Paterson Wins The Rip Curl Cup At Sunset

Friday, December 5, 2003 (Sunset Beach, Haw) West Australian Jake Patersontoday won the Rip Curl Cup with an inspired performance. The US$250,000World Championship Tournament (WCT) resumed this morning with round threeheats, running all the way through to its climax and crowning of the 2003event winner. A Foster’s Expression Session was also held this afternoon.

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Great 8-10 ft (3m) surf was on offer throughout the day from an idealnorthwest direction. Huge barrels exploded on the inside bowl section, withscores of epic tube rides enthralling the strong beach crowd, includingAustralian tennis star Mark Philippoussis who was on hand to witness theamazing display.

Paterson, in his first WCT final of the season, created an early lead overopponents Andy Irons (Kauai, Haw), Shane Dorian (Kona, Haw) and fellow WestAustralian Taj Burrow. With some of the most critical forehand snaps andpowerful carves of the entire tournament, he posted a 9.07 and then another8.57 for the highest combined points total of the 2003 Rip Curl Cup. Bydoing so, the 30-year-old claimed his fourth WCT career victory, pocketedUS$30,000 and jumped into 9th position on the current ratings.

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Additionally, he added his name alongside older brother Paul’s to the RipCurl Cup honor roll (1996 winner) – therefore making them the secondbrothers act since Hawaiians Michael and Derek Ho claimed their respectiveCups more than a decade ago. More importantly though, he’s now leading theprestigious Triple Crown of Surfing ratings following his finals berth atnearby Haleiwa in the recent World Qualifying Series (WCT) event. Havingpreviously won the Pipeline Masters in 1998, the West Australian is a clearfavorite heading into the all-important final tournament at the same venue.

“The Davis Cup Australian team last week were (my) inspiration,” began anelated Paterson, after being carried up the beach by fellow Aussiecompetitors. “I just dug deep, and it came down to whoever wanted it themost. I saw those other guys struggling and Andy said he was cramping outthere, so it just made me want it even more (laughs). I was frothing. Ithurts more to lose than the pain you’ve got to go through.

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“He told me the tide was getting lower and the waves actually bigger, so Ishould paddle around everyone and sit out the back,” he explained of brotherPaul’s pre-final advice. “It really worked for me and I got some nice, openfaced waves, so he probably made me win.

“I can’t wait for next week,” he continued. “This makes it all exciting. Thetitle race is alive and kicking. I’m leading the Triple Crown… I love thisgame (laughs). Any final in Hawaii is a dream, but two in a row isincredible. We really had to perform today, so I’m over the moon and can’tbelieve it. To be carried up the beach by your mates is just the bestfeeling in the world.”

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Reigning world champ Andy Irons was arguably the form surfer of the Rip CurlCup today, posting three of the event’s top four single wave scores en-routeto his runner-up finish. Most significantly, the Kauaian earned the onlyperfect 10 of the tournament in the 30-minute decider, but still requiredanother 7.64 to catch Paterson’s lead.

Nonetheless, the 25-year-old bridged a huge ratings gap and is now only96-points behind Kelly Slater’s poll position. Whoever places further in theupcoming year-ending Xbox Pipeline Masters (Dec 8-20) will secure the 2003world title in one of the most eagerly awaited showdowns of professionalsurfing history.

[IMAGE 5]”I’ve never been as sore in my life,” said Irons, completely exhaustedafterward. “My body feels like one big cramp. I needed another score…usually when you get a (perfect) 10 you’re pretty set, but Jake had tworeally good waves and I couldn’t catch him. Stoked to get second though.

“Coming into Pipeline is a dream come true,” he added, of anticipatedshowdown. “I’m coming from behind and Kelly’s got the leadbut I think thepressure is more on him than me right now. I’m just psyching on it andhopefully a couple of Trialists take him out early there too. I’m going forit for sure. It’s on.”

[IMAGE 6]1998 Rip Curl Cup winner Shane Dorian (Kona, Haw) finished third. Despiteannouncing his retirement from full-time competition earlier this year andonly competing in select events, the Hawaiian secured his best result of theseason today. Having emerged from countless tubes throughout the day, heultimately required another worth 8.98 in the final.

Taj Burrow regained the #3 ratings position by placing fourth. Althoughunable to claim the world title now, even with a win at Pipeline, the25-year-old cemented his position near the top with his fourth final of theyear.

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Narrowly missing out on a finals berth and placing equal 5th today in theRip Curl Cup were Chris Davidson (Narrabeen, Aus) and Cory Lopez (FL, USA).Davidson locked in some of the best barrel rides of the day, including a9.23 during his quarterfinal, but was unable to find a second high scoringwave in the semis to reach the event pinnacle.

“Pretty stoked to make the semifinals at Sunset,” said Davidson. “Would haveliked to have made a final, as it would have been my first WCT final – andespecially over here in Hawaii, as it would have been one of the highlightsof my life so far. I had some good barrels today though, which was prettysurprising. Hopefully I can build on it next week and get another goodresult.”

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Also reaching the semifinals to finish equal 7th overall were Luke Stedman(Avalon, Aus) and Dean Morrison (Gold Coast, Aus). For Stedman, the resultmarks his best to date, and despite sitting in 39th position heading intothe Rip Curl Cup and facing the loss of his WCT position for 2004, he’screated the possibility of re-qualifying with another big finish at Pipelineduring the year’s last tournament.

The biggest shock of the day came when six-time world champion Kelly Slater(FL, USA) had his hopes of clinching a record breaking seventh title atSunset squashed, losing to Paterson and Hawaiian Kalani Robb in round three.The Floridian appeared unstoppable, having won back-to-back WCT titles inthe previous two events, and held a massive ratings leading into the RipCurl Cup. His elimination opened the door for Irons to regain lost ground,and that’s exactly what transpired.

“Sunset’s a tricky wave,” acknowledged Slater. “It’s sort of anyone’s gameout there. Jake seemed to be riding a bit bigger a board, and was in theright spot all the time. I let Kalani snake me on one, and that was probablythe tuning point. I just got a little impatient at the end, thinking Ineeded two scores instead of just one good wave. That’s the way it goes.I’ve had a good run the last few contests and I guess it was my turn tostop.

“I’ve got to get my head back in it,” he added, of the looming titleshowdown at Pipeline. “I’ve just been relaxing the past couple of weeks andnot really in contest mode or form, but I think this is probably whateveryone wanted. Coming down to Pipe, and the points are close, so we’ll seewhat happens. There’s a lot of sand there, so it’s probably not going to beperfect Pipe. You’re going to have to know the wave pretty well in differentconditions, and I do. If I knew Sunset like I do Pipe, I would have madethat heat probably. It’s just going to come down to finding the rightwaves.”

Defending Rip Curl Cup champion Joel Parkinson (Gold Coast, Aus) and thenratings #3 Mick Fanning were also eliminated in major third round upsets.

The Foster’s Expression Session prior to the final showcased many of theworld’s best. Hawaiian big wave charger Makua Rothman collected US$2,000 forthe best barrel, while fellow local Nathan Carroll earned another US$1,000for the best maneuver.

Rip Curl Cup Final Results
1st Jake Paterson (Aus) 17.64 – US$30,000
2nd Andy Irons (Haw) 17.17 – US$16,000
3rd Shane Dorian (Haw) 14.3 – US$11,000
4th Taj Burrow (Aus) 7.6 – US$9,000

Semifinals (1st, 2nd>Final; =5th receives US$8,500; =7th receives US$7,500)
SF1: Shane Dorian (Haw) 13.23; Jake Paterson (Aus) 11.87; Chris Davidson (Aus) 11.67; Luke Stedman (Aus) 8.57
SF2: Andy Irons (Haw) 15.9; Taj Burrow (Aus) 13.1; Cory Lopez (USA) 11.43;Dean Morrison (Aus) 7.5
Quarterfinals (1st, 2nd>Semifinal; =9th receives US$5,500; =13th receivesUS$4,500)
QF1: Shane Dorian (Haw) 9.73; Luke Stedman (Aus) 8.67; Damien Hobgood (USA)6.67; Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 4.54
QF2: Jake Paterson (Aus) 15.5; Chris Davidson (Aus) 13.3; Michael Lowe (Aus)8.77; Kalani Robb (Haw) 5.93
QF3: Dean Morrison (Aus) 17.17; Andy Irons (Haw) 15.76; Richard Lovett (Aus)5.4; Michael Campbell (Aus) 3.97
QF4: Cory Lopez (USA) 10.73; Taj Burrow (Aus) 9.5; Mark Occhilupo (Aus)9.06; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 7.8
Round Three (1st, 2nd>Rnd4; 3rd, 4th=17th receive US$4,000)
H1: Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 10.26; Luke Stedman (Aus) 7.33; Joel Parkinson(Aus) 6.36; Daniel Wills (Aus) 4.36
H2: Shane Dorian (Haw) 11.77; Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.16; Mick Fanning (Aus)3.76; Peterson Rosa (Brz) 3.76
H3: Michael Lowe (Aus) 14.5; Chris Davidson (Aus) 7.43; Flavio Padaratz(Brz) 6.8; Luke Egan (Aus) 6.07
H4: Jake Paterson (Aus) 14.66; Kalani Robb (Haw) 10.63; Kelly Slater (USA)7.47; Manoa Drollet (Tah) 3.17
H5: Andy Irons (Haw) 17.57; Richard Lovett (Aus) 10.33; Trent Munro (Aus)8.67; Love Hodel (Haw) 5.23
H6: Michael Campbell (Aus) 8.9; Dean Morrison (Aus) 7.83; Taylor Knox (USA)7.8; Luke Hitchings (Aus) 3.93
H7: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 12.83; Taj Burrow (Aus) 11.03; Joel Centeio (Haw)9.84; Phil MacDonald (Aus) 9.1
H8: Cory Lopez (USA) 14,16; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 12.0; Neco Padaratz(Brz) 10.33; Kieren Perrow (Aus) 5.53

Official ASP Top 10 Ratings after Rip Curl Cup, WCT#11/12
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 8,340-points
2. Andy Irons (Haw) 8,244
3. Taj Burrow (Aus) 7,344
4. Mick Fanning (Aus) 7,080
5. Kieren Perrow (Aus) 6,480
6. Joel Parkinson (Aus) 6,420
7. Taylor Knox (USA) 6,000
8. Michael Lowe (Aus) 5,820
9. Jake Paterson (Aus) 5,772
10. Dean Morrison (Aus) 5,718
rian (Haw) 14.3 – US$11,000
4th Taj Burrow (Aus) 7.6 – US$9,000

Semifinals (1st, 2nd>Final; =5th receives US$8,500; =7th receives US$7,500)
SF1: Shane Dorian (Haw) 13.23; Jake Paterson (Aus) 11.87; Chris Davidson (Aus) 11.67; Luke Stedman (Aus) 8.57
SF2: Andy Irons (Haw) 15.9; Taj Burrow (Aus) 13.1; Cory Lopez (USA) 11.43;Dean Morrison (Aus) 7.5
Quarterfinals (1st, 2nd>Semifinal; =9th receives US$5,500; =13th receivesUS$4,500)
QF1: Shane Dorian (Haw) 9.73; Luke Stedman (Aus) 8.67; Damien Hobgood (USA)6.67; Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 4.54
QF2: Jake Paterson (Aus) 15.5; Chris Davidson (Aus) 13.3; Michael Lowe (Aus)8.77; Kalani Robb (Haw) 5.93
QF3: Dean Morrison (Aus) 17.17; Andy Irons (Haw) 15.76; Richard Lovett (Aus)5.4; Michael Campbell (Aus) 3.97
QF4: Cory Lopez (USA) 10.73; Taj Burrow (Aus) 9.5; Mark Occhilupo (Aus)9.06; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 7.8
Round Three (1st, 2nd>Rnd4; 3rd, 4th=17th receive US$4,000)
H1: Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 10.26; Luke Stedman (Aus) 7.33; Joel Parkinson(Aus) 6.36; Daniel Wills (Aus) 4.36
H2: Shane Dorian (Haw) 11.77; Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.16; Mick Fanning (Aus)3.76; Peterson Rosa (Brz) 3.76
H3: Michael Lowe (Aus) 14.5; Chris Davidson (Aus) 7.43; Flavio Padaratz(Brz) 6.8; Luke Egan (Aus) 6.07
H4: Jake Paterson (Aus) 14.66; Kalani Robb (Haw) 10.63; Kelly Slater (USA)7.47; Manoa Drollet (Tah) 3.17
H5: Andy Irons (Haw) 17.57; Richard Lovett (Aus) 10.33; Trent Munro (Aus)8.67; Love Hodel (Haw) 5.23
H6: Michael Campbell (Aus) 8.9; Dean Morrison (Aus) 7.83; Taylor Knox (USA)7.8; Luke Hitchings (Aus) 3.93
H7: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 12.83; Taj Burrow (Aus) 11.03; Joel Centeio (Haw)9.84; Phil MacDonald (Aus) 9.1
H8: Cory Lopez (USA) 14,16; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 12.0; Neco Padaratz(Brz) 10.33; Kieren Perrow (Aus) 5.53

Official ASP Top 10 Ratings after Rip Curl Cup, WCT#11/12
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 8,340-points
2. Andy Irons (Haw) 8,244
3. Taj Burrow (Aus) 7,344
4. Mick Fanning (Aus) 7,080
5. Kieren Perrow (Aus) 6,480
6. Joel Parkinson (Aus) 6,420
7. Taylor Knox (USA) 6,000
8. Michael Lowe (Aus) 5,820
9. Jake Paterson (Aus) 5,772
10. Dean Morrison (Aus) 5,718