Wednesday, September 1, 2004 (Hebara, Japan) The Quiksilver Pro Japan entered its official waiting period this morning, but small 1-2ft (0.5m) waves prompted organizers to postpone the anticipated event start. The world’s best surfers arrived in Japan yesterday to the forecast of a typhoon swell, expected to provide a significant swell increase for the sixth event on the Foster’s men’s ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) later this week.
Extreme winds from Typhoon ‘Chaba’ hit the Quiksilver Pro contest site during the previous two days at Hebara Beach, Chiba – which is one and a half hour’s drive north-east of Tokyo. These have subsided however, and a calm sea greeted competitors today.
While Hebara was not in the direct line of the huge ocean swell generated by the typhoon, another typhoon is currently brewing off Guam, and it is aimed straight towards the Quiksilver Pro.
“This new typhoon is called ‘Songda’ and the swell forecasts show a direct bull’s eye hit here at Hebara this Friday and into the weekend, Quiksilver Pro contest director Rod Brooks said.
“It could be a case of batten down the hatches and look for a big wave location. Already some of the surfers arriving today are concerned that they don’t have big enough equipment.
Brooks said the contest location at Hebara was fortunate to have three big wave locations nearby. “One is called Malibu, after its more famous Californian cousin, he said. “The head judge, Perry Hatchett, and local organizers are checking these spots in case we have to move.
Brooks said the Quiksilver Pro is the 27th World Championship Tour event held in Japan, but this was the first time an event had been scheduled during the typhoon season.
“There have already been 13 or 14 typhoons so far this year, which is a record in Japan, he said.
In other related news, WCT replacement Shane Powell (Avoca, AUS) has been forced to relinquish his spot in the Quiksilver Pro Japan, following a cut to his foot incurred while free-surfing at home. Local Japanese surfer Norimasa Ohno — brother of Quiksilver’s wildcard ‘Mar’ Ohno — has been granted there golden opportunity to challenge the world’s top rated surfers now. His opening hurdle will be against six-time world champ Kelly Slater (FL, USA) and Peterson Rosa (Florianopolis, BRA) in heat #9 of round one.
The Quiksilver Pro in Japan has a waiting period from September 1-8 and will be held in the best conditions on offer.
You can follow the event live on www.quiksilver.com, and monitor swell activity for the region at: http://www.swellnet.com.au/events/quiksilverjapanforecast.htm
Upcoming Quiksilver Pro Japan Round One Heats (1st>Rnd3; 2nd, 3rd>Rnd2)
H1: Taylor Knox (USA); Tom Whitaker (AUS); Darren O’Rafferty (AUS)
H2: Jake Paterson (AUS); Tim Curran (USA); Bruce Irons (USA)
H3: Joel Parkinson (AUS); Kieren Perrow (AUS); Luke Hitchings (AUS)
H4: Taj Burrow (AUS); Phillip MacDonald (AUS); Shane Beschen (USA)
H5: Damien Hobgood (USA); Pat O’Connell (USA); Eric Rebiere (FRA)
H6: Nathan Hedge (AUS); Victor Ribas (BRA); Armando Daltro (BRA)
H7: Mark Occhilupo (AUS); Paulo Moura (BRA); Naohisa Ogawa (JPN)
H8: Andy Irons (HAW); Guilherme Herdy (BRA); Naoto Takanashi (JPN)
H9: Kelly Slater (USA); Peterson Rosa (BRA); Norimasa Ohno (JPN)
H10: CJ Hobgood (USA); Richard Lovett (AUS); Masatoshi Ohno (JPN)
H11: Michael Lowe (AUS); Toby Martin (AUS); Chris Davidson (AUS)
H12: Dean Morrison (AUS); Neco Padaratz (BRA); Beau Emerton (AUS)
H13: Sunny Garcia (HAW); Marcelo Nunes (BRA); Trent Munro (AUS)
H14: Lee Winkler (AUS); Cory Lopez (USA); Nathan Webster (AUS)
H15: Luke Egan (AUS); Michael Campbell (AUS); Greg Emslie (ZAF)
H16: Daniel Wills (AUS); Kalani Robb (HAW); Troy Brooks (AUS)