Hossegor, France (Friday, Aug 25, 2000). World Championship Tour (WCT) rookie Toby Martin (Aus) today continued his giant killing run in the Hossegor Rip Curl Pro eliminating current world number-four Jake Paterson (Aus). Competition was postponed for the majority of the day due to small, inconsistent surf, but by this afternoon the swell had increased substantially, offering competitors solid 4-foot waves.[IMAGE 1]Martin, currently rated 43rd, qualified for the WCT in 1999 after coming close a number of earlier years and yesterday rose to prominence by eliminating the current world champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) in round two. The confidence gained playing an important part in today’s result, though a tactical error by his opponent being the main factor. After taking an early lead in their 25-minute heat, Paterson paddled down to a different bank offering bigger waves, only to have the gamble backfire and be forced to sit for the majority without catching anything.
“I felt a bit of pressure going into that heat ’cause I gained a bit of press from beating Occy,” admitted a relieved Martin after today’s win. “Jake’s probably one of the toughest competitors, I reckon. He always gives 100 percent. I couldn’t really hear what was going on out there (during the heat) and Jake was surfing such a long way away. I just tried to do my thing down the end and get a couple of scores, but I didn’t know I won until I got to beach and started asking a few people (laughs).
“I don’t know why Jake did that,” wondered Martin in regard to Paterson’s tactics. “Maybe I smell or something and he wanted to get away from me (more laughs). Maybe I should try and stink more so people in the next couple of heats do the same.
“I’m a bit more confident now,” he added. “I had such a bad run coming through the first half of the year with injuries and close heats here and there. Now I’ve gotten through a couple of heats and it doesn’t feel like I’m running into a brick wall all of the time. It feels a bit better and I’m happy. Winning is good.” [IMAGE 2]Paterson, 27, was obviously disappointed with the result, as it places much more pressure on his hopes to challenge current ratings leader Sunny Garcia (Haw) for this year’s world title. Still, he remained composed afterward and explained things from his perspective.
“It’s just so hard to tell what’s going to happen out there,” said Paterson. “The tide changes every five minutes. I thought I saw lots of good waves coming off down the beach before I went out for my heat, so I thought with 18-minutes to go I would go over there, but then I sat out there for ever. I didn’t get anything and he found another wave down here, so he got me. I should have just stayed on the main bank, I suppose. I don’t know… I tried my hardest.”
Also losing today and currently tied with Paterson in fourth position on the ratings was Cory Lopez (USA), who felt the cold hand of defeat by current world number-42 Paul Canning (SAfr). Despite being a relatively low-scoring match, the pair executed some amazing maneuvers on the hollow lefts breaking during their heat.
“I’m very stoked,” said Canning. “This is my first ninth (at least) in the WCT so far. I was lucky to get one good wave at the beginning and then it went flat for a long time, so it gave me a bit of an advantage. I thought he (Lopez) got it on his last wave so I was really stressed. It was hard, but I was stoked to get it in the end.”
Official Results of Hossegor Rip Curl Pro Day Four
Men’s Round Three
Heat 1: CJ Hobgood (USA) 20.25 def. D Wills (Aus) 19.10
Heat 2: P Canning (SAfr) 15.10 def. C Lopez (USA) 14.65
Heat 3: K Robb (Haw) 17.75 def. V Ribas (Brz) 10.35
Heat 4: T Martin (Aus) 17.30 def. J Paterson (Aus) 12.60
Heat 5: S Dorian (Haw) vs. T Prestage (Aus)
Heat 6: P Rosa (Brz) vs. T Knox (USA)
Heat 7: S Beschen (USA) vs. T Knox (USA)
Heat 8: S Garcia (Haw) vs. F Robin (Fra)
Heat 9: L Egan (Aus) vs. C Hayees (Haw)
Heat 10: L Hitchings (Aus) vs. R Lovett (Aus)
Heat 11: R Machado (USA) vs. B Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 12: G Herdy (Brz) vs. F Gouveia (Brz)
Heat 13: M Campbell (Aus) vs. A Irons (Haw)
Heat 14: M Lowe (Aus) vs. R Williams (Haw)
Heat 15: T Burrow (Aus) vs. R Winter (UK)
Heat 16: S Lopez (USA) vs. G Emslie (SAfr)
here,” he stated. “So I’d like to at least try and win one of these years here.”
In regard to Machado and his recent move up the ratings, Garcia commented: “Rob’s been having an up and down year and I’ve always thought he was one of the greatest surfers. So talented and so fluid, it’s just a matter of if Rob wants it or not. It’s nice to see him do well. Hopefully he’ll do good here, also, but he’s definitely one of the guys I have to look out for.”
Current world champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) was narrowly defeated in his first round heat today after one of his opponents, Hawaiian Andy Irons, scored a perfect 10 from the judges for a long tube ride he managed to emerge from. Occhilupo will still contest tomorrow’s second round, while Irons was awarded a day off for his efforts.
“I kept catching the rights and they were closing out,” explained Irons. “Then one came and just doubled up like a V-Land (hollow wave in Hawaii) deal. I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I just sneaked out the doggy door. I still needed a 4.3 and got a 4.8 at the end. ‘Occy’ caught a wave right at the end and I thought he scored what he needed, but he came up a little short.
“I’ve been on a trip with him (Occhilupo) before,” Irons added. “So it makes it a lot easier and not as intimidating. Still, it’s Occ and there’s always going to be that factor he could go loony at anytime.”
Another upset today was the narrow defeat of current world number-two Luke Egan and world number-17 Luke Hitchings (both Australian) by wildcard entrant Frederic Robin (Fra). The Frenchman earned his spot after winning the recent European Professional Surfing Association (EPSA) event that offered entry into the WCT. He and Hitchings actually tied, but on a best-of-two wave count back, the Australian came up short.
Official Results of Hossegor Rip Curl Pro Day Two
Men’s Round One Heat 1: S Dorian (Haw) 17.95; K Malloy (USA) 17.10; R Rocha (Brz) 16.65
Heat 2: R Machado (USA) 23.15; R Lovett (Aus) 22.85; B Bourgeois (USA) 15.55
Heat 3: R Winter (UK) 19.75; S Powell (Aus) 19.25; N Webster (Aus) 18.85
Heat 4: T Burrow (Aus) 21.65; P Canning (SAfr) 16.75; A Daltro (Brz) 15.30
Heat 5: C Lopez (USA) 22.95; T Martin (Aus) 16.25; S Beschen (USA) 13.00
Heat 6: A Irons (Haw) 19.90; M Occhilupo (Aus) 19.50; D Hobgood (USA) 11.65
Heat 7: C Hayes (Haw) 18.65; J Paterson (Aus) 17.90; B Emerton (Aus) 17.25
Heat 8: S Garcia (Haw) 20.15; M Lowe (Aus) 18.50; P Beven (Fra)
Heat 9: F Robin (Fra) 20.20; L Hitchings (Aus) 20.20; L Egan (Aus) 19.45
Heat 10: M Campbell (Aus) 18.15; T Curran (USA) 16.80; M Fanning (Aus) 15.40
Heat 11: R Williams (Haw) 18.20; F Padaratz (Brz) 16.40; G Ringrose (Aus) 14.45
Heat 12: K Robb (Haw) 21.65; P O’Connell (USA) 19.15; P Rosa (Brz) 16.30
Heat 13: G Herdy (Brz) 21.00; S Sutton (Haw) 18.05; D Wills (Aus) 17.35
Heat 14: S Lopez (USA) 17.40; T Prestage (Aus) 16.55; Y Sodre (Brz) 10.55
Heat 15: CJ Hobgood (USA) 15.75; T Knox (USA) 15.55; N Padaratz (Brz)
15.45 Heat 16: F Gouveia (Brz) 21.10; G Emslie (SAfr) 14.50; V Ribas (Brz) 11.50