earned himself a trip to Tavarua. Congratulations to all Surfrat Series competitors; and to all the wannabe rats, go to www.billabong.com for more info.