Day One Results From The Billabong Pro At Mundaka

Billabong Pro Mundaka (Oct 9-21)
www.billabongpro.com

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
www.aspworldtour.com
2002 World Championship Tour (WCT)

Emerton Scores Perfect Ride

Mundaka, Euskadi, Spain (Thursday, October 10) Current ratings #35 BeauEmerton (Aus) today dominated the Billabong Pro Mundaka with the onlyperfect 10-point ride. The US$250,000 World Championship Tournament (WCT)commenced with opening round heats this morning, before moving into thefirst two of the second this afternoon.

Waves were 8-10 ft (3m) throughout the day. A major swell increase arrivedovernight, with epic barrels experienced during the lower midday tideespecially. The strong current and rainsqualls, however, made conditionsextremely difficult.

Emerton, who secured his best result of the season last week in France tofinish equal ninth, today set the pace with a perfect wave and the highestcombined total for 17.75-points. Against Maz Quinn (NZ) and fellowAustralian Richie Lovett in the last heat of round one, the goofy footerleft both opponents requiring a combination of rides to advance directlyinto round three.

“It’s a great start to the event,” said Emerton. “I’ve been sitting herewatching it all day and was a bit worried the higher tide would stop thebarrels. The swell is big enough though, so I was stoked it didn’t. Mundakais one of the best lefts in the world and I love these kinds of waves. It’sone of my favorite places.

“I knew there were going to be sets, but I didn’t think I’d get one thatgood,” he continued of his epic ride. “I did a couple of good turns and thenthe thing just walled up perfectly for me. I was actually quite lucky causeMaz duck-dived right where the section was and it kind of broke it down, butI managed to come out and it was a really good feeling. I’m not having thebest year, so it’s good to skip a round and I really need to make a few moreto move up the ratings.”

Current ratings leader Andy Irons (Haw) dominated his opening match withTaylor Knox (USA) and local wildcard Dani Garcia (Spn). After being smashedon a number of barrel attempts, the Hawaiian’s last two rides were among thebest of the day and scored accordingly with an 8.25 and then an 8.5 for acombined total of 16.75-points.

“When the heat started the downpour was so torrential just looking out tosee where the waves were breaking blinded you,” explained Irons. “We weregetting drilled and washed all around. It took a while to get a good waveand I was smashed on three in a row. One finally wedged up perfectly on theinside and I parked myself and got a sick pit.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” he added, when Garcia broke his board andthe locals were cheering. “I thought he might have gotten a really goodbarrel and score, but then I saw a guy scaling down the cliff with a anotherboard, so I figured he must have broken his. It was pretty chaotic outthere, but that was a good start for me. It should be phenomenal if itcleans up a bit and a really great event.”

Local wildcard Iker Fuentes (Spn), from nearby Sopelana, emerged victoriousover current ratings #2 Luke Egan and fellow Australian Jake Paterson for amajor upset. The 24-year-old showed his knowledge of Mundaka in thedifficult conditions to pick off two strong rides, leaving both hisopponents to battle it out in the ‘losers’ second round.

“I was very nervous because it’s a really important contest for me,” saidFuentes. “This is my place, so I’d like to see how I can compete with thebest world surfers. I think I was very lucky with the waves, but knowingwhat ones to catch maybe helped. It was difficult, but I’m happy.”

Egan, who then contested the first second round match this afternoon,eliminated local wildcard Dani Garcia (Spn). The Australian won a lowscoring heat for his third round berth.

“I had an ordinary heat earlier and was quite stoked they were going intosecond round,” said Eganfter his win. “I just wanted to sort this day out,as it’s been an average one for me. There was size, but it was really trickywith the tide coming in. I didn’t even get a good score. I’m stoked to stillbe in there. It’s been one of the trickiest days this year, for sure, butwe’ve seen this place go crazy and I’m sure we’re going to see it getall-time this week.”

Nathan Hedge (Aus) came back with an extremely critical, dredging tube rideat the end of his heat to edge out reigning world champ CJ Hobgood (USA) andlocal wildcard Eneko Acero (Spn). The Spaniard initially led, before theFloridian snuck in and out of numerous barrels for an 8.75 and the lead, butthen the Australian posted his 9.5 to advance. Hobgood went on to win hissecond round match this afternoon over Acero, who was then eliminated fromthe Billabong Pro Mundaka.

“That was my first heat at Mundaka,” said Hedge. “It was very different whenyou got out there from how it seems from land. I didn’t make my first threewaves and was kind of rattled, but knew I only needed two waves. I wasn’tthat deep on the last one, but it was dark in there (laughs). I’m prettystoked.”

Damien Hobgood (USA) posted a near-perfect 9.9 to overcome defendingBillabong Pro Mundaka 2000 champion Shane Dorian (Haw) and Russell Winter(UK) in their match. The Floridian emerged from a long deep tube, duringwhat was also his first surf at the legendary break.

“It was actually the first time I’d ever surfed here, so I didn’t reallyknow everything I needed to know out there,” admitted Hobgood. “I was tryingto sit deep, but I kept pushing it too far. Then that wave came and it justbacked off right where I was and let me in it. I locked in and was pumpingfor speed, just hoping it wouldn’t shut down on me. I made one section, andthen kept going. It was awesome. One of the best waves I’ve had in a longtime. So stoked to see some surf, as I’ve always dreamt about coming here.”

1999 world and Billabong Pro Mundaka champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) addedanother treasured memory to his Mundaka files by defeating six-time worldchamp Kelly Slater (USA) and wildcard Miky Picon (Fra). The expectant fatheropened his account with a quick tube and procession of turns for 7.5-points,then slotted into an extremely long barrel but narrowly missed emerging fromits depths, before sealing victory on his last ride. Slater, on the otherhand, was five minutes late for the match and never really found form.

“You never know what’s going to happen with Kelly,” began Occhilupo, of hisopponent’s late arrival. “I asked him what happened and he said hemiss-timed the heat by 20-minutes when he stopped to get some food on hisway from France. It’s not the first time I’m seen Kelly be late for a heat,so I took advantage of it and got a good first score.

“It feels so good,” he added, of being back at Mundaka. “This place has somuch history behind it, even with my win, and I just love the place. Good tobe back and see all the people. We’ve got some big swells, so I’m reallyexcited.”

Current #25 Shane Powell controlled his heat with fellow Australian andcurrent #5 Joel Parkinson, as well as Victor Ribas (Brz). The 29-year-old,who celebrates his 30th birthday tomorrow, picked off a great 8.75 firstride, and then supported this with another 7.6 on only the second wave hecaught all 30-minutes.

“I feel like I’ve been surfing well during the European leg, but I’ve had acouple of bad heats,” said Powell of his recent poor results. “I’ve onlysurfed a handful of times here and normally in Europe you’re surfingeveryday. You’ve just got to try and put it out of your head and concentrateon what you have.”

WCT newcomer Lee Winkler (Aus) caused an upset in the day’s opening heat,defeating current #7 Shea Lopez (USA), as well as Paulo Moura (Brz). TheAustralian surfed with plenty of confidence, picking off an 8.5 on his everwave at Mundaka in competition. He then secured another 7.25 for aconvincing berth into round three.

“I knew it wasn’t barreling much, so if I stuck my board up and did biggerre-entries I’d have a better opportunity,” explained Winkler. “It’s prettybig out there and awkward. I got straight into a good one though, and wasable to relax and find a few more to get through.”

Fabio Gouveia (Brz) came back from a broken board and strong lead by PaulCanning (SAfr) to win their heat over Mick Fanning (Aus). Friend and fellowcountryman Renan Rocha, who brought down Gouveia’s spare board to assist,also went on to post a win in his round one heat this afternoon.

“I got so mad when I broke my brand new board on my first wave,” explainedGouveia. “I had only just waxed it up, but then Renan gave me my spare boardand I still had time to get two good waves. I was stoked to make the heat,as I was able to stop Paul catching the last wave. I had a couple of reallygood barrels. It’s like a dream to be surfing Mundaka in good waves withonly two other guys out.”

Current #4 Danny Wills (Aus) advanced over Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) thismorning. WCT newcomer Dean Morrison was originally in the heat as well butwithdrew from the Billabong Pro Mundaka yesterday due to personal familyreasons and flew home.

A decision will be made tomorrow morning at 8am (local time) as to the day’sschedule.

The Billabong Pro Mundaka is also supported by Renault, Globe, BritishAirways, Fosters, and Von Zipper.

Official results of round one in the Billabong Pro Mundaka 2002 (1st > Rnd3; 2nd & 3rd > Rnd 2)
H1: Lee Winkler (Aus) 15.75; Shea Lopez (USA) 11.35; Paulo Moura (Brz) 3.0

H2: Kalani Robb (Haw) 14.5; Phil MacDonald (Aus) 12.25; Guilherme Herdy(Brz) 10.65

H3: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.35; Pat O’Connell (USA) 9.1; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus)6.5

H4: Shane Powell (Aus) 16.35; Joel Parkinson (Aus) 15.05; Victor Ribas (Brz)11.01

H5: Danny Wills (Aus) 9.5; Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) 6.15; Dean Morrison(Aus) – withdrew

H6: Michael Lowe (Aus) 14.0; Michael Campbell (Aus) 6.1; Marcelo Nunes (Brz)3.85

H7: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 14.5; Kelly Slater (USA) 8.3; Miky Picon (Fra) 7.5

H8: Andy Irons (Haw) 16.75; Taylor Knox (USA) 12.65; Dani Garcia (Spn) 9.8

H9: Iker Fuentes (Spn) 12.5; Luke Egan (Aus) 10.75; Jake Paterson (Aus) 9.7

H10: Nathan Hedge (Aus) 16.5; CJ Hobgood (USA) 15.0; Eneko Acero (Spn) 11.9

H11: Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.65; Shane Dorian (Haw) 8.15; Russell Winter(UK) 5.65

H12: Fabio Gouveia (Brz) 15.5; Paul Canning (SAfr) 15.0; Mick Fanning (Aus)10.25

H13: Taj Burrow (Aus) 14.6; Neco Padaratz (Brz) 9.0; Greg Emslie (SAfr) 5.1

H14: Luke Hitchings (Aus) 11.85; Nathan Webster (Aus) 9.15; Peterson Rosa(Brz) 6.8

H15: Renan Rocha (Brz) 11.4; Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 11.35; Kieren Perrow(Aus) 11.0

H16: Beau Emerton (Aus) 17.75; Maz Quinn (NZ) 10.75; Richard Lovett (Aus)4.65

Round two heats (1st > Rnd 3; 2nd=33rd, receives US$3,000)
H1: Luke Egan (Aus) 9.5 def. Dani Garcia (Spn) 3.15
H2: CJ Hobgood (USA) 12.75 vs. Eneko Acero (Spn) 9.75
for aconvincing berth into round three.

“I knew it wasn’t barreling much, so if I stuck my board up and did biggerre-entries I’d have a better opportunity,” explained Winkler. “It’s prettybig out there and awkward. I got straight into a good one though, and wasable to relax and find a few more to get through.”

Fabio Gouveia (Brz) came back from a broken board and strong lead by PaulCanning (SAfr) to win their heat over Mick Fanning (Aus). Friend and fellowcountryman Renan Rocha, who brought down Gouveia’s spare board to assist,also went on to post a win in his round one heat this afternoon.

“I got so mad when I broke my brand new board on my first wave,” explainedGouveia. “I had only just waxed it up, but then Renan gave me my spare boardand I still had time to get two good waves. I was stoked to make the heat,as I was able to stop Paul catching the last wave. I had a couple of reallygood barrels. It’s like a dream to be surfing Mundaka in good waves withonly two other guys out.”

Current #4 Danny Wills (Aus) advanced over Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) thismorning. WCT newcomer Dean Morrison was originally in the heat as well butwithdrew from the Billabong Pro Mundaka yesterday due to personal familyreasons and flew home.

A decision will be made tomorrow morning at 8am (local time) as to the day’sschedule.

The Billabong Pro Mundaka is also supported by Renault, Globe, BritishAirways, Fosters, and Von Zipper.

Official results of round one in the Billabong Pro Mundaka 2002 (1st > Rnd3; 2nd & 3rd > Rnd 2)
H1: Lee Winkler (Aus) 15.75; Shea Lopez (USA) 11.35; Paulo Moura (Brz) 3.0

H2: Kalani Robb (Haw) 14.5; Phil MacDonald (Aus) 12.25; Guilherme Herdy(Brz) 10.65

H3: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.35; Pat O’Connell (USA) 9.1; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus)6.5

H4: Shane Powell (Aus) 16.35; Joel Parkinson (Aus) 15.05; Victor Ribas (Brz)11.01

H5: Danny Wills (Aus) 9.5; Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) 6.15; Dean Morrison(Aus) – withdrew

H6: Michael Lowe (Aus) 14.0; Michael Campbell (Aus) 6.1; Marcelo Nunes (Brz)3.85

H7: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 14.5; Kelly Slater (USA) 8.3; Miky Picon (Fra) 7.5

H8: Andy Irons (Haw) 16.75; Taylor Knox (USA) 12.65; Dani Garcia (Spn) 9.8

H9: Iker Fuentes (Spn) 12.5; Luke Egan (Aus) 10.75; Jake Paterson (Aus) 9.7

H10: Nathan Hedge (Aus) 16.5; CJ Hobgood (USA) 15.0; Eneko Acero (Spn) 11.9

H11: Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.65; Shane Dorian (Haw) 8.15; Russell Winter(UK) 5.65

H12: Fabio Gouveia (Brz) 15.5; Paul Canning (SAfr) 15.0; Mick Fanning (Aus)10.25

H13: Taj Burrow (Aus) 14.6; Neco Padaratz (Brz) 9.0; Greg Emslie (SAfr) 5.1

H14: Luke Hitchings (Aus) 11.85; Nathan Webster (Aus) 9.15; Peterson Rosa(Brz) 6.8

H15: Renan Rocha (Brz) 11.4; Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 11.35; Kieren Perrow(Aus) 11.0

H16: Beau Emerton (Aus) 17.75; Maz Quinn (NZ) 10.75; Richard Lovett (Aus)4.65

Round two heats (1st > Rnd 3; 2nd=33rd, receives US$3,000)
H1: Luke Egan (Aus) 9.5 def. Dani Garcia (Spn) 3.15
H2: CJ Hobgood (USA) 12.75 vs. Eneko Acero (Spn) 9.75