Garcia Defeated In Round One; Closest Rivals Wins
Barra Da Tajuca, Brazil (Wednesday, Oct 18, 2000) Current ratings leaderSunny Garcia (Haw) was today defeated in the opening round of the Rio SurfInternational 2000. In 2-foot (0.5m) tide affected conditions at Barra beachhe was beaten by fellow Hawaiian Kalani Robb, and will now have to contestround two against wildcard Bruno Santos (Brz) in the first heat tomorrowmorning. Meanwhile, Luke Egan and Jake Paterson (both Australian), the onlyother surfers with a chance at this years’ world title, won their matchesand advanced straight into round three.
Garcia, 30, holds an extremely comfortable lead over his two closest rivalsand looks set to claim his maiden world crown in 2000, but today’s resultdid little to help. Robb opened their 30-minute heat with the highestscoring ride of the match, 7-points, and left his more experienced opponentneeding a 7.41 score at the end.
“Waves are a little small and hard to surf with the backwash, but Kalani wassurfing good and it was just lack of waves for me,” explained Garciaafterward. “You have to be really picky and I missed a couple of waves thatprobably would have been a little better. That’s the way it goes. I thinkLuke and Jake have more pressure on them to do well, so for me, if I do wellit’s a bonus. I just have to wait around and see how they do.”
Robb, 23, is currently rated 18th, and despite beating Garcia today, claimedhe was not trying his hardest during the match. Regardless, the nimblesurfer dominated the left-handers for the win.
“I didn’t really try out there in that heat, and that’s the irony of it,”said Robb. “I hope Sunny wasn’t mad, but I wasn’t really trying too hard. Ijust wanted to get a couple and prove I could surf out there. I ended upgetting the better waves, so just stupid luck, I guess.”
Egan and Paterson proved they haven’t given up hope for this years’ worldtitle today, despite the steep odds, as both posted strong opening wins.Egan overcoming a tough battle with fellow Australian Richie Lovett andBrazilian Leonardo Neves, while Paterson dominated his clash with BraziliansFabio Gouveia and Fabio Silva.
Egan, 30, has held the runner-up position for the majority of the year andneeds to reach both the final here in Brazil, as well as again in Hawaii, topreserve any opportunity of over-taking Garcia. After his win today hesimply acknowledged the desire to advance one heat at a time and stayfocused on the job closer to hand.
“They’re some of the hardest waves I’ve had to surf all year,” said Egan.”It’s so hard to surf out there it’s ridiculous. Stoked I got through, asRichie was surfing good and had a good comeback, but I managed to maintain.
“I’m not even thinking about it yet,” he added, in response to the worldtitle prospect. “Heat-by-heat, like any other event at any other time of theyear. I got through that heat and now I’m thinking about the third roundheat, that’s it.”
Defending event champion Taj Burrow (Aus) was another to win his openingmatch today. Up against fellow Australian Shane Powell and Brazilianreplacement Tanio Baretto (after the UK’s Russell Winter decided not tocompete), Burrow clinched the heat on his final ride with typically fast andradical surfing.
“I’m happy to be here and be defending champ,” said Burrow. “It was prettyhard that first heat. It was only small with lots of backwash, and I onlygot my last score on a tiny little right, so I was really lucky. I just hopeI can keep it going.
“I just want to move up the ratings as much as I can,” he added, since theworld title is now out of his reach. “I’m ninth at the moment and it looksreally hard to even make the top five, but that’s my goal.”
Shane Dorian (Haw) was the day’s highest scorer, posting both the bestsingle wave of 9.25-points, as well as a combined total heat tally of 22.35out-of-a possible 30-points against Taylor Knox (USA) and fellow HawaiianConan Hayes. Dorian, 28, is currently rated seventh, but no longer has ashot at the world crown after losing early during the last WCT event inCalifornia two weeks ago.
The Brazilian contingent of 15 surfers in the Rio Surf International – sixof them due to event wildcards and replacement spots after three surferschose not to compete at Barra – only managed four wins today. FlavioPadaratz, his younger brother Neco, Victor Ribas, and Armando Daltro allgave the local crowd something to get excited about, while their fellowcountrymen will be hoping for similar good fortune in round two.
Competition should begin tomorrow morning at 8am (local time), with updatedinformation available on www.aspworldtour.com.
Official Results of Round One in the Rio Surf International 2000 – WCT#12
1. Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 16.40; Shane Beschen (USA) 14.50; Paul Canning(SAfr) 12.25
2. Shea Lopez (USA) 18.45; Renan Rocha (Brz) 16.10; Glyndyn Ringrose (Aus)14.70
3. Shane Dorian (Haw) 22.35; Taylor Knox (USA) 19.25; Conan Hayes (Haw)14.35
4. Armando Daltro (Brz) 19.85; Rob Machado (USA) 18.75; Toby Martin (Aus)14.85
5. Victor Ribas (Brz) 18.60; CJ Hobgood (USA) 17.50; Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz)11.25
6. Michael Campbell (Aus) 22.15; Crhistiano Spirro (Brz) 16.05; Tim Curran(USA) 13.25
7. Taj Burrow (Aus) 16.05; Shane Powell (Aus) 15.85; Tanio Baretto (Brz)15.30
8. Kalani Robb (Haw) 19.65; Sunny Garcia (Haw) 16.95; Bruno Santos (Brz)13.25
9. Luke Egan (Aus) 19.25; Richard Lovett (Aus) 18.65; Leonardo Neves (Brz)17.90
10. Jake Paterson (Aus) 19.65; Fabio Gouveia (Brz) 15.00; Fabio Silva (Brz)11.55
11. Cory Lopez (USA) 16.50; Todd Prestage (Aus) 16.10; Pat O’Connell (USA)12.80
12. Damien Hobgood (USA) 19.00; Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 13.75; Shawn Sutton(Haw) 13.00
13. Greg Emslie (SAfr) 17.60; Nathan Webster (Aus) 14.35; Ross Williams(Haw) 11.70
14. Ben Bourgeois (USA) 17.00; Daniel Wills (Aus) 14.45; Peterson Rosa (Brz)14.15
15. Luke Hitchings (Aus) 18.10; Yuri Sodre (Brz) 17.25; Beau Emerton (Aus)16.05
16. Neco Padaratz (Brz) 19.75; Michael Lowe (Aus) 10.75; Andy Irons (Haw)10.05