Billabong Pro Mundaka (Oct 9-21)
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
2002 World Championship Tour (WCT)
Paterson Top Scores Second Round
Mundaka, Euskadi, Spain (Friday, October 11) Current #23 Jake Paterson (Aus)today posted the highest combined scores on day two of the Billabong ProMundaka. The US$250,000 World Championship Tournament (WCT) recommenced thismorning and ran right through until the end of the second round.
Waves remained 4-6 ft (1.6-2m) throughout the day, though the higher tidesat the beginning and end of the round were plagued with inconsistent sets.
Paterson, who finished 2001 rated 5th, suffered a slow start to this seasonbut turned things around last week in France where he reached thequarterfinals. Against Russell Winter (UK) today, the Australian racked uptwo great waves at the start for an 8.5 and 8.0, to advance convincinglywith a tally of 16.5-points.
“I’m pretty happy with that win as I got a couple of nice ones,” saidPaterson. “Russell didn’t really get much, as only a couple linked all theway through. I’m happy with the way I’m surfing and I’ve got a really goodboard, so all I had to do was catch the waves.”
Current #44 Victor Ribas was another to improve his standings, eliminatingfellow Brazilian and current #15 Peterson Rosa. The goofy footer found acouple small tubes and looked at ease on the long lefthanders, securing hisbest result since Tahiti earlier this year with a great 8.75 ride to hiscredit.
“The 33rd’s have been following me this year,” began Ribas of his poorresults in 2002. “I thought I would be doing better in Europe, but I’m sostoked to be out of that round now (laughs). I hope to do even better in thenext round. I like left point breaks and hope the swell is still coming toMundaka. I’m looking for the barrels.”
Current #5 Joel Parkinson (Aus) eliminated wildcard Miky Picon (Fra) in theday’s first heat. The pair originally paddled out at 9am, but due to thehigh tide, the match was re-scheduled an hour and a half later. Though waveswere still difficult and far from the Mundaka most dream of, the Australianmade the most of conditions to advance.
“You hope to surf perfect Mundaka, but we were just unlucky to have one ofthose early heats on the high tide,” said Parkinson. “There were no barrels,but I’m just happy to get through. Miky’s a really tough competitor. I knewhe was going to be the hardest guy of all the wildcards, especially being onhis forehand at Mundaka. He’s almost qualified for the WCT next year, so I’msure it won’t be or last heat together.”
Current #7 Shea Lopez (USA) then got past Marcelo Nunes (Brz). The Floridiangot off to a fast start, gathering scores, as opposed to infrequent setwaves.
“You have to pick off sections here and there and do what you can withthem,” explained Lopez. “I think Marcelo was waiting too long for one toline up alone the whole bank. I’m breathing easy now, that round is scary.”
Mick Fanning (Aus) accounted for Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) in what proved adramatic match. The Australian held priority and the lead toward the end,following a great 8.25 ride, but the pair then collided heavily whenDornelles took off on a last ditch effort before Fanning did likewise, asthe Brazilian came flying up the wave face.
“I knew he only needed a seven and there was no way I wanted a 33rd(result),” explained Fanning of the collision. “I just paddled for the waveand couldn’t see with all of the whitewash, but knew he was going. As I wasgetting to my feet I saw him just flying up toward me. I just jumped andheard our board crash. I was so glad he wasn’t hurt, but I broke the noseoff my board and put a whole in his board.”
Six-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA) won his first heat ever atMundaka today, eliminating Paul Canning (SAfr) in a low-scoring match. TheFloridian executed extremely fast backhhand turns, though his opponent onlyrequired a 5.11 to advance.
“He got a good wave toward the end I thought he would post a good score on,but he didn’t make his barrel, fortunately for me,” said Slater. “It wasabout as low a scoring heat you could ever have and still win.
“This is the first time I’ve ever surfed an event in Spain,” he continued.”First time competing at Mundaka, and it’s always been a dream of mine tosurf perfect waves here in a contest. It’s an incredible wave. I had about a12-14 second barrel out here a couple of years ago I didn’t come out of, soI’d love to try and make one of those. The last two contests I’ve gotten myfire back a little bit. When I fully get it back I think I could pull out awin before the end of the year.”
Michael Campbell (Aus) then dominated his heat with Greg Emslie (SAfr).After injuring his back severely last year free surfing the legendary break,and having a poor heat yesterday, he was relieved to finally put thingsright today.
“It’s good to kill a few demons, so to speak,” said Campbell. “I wanted tocome here and get through one heat at least.
“Last year I was surfing out here and got a few nice barrels,” he continued,of when the 2001 Billabong Pro Mundaka was cancelled. “Then I got clipped onone and went head first into the sand bank. As a result I compressed twovertebras and did my knee in pretty bad and was out of the water for sixmonths. It’s good to come back here and get into it.”
Padaratz brothers Flavio and Neco (Brz) won their respective heats today.Neco, who won the last WCT in France, eliminated defending 2000 BillabongPro Mundaka champion Shane Dorian (Haw) in the day’s final match. TheBrazilian is still suffering a bad back, but continues to put togethercommanding performances.
“I must say I like this place,” commented Padaratz. “I always wanted to comeback here and am having the same fun time I did then. I feel good here. Myback still needs a lot of stretching and I haven’t trained since France, butI’m trying to keep it all together. I’m here, so I’ll try my best.”
Current #41 Phil MacDonald secured his best result since California,eliminating fellow Australian and ratings #17 Richie Lovett. The 23-year-oldpicked off a 9.15 ride to seal his victory with the best single score of theday.
“Before the heat I just told myself I was going to go for it, so I went forthat big floater and was lucky to make it,” explained MacDonald. “I waspretty stoked to get a 9.15 out there, and especially to get through a heatagain. The waves kind of suit me out here on my backhand, so hopefully theystay the same size, or even get bigger and better.”
The Billabong Pro Mundaka is also supported by Renault, Globe, BritishAirways, Fosters, and Von Zipper.
Official round two results of the Billabong Pro Mundaka (1st > Rnd 3;2nd=33rd receives US$3,000)
H3: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 12.75 def. Miky Picon (Fra) 6.75
H4: Shea Lopez (USA) 13.5 def. Marcelo Nunes (Brz) 7.9
H5: Mick Fanning (Aus) 14.5 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) 7.5
H6: Victor Ribas (Brz) 16.0 def. Peterson Rosa (Brz) 7.25
H7: Kieren Perrow (Aus) 13.6 def. Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 11.5
H8: Phil MacDonald (Aus) 16.4 def. Richard Lovett (Aus) 5.5
H9: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.0 def. Paulo Moura (Brz) 5.3
H10: Jake Paterson (Aus) 16.5 def. Russell Winter (UK) 8.75
H11: Kelly Slater (USA) 11.6 def. Paul Canning (SAfr) 9.7H12: Michael Campbell (Aus) 16.25 def. Greg Emslie (SAfr) 10.0
H13: Maz Quinn (NZ) advances due to withdrawal of Dean Morrison (Aus)
H14: Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 14.25 def. Pat O’Connell (USA) 12.65
H15: Nathan Webster (Aus) 12.65 def. Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 12.4
H16: Neco Padaratz (Brz) def. Shane Dorian (Haw)