Neco Padaratz Wins Third Straight Mr Price Pro For Brazil

Mr Price Pro
Men’s 6 Star ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS)
Event #24 of 55
Women’s 4 Star ASP WQS Event #7 of 16
North Beach, Durban
7-13 July 2003
Neco Padaratz wins third straight Mr Price Pro for Brazil

 Percy Padaratz, better known by his nickname ‘Neco’, became the third successive Brazilian to win the Mr Price Pro when he dominated the 2003 final to earn R117 000 (US $15 000) and 2 500 points which saw him retain second place on the latest ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings.

 Competing in gentle one metre waves that enable the finalists to give free reign to their full repertoire of manoeuvres, Padaratz dominated proceedings by catching the best waves during the 30 minute heat and then using his powerful style to impress the judges.

 “It was always my dream to win this contest, said a champagne drenched Padaratz on the winner’s podium. “Ever since the days of Shaun Tomson in the 80’s I’ve wanted this title and it is good to know that one can have a dream for so long and then make it come true.

 The winner left all three of the other finalists needing a combination of rides to catch him by ending the heat with the highest scoring ride of the entire seven days of competition — a near perfect 9.40 for a ride on a well shaped wave that he completed with an aerial that he boosted more than a metre above the top of the wave and then landed effortlessly to a roar from the Brazilian contingent.

 Eric Rebiere, the first Frenchman to reach the final of an event in Durban, took second place courtesy of two rides that scored more than seven points each while exciting young Hawaiian Kekoa Bacalso (17), on his first trip outside America, used his dynamic vertical manoeuvres to clinch third ahead of 2001 world champ CJ Hobgood from Florida, USA.

 On Saturday, Australian Serena Brooke secured the 2003 Mr Price Pro women’s title and R28 000 when she beat compatriot Laurina McGrath, Jacqueline Silva (Brz) and Melanie Bartels (Haw) in similar one metre waves to those for the men’s finals.

 The Red Masters of Surfing demonstrations featuring 1977 world champion  and six time Gunston 500 winner Shaun Tomson and his contemporaries produced a nostalgic final that was won by ‘youngster’ Michael Burness (41) from Durban. The former world #7 relegated Tomson (48) to second place by scoring a pair of excellent rides into the bowl, with another of the younger participants, three-time SA champ Chris Knutsen (Durban) taking third.

 Longboard legend Bruce Jackson (Durban) took third with Gavin Rudolph (Cape Town), winner of the first Gunston 500 in 1969, finishing fifth and long time Durban based surf industry mogul Mike Lamont sixth.

 Earlier on Sunday, Brazilians Paulo Moura (3rd) and 2001 winner Peterson Rosa (4th) were eliminated in the first semi-final by Rebiere and Bacalso, while Hobgood and Padaratz sidelined Shane Beschen (USA), who nevertheless retained his WQS ratings lead, and Kirk Flintoff (Aus).

 South Africa’s last remaining hope, and the only local to progress to the last day of competition, Greg Emslie from East London, was relegated to fourth place in his quarterfinal match up when he was adjudged to have interfered with a ride by Rosa. Emslie had one of his two counting scores deducted as a penalty and was left with no chance of progressing at this level of competition.

 The final results are available on the VBA and Mr Price Pro Hotline at 082 288 4321 where there is also a competition with great prizes, including a Safari / Tomson replica surfboard worth R15 000, five VIP holidays in Durban, 10 Mr Price clothing hampers and a brand new surfboard by Clayton, that closes today.

 Mr Price Pro
North Beach, Durban
Sunday 13 July 2003
Results (Day 7)

1 Neco Padaratz (Brz) US$ 15 000 (R117 000)
2 Eric Rebiere (Fra) US$ 8 000 (R62 400)
3 Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) US$ 6 000 (R46 800)
4 C.J. Hobgood (UUSA) US$ 4 000 (R31 200)
Semi Finals

Heat 1: 1 E Rebiere (Fra) 2 K Bacalso (Haw) 3 P Moura (Brz) 4 P Rosa (Brz)
Heat 2: 1 CJ Hobgood (USA) 2 N Padaratz (Brz) 3 S Beschen (USA) 4 K Flintoff (Aus)

Heat 1: 1 P Moura (Brz) 2 K Bacalso (Haw) 3 T Curran (USA) 4 J Paterson (Aus)
Heat 2: 1 P Rosa (Brz) 2 E Rebiere (Fra) 3 S Bevan (Aus) 4 G Emslie (SAfr-EL)
Heat 3: 1 CJ Hobgood (USA) 2 K Flintoff (Aus) 3 M Nunes (Brz) 4 R Lovett (Aus)
Heat 4: 1 N Padaratz (Brz) 2 S Beschen (USA) 3 J Centeio (Haw) 4 C Davidson (Aus)