Lacanau, France (Wednesday, Aug 16, 2000). Defending TC Lacanau Pro champion Tim Curran (USA) was today eliminated from competition when he lost his second round heat to Brazilian Neco Padaratz. In slightly smaller 3-4 foot conditions at Grand Plage, the pair surfed an entertaining match, with Padaratz sneaking into the better rides to claim victory. [IMAGE 1]Curran, rated sixth in the world, defeated current world champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) in last year’s final, but was unable to come close this year with a 33rd place finish. Hoping for a good European leg of the 2000 World Championship Tour (WCT), the 23-year old American will now have to wait until next week’s Hossegor Rip Curl Pro for a better result.
“It’s hard to tell what waves are going to be good out there and I just didn’t get them – that’s the way it goes,2 said a solemn Curran afterward. “Hopefully I’ll be able to do better than this during the rest of the European events. It’s definitely disappointing losing after winning this last year, but a loss is a loss no matter what. It’s all the same. I was just hoping to start off the European leg well, but I’ll start next one (laughs).”
Padaratz, currently rated 35th, is as focused a professional surfer you’ll ever find, using his tenacity against the defending champ toward the end of their match to gain the upper hand.
“I really need results, so that was good, another heat,” explained Padaratz as he was eagerly trying to avoid an interview. “I’m just trying to keep things together and get through rounds. I don’t really care about what country I am in, I just knew I needed a result.”
Rob Machado (USA) was the day’s top scorer, amassing 25.75 out-of-a possible 30-points against his opponent Glyndyn Ringrose (Aus). The light-footed American never looked in danger, sealing the heat with his final 9.50 ride, the highest single wave score of the event so far.
“I haven’t surfed that much since Huntington (the last WCT three weeks ago), so it felt good to get out there and loosen up,” said Machado. “I knew my boards worked and the conditions today really seemed to suit the one I used. Everything sort of linked together and I got a few set waves and the scores.
“I’ve got some great boards and I feel that there are surfboards for every condition,” he continued. “So I’m trying to utilize that and really watch the conditions and pay attention to what is happening. The changing tides are really a factor here.”
Current world number one and two, Mark Occhilupo and Taj Burrow (both Australian), also survived their round two match-ups today, with Burrow admitting his nerves almost got the better of him against Conan Hayes (Haw).[IMAGE 2]”The waves were actually kind of fun, but I didn’t get to enjoy them because I was stressing so much,” he explained. “I was just really nervous about being in a 33rd round heat. It’s the hardest heat of the contest for me, so I’m glad I got through that, there’s less pressure now.
“I’ve had a few bad results lately, so I’ve got my throw a way’s (results that don’t count toward a surfer’s end of year ratings) and I’m looking for my keepers,” he added. “Hopefully I can get a few in FranceS* in Europe. I want to win a contest, at least (laughs).”
Keith Malloy (USA), currently rated 39th, was another happy surfer to advance today after eliminating current world number-five Flavio Padaratz (Brz). Malloy was granted a wildcard position from the ASP for the duration of the 2000 WCT after looking set to qualify last year through the World Qualifying Series (WQS) before an injury robbed him of his chance. So far this year, however, has failed to utilize this position to his advantage with any good results.
“I had one wave that was kind of outstanding, I guess, an 8.5,” said Malloy. “I had a couple of good turns and then my last turn was a reverse (backside 360 degree maneuver), which was great because the judges seem to be stoked on the innovative type surfing out there. After that I had a bit of a lead, and then the waves died out. I was stoked to get through, though.[IMAGE 3]”If there was any time to step it up it’d be now,” he reasoned. “I’ve got a few events coming up here in Europe and hopefully we’ll have some luck and get some waves. I’d love to have a good European run and I guess I could really use it (laughs).”
Official Results of TC Lacanau Pro Day Two
Heat 1: M Campbell (Aus) 19.25 def. P Gutierrez (Spn) 13.95
Heat 2: M Occhilupo (Aus) 18.00 def. E Rebiere (Fra) 9.95
Heat 3: C Lopez (USA) 19.75 def. E Acero (Spn) 10.90
Heat 4: T Burrow (Aus) 20.05 def. C Hayes (Haw) 17.55
Heat 5: N Webster (Aus) 22.45 def. T Martin (Aus) 18.50
Heat 6: K Malloy (USA) 20.20 def. F Padaratz (Brz) 16.60
Heat 7: S Dorian (Haw) 21.15 def. P Canning (SAfr) 18.90
Heat 8: G Herdy (Brz) 23.00 def. B Bourgeois (USA) 15.60
Heat 9: R Machado (USA) 25.75 def. G Ringrose (Aus) 18.50
Heat 10: N Padaratz (Brz) 21.60 def. T Curran (USA) 19.00
Heat 11: A Daltro (Brz) 19.40 def. B Emerton (Aus) 15.90
Heat 12: R Williams (Haw) 20.65 def. D Hobgood (USA) 20.15
Heat 13: V Ribas (Brz) 17.65 def. S Sutton (Haw) 14.45
Heat 14: M Lowe (Aus) def. T Prestage (Aus) 15.50
Heat 15: S Powell (Aus) def. G Emslie (SAfr) 14.25
Heat 16: R Rocha (Brz) 18.25 def. Y Sodre (Brz) 17.75