Defending two-time world champion Andy Irons (Hawaii) added another trophy to his growing collection in winning the Body Glove Surfbout at Lower Trestles. Irons defeated Rob Machado (Cardiff), a former Surfbout and U.S. champion, to win the two-star World Qualifying Series (WQS)-rated event and take the early lead on the 2004 Surfing America Pro Tour. Oxnard’s Tim Curran and Huntington Beach’s Tim Reyes finished third and fourth respectively. Conditions ranged from choppy to fair, with inconsistent three to five foot waves.
Although Curran ignited the crowd early with an early 9.4 ride, Irons and Machado took charge as the lead flip-flopped between the two world-class surfers. Irons nailed a nine-pointer on his first wave, throwing the challenge to Machado. He responded by taking the lead less than halfway into the finale. Irons followed with three solid moves on a perfect right-hander, scoring a 9.15. With less than a minute remaining, Machado launched into a solid left-hander, scoring an 8.75, but it was too little, too late. Irons received a $5,000 winners check.
Irons joined an elite fraternity of prior Surfbout champions that includes Machado, Kelly Slater (Florida), Shane Beschen (San Clemente) and Taylor Knox (Carlsbad). “I’m really glad Body Glove is keeping this contest going, said Irons from the podium. “I remember watching it as a grom with Kelly (Slater) winning and watching Rob (Machado) and everyone. I think it’s a really good thing. It’s really a quality wave and we need more events in America. Irons’ total of 18.15 was the highest overall heat tally for the five-day event.
The SG Lowers Pro was no less dramatic as former World Championship Tour (WCT) competitor Julia Christian (Carlsbad) defeated 11 year-old Carissa Moore (Hawaii) to win the inaugural $5,000 one-star. Newport Beach’s Erica Hosseini finished third ahead of Kyla Langen in fourth. Moore is the youngest-ever finalist in a WQS event.
Julia, who fell off the WCT just last year, was obviously looking to make a comeback. Christian did just that with an aggressive lead that she held onto for the win. “Anyone could have gotten it out there today, Christian said of the final heat. “The waves were so good, and I was so stoked it picked up for the finals. This is all part of my re-qualification process.”