Hossegor, France (Thursday, Aug 24, 2000). Current world champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) was today eliminated from the Hossegor Rip Curl Pro in round two. Inconsistent 3-foot waves north of the main contest site forced organizers to postpone competition for two hours prior to his 25-minute heat against World Championship Tour (WCT) rookie Toby Martin (Aus), but when it commenced Occhilupo failed to find any high-scoring rides. [IMAGE 1]Despite powerful surfing by reigning ASP world champion Mark Occhilupo the Australian was unable to find the waves he needed to advance to round three.
Current ASP world number 4 Jake Paterson (AUS) continued his superb form in the Hossegor Rip Curl Pro, eliminating fellow Australian wildcard Mick Fanning from round 2 of the event.
Current ASP world number 3 Serena Brooke (AUS) advanced to the quarter finals alongside Kate Skarratt (AUS) and eliminated 4 times ASP world champion Lisa Anderson (USA) from the event.
Despite powerful surfing by reigning ASP world champion Mark Occhilupo the Australian was unable to find the waves he needed to advance to round three. [IMAGE 2]
Occhilupo, 34, has had a disappointing title defense year so far, today marking the fifth poor result out of eight WCT starts. The world champion made a paddling mistake early on, but lack of waves was his main hindrance.
“I don’t know what to say,” said a somber Occhilupo afterward. “At the start I made a mistake by looking at a right (handed wave) that wasn’t any good and then Toby had the inside (position) for a good left and that was pretty much the whole heat. I waited for 10-12 minutes and just got a five (point ride), nothing really. I think we should have waited for the tide to go out more. It’s a bit upsetting.”
Martin, currently rated 43rd, qualified for the 2000 season in 1999 after coming close a number of earlier years. While his results have not flourished since making the WCT, today’s win is definitely a career highlight and may provide the added confidence needed.
“I was a bit disappointed when I lost to Occy in Tahiti,” recounted Martin. “Then when I knew I had him again here it was like, ‘Damn it, I’ve got to try and beat him this time.’ I just tried to do everything I could. Even got washed up about 10-feet on the shore after one wave (laughs). I guess it all worked, plus I had some mates from home here make me feel a bit more at ease.
“It’s huge (the added confidence from the win),” he reasoned. “I just got an e-mail from my dad saying I should maybe think about other things, but maybe I should think about doing this for awhile.”
Current world number seven-and-eight, Brazilian Flavio Padaratz and Australian Nathan Webster, joined Occhilupo among the highly rated losing surfers today. The Brazilian eliminated by another WCT newcomer Ben Bourgeois (USA), while South African Paul Canning accounted for Webster.
Bourgeois, 23, currently rated equal 39th on the WCT, was fortunate to find his best ride near the end of his match with Padaratz to advance into round three.
“It was pretty close, but then I just got it at the end,” he said afterward. “There weren’t a lot of waves, but I’m stoked to have won.”
Current world number-two Luke Egan (Aus) backed up to his rating position today, however, eliminating wildcard entrant Patrick Beven in the first heat of the men’s’ second round. The Australian admitted being nervous leading up to the match, but has set his sight firmly on the top ratings spot.
“It was pretty nerve-racking,” said Egan. “I watched him (Beven) surf against Sunny (Garcia) yesterday and he gave him a good run for his money, so I knew I was in for a good heat. I’m glad I won ’cause if anyone could have beaten me he could have.
“I call it the dirty-turd round,” he explained in regard to the 33rd place round. “It’s a nerve-racking round, especially when you’re in the position I am. I was stoked that Rob (Machado) won and Armando (Daltro) placed second in Lacanau (WWCT last week). They took a lot of the points from the other guys who could have probably caught me quick. It gave me a bit of a breather to catch up with Sunny. I’m trying not to look behind me at the moment, I’m just trying to bridge that gap between me and Sunny.”
DEFENDING WOMEN’S CHAMP ADVANCES TO ROUND THREE
Defending event champion Rochelle Ballard was another to progress today, eliminating fellow Hawaiian opponent Keala Kennelly this morning when women’s round two of the Hossegor Rip Curl Pro surfed. Due to the two-hour delay that followed heat two of the men, however, women’s round three was postponed after originally being schedule for this afternoon.
Four-time world champion Lisa Andersen (USA) and current world number-four Tita Tavares (Brz) also progressed out of round two, defeating Belinda Godfrey (Aus) and wildcard entrant Patricia Rossi (Tah) respectively.
Official Results of Hossegor Rip Curl Pro Day Three
Men’s Round Two
Heat 1: L Egan (Aus) 19.50 def. P Beven (Fra) 18.25
Heat 2: J Paterson (Aus) 17.60 def. M Fanning (Aus) 15.15
Heat 3: T Martin (Aus) 14.60 def. M Occhilupo (Aus) 9.60
Heat 4: P Canning (SAfr) 17.15 def. N Webster (Aus) 15.20
Heat 5: B Bourgeois (USA) 16.15 def. F Padaratz (Brz) 14.80
Heat 6: P Rosa (Brz) 22.35 def. K Malloy (USA) 20.65
Heat 7: V Ribas (Brz) 18.00 def. G Ringrose (Aus) 16.85
Heat 8: M Lowe (Aus) 19.90 def. P O’Connell (USA) 18.75
Heat 9: L Hitchings (Aus) 18.75 def. S Sutton (Haw) 15.50
Heat 10: T Prestage (Aus) 20.35 def. T Curran (USA) 18.30
Heat 11: T Knox (USA) 23.10 def. B Emerton (Aus) 16.40
Heat 12: G Emslie (SAfr) 19.50 def. D Hobgood (USA) 18.60
Heat 13: S Beschen (USA) 18.65 def. N Padaratz (Brz) 17.25
Heat 14: A Daltro (Brz) 18.85 def. Y Sodre (Brz) 14.55
Heat 15: D Wills (Aus) 19.40 def. S Powell (Aus) 18.55
Heat 16: R Lovett (Aus) 22.25 def. R Rocha (Brz) 21.80
Women’s Round Two
Heat 1: T Tavares (Brz) 19.75 def. P Rossi (Tah) 9.25
Heat 2: M Redman (Aus) 12.60 def. M Onozato (Jpn) 8.60
Heat 3: L Andersen (USA) 12.85 def. B Godfrey (Aus) 11.05
Heat 4: R Ballard (Haw) 15.00 def. K Kennelly (Haw) 14.40