Wednesday 21 June, 2006
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH WCT
(20 June to 1 July)
EVENT #5 ON THE 2006 FOSTER’S ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) MEN’S WORLD TOUR
With the waves at La Jolla, located “somewhere in Mexico, replicating yesterday’s endless perfection, round two, like round one, of the Rip Curl Pro Search WCT went off with a huge bang with both surfers and spectators claiming yet again the event is a major coup for the sport.
With the “floating event license allowing Rip Curl to move their event around the world to tackle new and exotic locations each year, all involved today will be talking about the surfing of the past two days in this mystery location for many, many years to come.
Putting on a highly commendable performance in the six foot (two metre) plus and grinding tubes was none other than young wildcard Ben Dunn (AUS) who completely dominated his heat against last year’s Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour number six Trent Munro (AUS).
Standing tall inside barrels large enough to fit a jumbo jet inside, the 20-year-old natural footer, who is sitting in third place on the ASP’s second tier World Qualifying Series, was beaming when he left the water.
Not only had he beaten a big tour player, he had just surfed in what were some of the best waves of his life.
“The waves are just so perfect out there, said Dunn. “It was such a great experience all round. Not only do I get to surf against the best in the world but I had the opportunity to score some of the sickest barrels of my life.
Dunn will now face Damien Hobgood (USA) who claimed victory at stop number four on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour — The Globe WCT in Fiji — in round three.
Also running away with the show was the diminutive Tim Reyes (USA) who, despite hailing from Huntington Beach, California, where there are no pointbreak waves whatsoever, has a style that is extremely well suited to the incredible lineup at La Jolla.
He adapted so well that a perfect 10 was recorded in his scoreline after he managed to slip inside three deep barrels on one wave.
“That wave just hit the sandbar perfectly, said Reyes. “It’s just breaking along a fine line. As I was coming out of each tube, I kept putting my hand in the wave just trying to stay in there longer.
Reyes was ecstatic about grabbing the perfect 10 and justifiably so…
“I didn’t know if it was going to be a 10, said Reyes. “But it’s good to surf a perfect wave. I see Andy and Kelly and a lot of guys get 10.0s throughout the year, and to get one is a true honor for sure.”
In one of the best heats of the day, a scintillating Pancho Sullivan (HAW) accounted for Nathan Hedge (AUS).
Sullivan blasted through some of the most powerful turns ever seen in competition while Hedge, who was showing excellent form with some solid backhand vertical re-entries, just couldn’t match the sheer grunt.
For the 33-year-old Sullivan, who in his rookie year on tour has been eager have a crack at the big guns of surfing in some waves of consequence, coming to La Jolla is a dream come true and he grasped the moment with both hands by laying down every turn with razor edged precision.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal, said Sullivan. “Being in my rookie year, I don’t know if it’s right of me to say that it’s the best wave on tour. But so far (for this year anyway) I think these are the best waves we’ve seen. Guys are getting three or four barrels a wave.”
Speaking about his mind-blowing turns Sullivan revealed it was part of his plan to do something different in the heat. “I was trying to tell myself not to hunt for the barrel too much, said Sullivan. “I saw a lot of guys passing up turn sections while looking for the barrel. I wanted to push myself and utilize all the speed of the wave. I rode a slightly bigger board in that heat, and when I found the sections, I really tried to push myself into a few turns.
After finding the going a little tough in the Pacific leg of the tour Sullivan realizes that competition surfing is a little more difficult than he first anticipated.
“I think that competition is tough, said Sullivan. “It really turns into a wave-catching contest. Everybody at this level surfs so well, they’re all capable of winning events. Sometimes you don’t get the waves… Tahiti and Fiji were really tough this year so it’s nice to be on a righthand pointbreak, and hopefully I’ll be able to take advantage of surfing out here as many times as possible.
Flying the flag for the Brazilians today was Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour stalwart Peterson Rosa (BRA).
The feisty naturalfooter who goes by the nickname “The Animal disposed of Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) after being extremely aggressive in his lip attacks and on one wave logged in a strong 9.83 ride.
“It’s a beautiful wave; I watched several heats before mine, said Rosa. “I was out there and this wave came, and I saw it was a double-up. I paddled hard, got in the barrel, came out, went back in the barrel, kept going and got a 9.83. I think this is the best wave we’ve ever surfed at. Big barrels, you can get three or four in one wave.”
With the swell looking likely to hang around for another day or so there is every chance that round three will kick off tomorrow morning in what will again be sterling conditions.
Round two results:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.84 def. Oscar Moncada (MEX) 13.90
Heat 2: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 15,83 def. Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.34
Heat 3: Jihad Khodr (BRA) 11.83 def. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 6.66
Heat 4: Ben Dunn (AUS) 18.23 def. Trent Munro (AUS) 11.17
Heat 5: Dean Morrison (AUS) 16.50 def. Yuri Sodre (BRA) 15.50
Heat 6: Danny Wills (AUS) 18.33 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 10.83
Heat 7: Luke Stedman (AUS) 17.83 def. Pedro Henrique (BRA) 12.67
Heat 8: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.16 def. Toby Martin (AUS) 13.50
Heat 9: Peterson Rosa (BRA) 17.50 def. Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) 11.33
Heat 10: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 13.50 def. Jarrad Howse (AUS) 9.83
Heat 11: Phil Macdonald (AUS) 18.30 def. Mikael Picon (FRA) 15.00
Heat 12: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 13.83 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 12.50
Heat 13: Tim Reyes (USA) 18.67 def. Marcelo Nunes (BRA) 6.73
Heat 14: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.33 def. Paulo Moura (BRA) 13.43
Heat 15: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 17.24 def. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.00
Heat 16: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.66 def. Victor Ribas (BRA) 10.84
Round three heat draw:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) versus Peterson Rosa (BRA)
Heat 2: Cory Lopez (USA) versus Troy Brooks (AUS)
Heat 3: Danny Wills (AUS) versus Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) versus Davey Weare (ZAF)
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) versus Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 6: CJ Hobgood (USA) versus Pancho Sullivan (HAW)
Heat 7: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) versus Phil Macdonald (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) versus Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 9: Andy Irons (HAW) versus Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 10: Tom Whitaker (AUS) versus Greg Emslie (ZAF)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) versus Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 12: Bruce Irons (HAW) versus Michael Lowe (AUS)
Heat 13: Damien Hobgood (USA) versus Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 14: Luke Stedman (AUS) versus Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 15: Mick Fanning (AUS) versus Chris Ward (USA)
Heat 16: Dean Morrison (AUS) versus Jake Paterson (AUS)