Fifty Ways To Lose Your Heat 4-2

Fifty ways to lose your heat. That’s the title of this year’s XCEL Pro-I decided that’s how I’d title this story as I pulled quickly into the Hale’iwa Foodland’s mad-house parking lot after dusk on the final day. The air/sea, yellow rescue chopper has its flood lights on as it scanned the ocean off Shark’s Cove, searching for a young tourist girl who was swept into the sea at Off The Wall. It was by all accounts an ominous day through and through. First off, it had been small and windy, then suddenly, like a freight train in the night, a monster swell arrived. The dawn was windy, cold, gray, powerful-and it got worse.The annual XCEL Pro often begins in this manner-large and in charge. This year it was a timid four-foot-plus morning that started it off after days of waiting, growing to almost eight feet by the end of the first day. The following morning was on fire, best day of the winter so far, and then it was gone by noon-the waves trickled in at four feet again. Early standouts in the contest were Kaipo Jaquias, Pancho Sullivan, Brian Pacheco, a hot Aussie named Matt Thompson (who was the fastest man in the water), Tamayo Perry, and Mr. Sunny Garcia, who while riding a seven-ten, showed all the folks watching the contest what power surfing is. Then it was flat again, which means under five feet on the North Shore. The final day was a bit unnerving as guys were getting nailed-even the caddies (a friend or lifeguard out in the lineup with your extra board) were breaking boards as huge sets closed out the channel. To lose it out there was easy-really easy-just get caught inside by a twelve-foot Northwest bowl, see God, see your board break, see your caddie swimming in ’cause both his and your spare boards are broken, and then see your 150-dollar entry fee flying away in the 35-knot winds. On the other hand, you could ride a short board, be cool like “The Bruce,” and rip ten-foot-plus Hawai’ian juice on a six-ten and get caught inside after missing the first wave in a ten-wave set! There were also young surfers who charged it hard this year. The best of ’em was sixteen-year-old Nathan Carroll, a Sunset Point born-and-bred surfer who lost to the fast Aussie Thompson and previous winner Jake Paterson, a West Oz hell-charger, who along with Kailua’s Jason Bogle had the most exciting heat of the entire event. All these guys rushed deep and late, pulling into huge caves at every opportunity. By then, Sunny was out-how is a bit of a controversy. So was Sullivan, Myles Padaca, Kahea Hart, Pacheco, and the list goes on. As the final four survivors paddled out into gloomy fifteen-foot, second-reef pounders from about 60 points on the compass, it was anybody’s game: the two Australians, Paterson and Thomas, “The Bruce,” or “The Alien”-Gavin Beschen. Paterson was off to a fast start, then got lost way, way, way outside for the remainder of the final. Thompson was never really with it-probably recovering from a severe pounding during an earlier heat. Gavin was in tune, mixing up bombs with big snowboard-like turns and then catching mid-size waves with complete rail finesse. “The Bruce,” on a shorter stick, tried a few from deep, and then opted to go inside to hunt tubes and big snaps. Gavin’s all-round game proved the best, followed by Paterson, “The Bruce,” and the fast Aussie Thompson. It was a wild day with a wild finish. One way or another, the XCEL Pro always comes through-big.-Rik Iaconetti

The G-Shock Hawai’ian Pro at Haleiwa”The world of high performance surfing has changed.”

Haleiwa can either be the most boring or rival the mighty Banzai for pure excitement. This year’s version of the G-Shock Hawai’ian Pro was not only red line exciting, but illuminating as well. The event was off and running in semi-good stuff, but it was the latter rounds that told the real story-it got huge. Huge as in waves breaking from the outside left way out to sea, connecting to reform on the extreme outside Haleiwa peak-fifteen to 25 foot faces anthen some. Surfers were either completely overwhelmed and dominated by the conditions, or they dominated with no middle ground and no posing-it was pull the trigger and kill it, or be killed, period. All told, Kieren Perrow, Luke Egan, Sunny Garcia, Joel Parkinson, Damien Hobgood, Richie Lovett, Ross Williams, Mick Fanning, again, Brian Pacheco, Cory Lopez, Myles Padaca, and Andy Irons were the most dominant. Especially Andy, as the contest wore on, he tested both his courage and aerobic fitness, the most progressive and exciting surfer, with precise power and speed and insane wave selection-owning it. At one point the buoy was getting bigger, the wind was turning on-shore, and the situation became nasty-the event was called till the next morning which broke clear, calm, and glassy with six to ten foot Haleiwa saying, “Aloha” to everyone. By now it was down to eight guys who had run with the bulls all day before and not died or bled, but lived. The final was a classic, Cory Lopez, Mick Fanning, Myles Padaca, and Andy Irons, solid, Hawaiian experience, new age CT’ rippers, and one of the hottest young surfers on the planet. It started out slow and built to a hectic, nail biting finish. Myles and Cory got going early, Fanning was looking a little bit nervous, and Irons’ magic seemed to have gone back to Kauai. Then Fanning got a great wave and Andy got his engine warmed up again with that “magic” stuff-late drops to lipclimbing smashes, super tight Curren-esque power carves high inthe pocket. In the middle of the final it was a man on man deal withFanning and Andy dueling to see who is the world’s fastest gun right now, today. Myles needed a big score to keep the pace, but he got caught outside too long and it was done for him. Cory searched the middle zone for something to push him up higher-didn’t happen. What did happen with about five minutes to go is a rapid exchange between Andy and Fanning, first Mick with a mid-sized, open faced runner where he did perhaps the best first turn of the event and followed with a series of cutbacks, floaters ,and lip carves all the way to the beach. Then Andy with a big one out the back, a big hit, power carve, tube to eject floater in the bowl. As the smoke cleared, Andy led, barely with Fanning outside deep, looking. Andy stayed wide and way to deep, but as it wound down he scored a slider way over, racing it high and getting tubed at full speed with a clean exit-done. The world of high performance surfing has changed, and then again it has not, there are now new names to challenge the established power brokers. The level has been raised-next up is the season finale at Sunset, a WCT with the world title on the line. -Rik Iaconetti

The Rip Curl Cup At SunsetMyles Padaca works through the trials to take the win.

Luck is a word that shouldn’t be a part of competition. After all, there’s wave selection, strategy, wave knowledge, and so on-it’s a contest. But for the Rip Curl Cup, held November 26 through December 7 at Sunset Beach, luck would play a huge role in the 2001 World Title race. Going into the contest, there were only four events contended due to the European cancellations-that left Sunset as the fifth and final decider. And going into it C.J. Hobgood had the lead and eight hungry ASP and Sunset veterans chasing the 22-year-old down.In the beginning of the contest window, there was swell, but it’s inconsistency provided just enough time for the trials and the first round. In the trials, Triple Crown contender Myles Padaca and 16-year-old Kekoa Bacalso finished one and two respectively in a trials field that included six-time champ Kelly Slater. Placing second in the trials, Bacalso immediately found himself in a place where no ordinary sixteen-year-old usually is-an ASP title race and a point leader in his heat. Put up in the first-round with both Hobgood brothers, a solid heat from Bacalso could change the race dramatically, however, a “lucky” wave “given” to C.J. by his brother Damien at the end of the heat kept C.J. in the race. As the swell arrived for the second round on the second to last day of the window, the mixed up direction and super-strong winds played havoc on the heats and the title race-the conditions were anybody’s guess. Jake Paterson, a former Pipe champ and strong Sunset competitor, was the first contender up and was able beat Beau Emerton. Next was Danny Wills who was also able to get by Greg Emslie. Then, out of no where, the mortality’s began-Occy taken out by Ben Bourgeois, Andy Irons losing in a very controversial decision to Renan Rocha, C.J. losing to Padaca, Sunny Garcia soundly beaten by Mick Fanning, Cory Lopez losing to Shane Beschen, Taylor Knox shocked by Russell Winter, and Shane Powell losing to Mick Lowe. From anticipation to misery to adulation, C.J.’s luck was playing mind games with him and he now found himself with two possibilities left-Paterson needing a first or second overall and Wills needing a win. The third round began right off with Kalani Robb taking Paterson out. Paddling out and not being able to hear the announcer the entire heat, Wills and Bourgeois had no idea the title race was up to them. As the heat progressed, C.J.’s good friend and fellow East Coaster, Bourgeois, took off and never looked back. With minutes left, Wills needed an 8.16. The crowd could feel it, no one could believe it, everyone was excited. With seconds counting down, Wills paddled into the last peak he could find. It seemed like an entire crowd’s gasp and a 22-year-old Floridian’s destiny was far more powerful than any Sunset peak-Wills fell and C.J. won, a big surprise to Bourgeois, “Did Jake lose his heat? I thought Jake won so I didn’t know it would help him,” he said exiting the water. “It’s just really hard out there, super windy and it’s getting bigger. I just wanted to try and get three and just stay on. I got lucky and Danny only got two waves-it worked out good for me and C.J.”As for the rest of the contest, Myles Padaca did something rarely done in WCT contests, he started in the trials and kept making heat after heat. In the final and tenth heat, that’s tenth heat for Myles at Sunset Beach, he wasted no time. Before Mick Lowe even caught one, Myles had three waves-although three falls, it showed he was ready. With seven minutes left, the crucial exchange of the heat saw Mick get a 5.1, and Myles find two tubes on the inside for a 7.25 and the lead. As time whittled away, Mick looked in his bag of tricks to only come up with a 2.25-Myles got the win and the Triple Crown lead. The win was good enough for 30,000 dollars and the lead in the Triple Crown ratings, “Being Hawaiian, it just feels good to come out on top,” said Padaca. “I’m definitely a worker, I surfed a lot heats in these last couple weeks -it just feels good to finally win a big contest.”-AC

Final 2001 WCT Ratings:1. C.J. Hobgood2. Mark Occhilupo3. Cory Lopez4. Taylor Knox5. Jake Paterson5. Kalani Robb7. Peterson Rosa8. Mick Lowe9. Danny Wills10. Damien Hobgood10. Andy Irons12. Shane Powell13. Sunny Garcia14. Trent Munro15. Shea Lopez15. Richard Lovett17. Nathan Webster18. Flavio Padaratz19. Luke Egan20. Greg Emslie21. Joel Parkinson22. Guillerme Herdy23. Fabio Gouveia23. Pat O’Connell25. Nathan Hedge25. Neco Padaratz27. Beau Emerton28. Renan Rocha29. Russell Winter 30. Paul Canning31. Mick Campbell31. Luke Hitchings33. Ben Bourgeois34. Shane Dorian35. Taj Burrow35. Armando Daltro37. Shane Beschen37. Joca Junior39. Paulo Moura40. Rodrigo Dornelles40. Sasha Stocker42. Mark Bannister42. Shawn Sutton44. Marcelo Nunes45. Chris Davidson46. Rob Machado

The Following Final 2002 WCT Seeds Including WQS Qualifiers:C.J. HobgoodMark OcchilupoCory LopezTaylor KnoxJake PatersonKalani RobbPeterson Rosa Mick Lowe Danny Wills Damien HobgoodAndy IronsShane PowellSunny GarciaTrent MunroShea LopezRichard LovettNathan WebsterFlavio PadaratzLuke EganGreg EmslieJoel ParkinsonGuillerme HerdyFabio GouveiaPat O’ConnellNa Damien at the end of the heat kept C.J. in the race. As the swell arrived for the second round on the second to last day of the window, the mixed up direction and super-strong winds played havoc on the heats and the title race-the conditions were anybody’s guess. Jake Paterson, a former Pipe champ and strong Sunset competitor, was the first contender up and was able beat Beau Emerton. Next was Danny Wills who was also able to get by Greg Emslie. Then, out of no where, the mortality’s began-Occy taken out by Ben Bourgeois, Andy Irons losing in a very controversial decision to Renan Rocha, C.J. losing to Padaca, Sunny Garcia soundly beaten by Mick Fanning, Cory Lopez losing to Shane Beschen, Taylor Knox shocked by Russell Winter, and Shane Powell losing to Mick Lowe. From anticipation to misery to adulation, C.J.’s luck was playing mind games with him and he now found himself with two possibilities left-Paterson needing a first or second overall and Wills needing a win. The third round began right off with Kalani Robb taking Paterson out. Paddling out and not being able to hear the announcer the entire heat, Wills and Bourgeois had no idea the title race was up to them. As the heat progressed, C.J.’s good friend and fellow East Coaster, Bourgeois, took off and never looked back. With minutes left, Wills needed an 8.16. The crowd could feel it, no one could believe it, everyone was excited. With seconds counting down, Wills paddled into the last peak he could find. It seemed like an entire crowd’s gasp and a 22-year-old Floridian’s destiny was far more powerful than any Sunset peak-Wills fell and C.J. won, a big surprise to Bourgeois, “Did Jake lose his heat? I thought Jake won so I didn’t know it would help him,” he said exiting the water. “It’s just really hard out there, super windy and it’s getting bigger. I just wanted to try and get three and just stay on. I got lucky and Danny only got two waves-it worked out good for me and C.J.”As for the rest of the contest, Myles Padaca did something rarely done in WCT contests, he started in the trials and kept making heat after heat. In the final and tenth heat, that’s tenth heat for Myles at Sunset Beach, he wasted no time. Before Mick Lowe even caught one, Myles had three waves-although three falls, it showed he was ready. With seven minutes left, the crucial exchange of the heat saw Mick get a 5.1, and Myles find two tubes on the inside for a 7.25 and the lead. As time whittled away, Mick looked in his bag of tricks to only come up with a 2.25-Myles got the win and the Triple Crown lead. The win was good enough for 30,000 dollars and the lead in the Triple Crown ratings, “Being Hawaiian, it just feels good to come out on top,” said Padaca. “I’m definitely a worker, I surfed a lot heats in these last couple weeks -it just feels good to finally win a big contest.”-AC

Final 2001 WCT Ratings:1. C.J. Hobgood2. Mark Occhilupo3. Cory Lopez4. Taylor Knox5. Jake Paterson5. Kalani Robb7. Peterson Rosa8. Mick Lowe9. Danny Wills10. Damien Hobgood10. Andy Irons12. Shane Powell13. Sunny Garcia14. Trent Munro15. Shea Lopez15. Richard Lovett17. Nathan Webster18. Flavio Padaratz19. Luke Egan20. Greg Emslie21. Joel Parkinson22. Guillerme Herdy23. Fabio Gouveia23. Pat O’Connell25. Nathan Hedge25. Neco Padaratz27. Beau Emerton28. Renan Rocha29. Russell Winter 30. Paul Canning31. Mick Campbell31. Luke Hitchings33. Ben Bourgeois34. Shane Dorian35. Taj Burrow35. Armando Daltro37. Shane Beschen37. Joca Junior39. Paulo Moura40. Rodrigo Dornelles40. Sasha Stocker42. Mark Bannister42. Shawn Sutton44. Marcelo Nunes45. Chris Davidson46. Rob Machado

The Following Final 2002 WCT Seeds Including WQS Qualifiers:C.J. HobgoodMark OcchilupoCory LopezTaylor KnoxJake PatersonKalani RobbPeterson Rosa Mick Lowe Danny Wills Damien HobgoodAndy IronsShane PowellSunny GarciaTrent MunroShea LopezRichard LovettNathan WebsterFlavio PadaratzLuke EganGreg EmslieJoel ParkinsonGuillerme HerdyFabio GouveiaPat O’ConnellNathan HedgeNeco PadaratzBeau EmertonMick FanningTaj BurrowMaz QuinnKieren PerrowPaulo MouraVictor RibasRodrigo DornellesDean MorrisonMarcelo NunesRussell WinterDarren O’RaffertyPhil MacDonaldPaul CanningRenan RochaLee WinklerMick CampbellLuke HitchingsShane DorianKelly Slater

2001 Hawai’ian Triple Crown WinnerMyles Padaca

Past Hawai’ian Triple Crown Winners2000 Sunny Garcia1999 Sunny Garcia1998 Kelly Slater1997 Mike Rommelse1996 Kaipo Jaquias1995 Kelly Slater1994 Sunny Garcia1993 Sunny Garcia1992 Sunny Garcia1991 Tom Carroll1990 Derek Ho1989 Gary Elkerton1988 Derek Ho1987 Gary Elkerton1986 Derek Ho1985 Michael Ho1984 Derek HollNathan HedgeNeco PadaratzBeau EmertonMick FanningTaj BurrowMaz QuinnKieren PerrowPaulo MouraVictor RibasRodrigo DornellesDean MorrisonMarcelo NunesRussell WinterDarren O’RaffertyPhil MacDonaldPaul CanningRenan RochaLee WinklerMick CampbellLuke HitchingsShane DorianKelly Slater

2001 Hawai’ian Triple Crown WinnerMyles Padaca

Past Hawai’ian Triple Crown Winners2000 Sunny Garcia1999 Sunny Garcia1998 Kelly Slater1997 Mike Rommelse1996 Kaipo Jaquias1995 Kelly Slater1994 Sunny Garcia1993 Sunny Garcia1992 Sunny Garcia1991 Tom Carroll1990 Derek Ho1989 Gary Elkerton1988 Derek Ho1987 Gary Elkerton1986 Derek Ho1985 Michael Ho1984 Derek Ho