Figueira Pro 2000 – Day 3

Figueira da Foz, Portugal (Saturday, Sep 16, 2000). Current ratings leader Sunny Garcia (Haw) today progressed through both his third and fourth round heats to advance into tomorrow’s quarterfinals of the Figueira Pro 2000. His closest rival, Luke Egan (Aus), did likewise while world numbers five-and-six, CJ Hobgood (USA) and Jake Paterson (Aus), were eliminated in the 3-4 foot (1m) conditions on offer during round four this afternoon. [IMAGE 1]Garcia, 30, who won back-to-back World Championship Tour (WCT) events at the start of the year, totally dominated his heats today, leaving both wildcard Zane Harrison (Aus), in round three, then Ross Williams (Haw) the following round in need of a combination of rides. Against Williams, especially, the ratings leader seemed to step up his attack, being the first to paddle further outside and wait for the larger set waves, and then opened his campaign with a nine-point ride.

“I watched a couple of heats before mine and everybody was surfing the inside, but it looked like there was a couple of fun waves on the outside,” Garcia explained. “I took the gamble and got a good score. I still made the heat, but after that nine my right leg started cramping and I couldn’t put in the turns I wanted to on the next couple of waves. I spent the rest of the heat trying to massage my leg. Luckily I had that nine and Ross didn’t have much. As long as I continue to get past the ninth round the title might be that much closer.”[IMAGE 2]Egan, 30, continued his mission to be the thorn in Garcia’s competitive side today, eliminating French wildcard Mikael Picon by the narrowest of margins first up, and then the day’s highest scorer, Tim Curran (USA), next. The current ratings runner-up was well aware of Curran’s ability, even more so after watching him score a 9.25 in round three for a near perfect tube-ride, and post the highest tally, 24.75 out-of-a possible 30-points, the same match against Brazilian Fabio Gouveia.

“He scored a 9.25 in the heat before,” Egan acknowledged. “But it was pretty good barrel, so… I wasn’t too happy with my performance then, though. My fin’s coming lose on my board and is doing a couple of weird things that psychologically made it hard to go for it on my waves. I was just praying he wouldn’t get a 4.46 (all Curran needed). He’s surfing well enough to easily get a score like that out there, so luck went my way. I’ve got to get my act together as I think I just used up all of my luck (laughs).”Hopefully we’ll make the final together,” he added, in reference to meeting Garcia head-to-head. “I’d like to duke it out like that. We haven’t surfed a heat together all year yet, so it’d be cool. I’ve just got to keep plugging away. If he keeps getting through I have to keep up with him, or things are going to vanish. Hopefully I can pass him up and keep going.”

Current world number-five CJ Hobgood, who has experienced a great run of results throughout this European leg of tour and today defeated local wildcard Tiago Spires in round three, eventually was stopped by Richie Lovett (Aus). The Australian securing his best result to-date in 2000 by reaching the quarterfinals already, accounting for fellow countryman Beau Emerton in round three, and then the American after their heat was delayed due to glaring sun this afternoon.

“I was stoked to get through my first heat because I’ve kind of been stuck on 17th’s for the last few contests,” said Lovett upon advancing to the quarterfinals. “I felt sorry for Beau, as he’s been having a bit of bad luck lately, but on the same note I was happy to beat him. I’m really stoked to have made that last heat. I’ve been waiting around all afternoon, then there were the delays, and it all distracts you. It’s hard to be able to stay relaxed and get back into it when the heat actually starts. I just tried to find a good rhythm and to keep moving. I didn’t want to sit and wait too long. The last contest at Anglet (France) I was stuck in a rip (currt) for about 10-minutes and I wasn’t going to let that happen again.”

Current number-six Jake Paterson (Aus) was another casualty of round four, being eliminated by Hawaiian dynamo Kalani Robb. Despite a comfortable win over Conan Hayes (Haw) this morning, Paterson narrowly lost to Robb, who is currently rated 19th.

“It was pretty fun out there,” acknowledged Paterson, despite the result. “I ended up with a lot of five’s, instead of the scores I needed, though. He found one really good wave and I had three average ones.”

Brazilian Flavio Padaratz, currently rated ninth, then helped his cause by reaching the quarterfinals. Up against Ben Bourgeois (USA) first, followed by Nathan Webster (Aus), the current World Qualifying Series (WQS) champion put on a determined performance to advance.

“I was very selective,” Padaratz stated. “You have to be in surf like this, as the waves make all the difference. There’s not enough for everyone.”

World number-two Taj Burrow (Aus) was another standout of round four, eliminating fellow Australian Mick Lowe with an array of crowd-pleasing maneuvers. Burrow, who started the year on track with two semifinal finishes, fell into a slump afterward and had bowed out early every event up until today. Situated 15th heading into Figueira, his win Lowe, who needed a combination of scores, together with his earlier victory against Hawaiian Andy Irons, ensure he will make a substantial leap back up the ratings.

“I can’t complain,” laughed Burrow after his win. “Once I had three decent ones I sat in a little bit closer and found some good little wedges and had a ball. Did a few airs, so I’m stoked.

“I’ve had about six 17th’s (place finishes) in a row,” he explained. “So I felt like I won the contest my last heat just making it through. This is great, quarterfinals, I’m stoked to still be in there.”

The quarterfinals are set to begin around noon tomorrow, with semis and the grand finale to follow.[IMAGE 3] Official Results of the Figueira Pro 2000 Pro Day Five – WCT Event #10

Round Four

Heat 1: T Burrow (Aus) 21.50 def. M Lowe (Aus) 16.15
Heat 2: K Robb (Haw) 18.25 def. J Paterson (Aus) 17.65
Heat 3: F Padaratz (Brz) 19.25 def. N Webster (Aus) 15.15
Heat 4: S Garcia (Haw) 22.00 def. R Williams (Haw) 13.40
Heat 5: L Egan (Aus) 17.40 def. T Curran (USA) 15.25
Heat 6: R Machado (USA) 24.40 def. N Padaratz (Brz) 20.70
Heat 7: R Lovett (Aus) 17.00 def. CJ Hobgood (USA) 13.55
Heat 8: R Rocha (Brz) 18.35 def. G Ringrose (Aus) 14.00

Round Three

Heat 1: M Lowe (Aus) 18.40 def. T Prestage (Aus) 13.25
Heat 2: T Burrow (Aus) 15.45 def. A Irons (Haw) 12.25
Heat 3: K Robb (Haw) 18.50 def. T Knox (USA) 17.25
Heat 4: J Paterson (Aus) 17.30 def. C Hayes (Haw) 11.40
Heat 5: F Padaratz (Brz) 19.10 def. B Bourgeois (USA) 13.70
Heat 6: N Webster (Aus) 19.40 def. Y Sodre (Brz) 15.90
Heat 7: R Williams (Haw) 20.00 def. S Powell (Aus) 16.90
Heat 8: S Garcia (Haw) 19.80 def. Z Harrison (Aus) 11.95
Heat 9: L Egan (Aus) 18.25 def. M Picon (Fra) 18.25 (13.75 to 12.50 on best two)
Heat 10: T Curran (USA) 24.75 def. F Gouveia (Brz) 16.25
Heat 11: R Machado (USA) 23.15 def. S Sutton (Haw) 13.50
Heat 12: N Padaratz (Brz) 23.65 def. P Rosa (Brz) 9.15
Heat 13: CJ Hobgood (Aus) 20.75 def. T Pires (Port) 18.20
Heat 14: R Lovett (Aus) 19.15 def. B Emerton (Aus) 14.25
Heat 15: G Ringrose (Aus) 15.70 def. S Lopez (USA) 14.50
Heat 16: R Rocha (Brz) 20.15 def. L Hitchings (Aus) 15.55

Round Two

Heat 14: T Knox (USA) 17.80 def. A Daltro (Brz) 15.65
Heat 15: B Emerton (Aus) 14.80 def. D Wills (Aus) 11.50
Heat 16: T Curran (USA) 16.75 def. D Hobgood (USA) 8.34
Sutton (Haw) 13.50
Heat 12: N Padaratz (Brz) 23.65 def. P Rosa (Brz) 9.15
Heat 13: CJ Hobgood (Aus) 20.75 def. T Pires (Port) 18.20
Heat 14: R Lovett (Aus) 19.15 def. B Emerton (Aus) 14.25
Heat 15: G Ringrose (Aus) 15.70 def. S Lopez (USA) 14.50
Heat 16: R Rocha (Brz) 20.15 def. L Hitchings (Aus) 15.55

Round Two

Heat 14: T Knox (USA) 17.80 def. A Daltro (Brz) 15.65
Heat 15: B Emerton (Aus) 14.80 def. D Wills (Aus) 11.50
Heat 16: T Curran (USA) 16.75 def. D Hobgood (USA) 8.34