In six- to ten-foot surf today in Puerto Escondido, Mexico (known to all who’ve nearly drown at the massive beachbreak as “Mexican Pipeline) a team of East Coast surf all-stars defeated the West Coast to win ESPN’s X Games 11 in The Game format with a final score of 100.75 to 96.50.
The East Coast team was: Barron Knowlton, Todd Morcom, Damien Hobgood, Shea Lopez, C.J. Hobgood, Cory Lopez, Jamie O’Brien, Pete Mendia, and Dean Randazzo.
The West Coast team was: Rob Machado, Chris Ward, Pat O’Connell, Kieran Horn, Dane Reynolds, Taylor Knox, Kalani Robb, and Shane Beschen.
The following is from an X Games press release we just received:
Tensions ran high as the East took an early lead in the first and second quarters. Todd Morcom led the pack in his run with a 7.75 score, setting the pace for the rest of his team. Team East Coast Asst. Coach Todd Cline stated that the East was “Happy with the bigger surf. We are known for the smaller waves, but this was a great way to showcase that the boys from the East like the Hobgoods and Lopez’s can get top scores on the bigger waves.
Initially, Team East Coast had the disadvantage as they lost the coin toss, resulting in coach Mike Parsons decision to surf at the bottom of the quarters. However, the waves worked to Team East Coast’s favor throughout the Game. Going into the bottom of the third quarter, Team West Coast was behind by over 30 points, making their hopes for a first X Games look bleak.
Midway through the third quarter, Santa Cruz, Calif. native Kieran Horn rode a right hand tube, topped off with a floater from top to bottom, scoring a 7.5 that gave the West a glimmer of hope for the final two quarters. With help from teammates Chris Ward with a 6.25, Rob Machado with a 7 and Pat O’Connell with top-of-the-class honors at 7.75, Team West Coast came close to closing the door on the Team East Coast’s massive lead.
When Team East Coast caught wind of these scores, they worked hard to maintain and solidify their lead. In the top of the fourth quarter, Jamie O’Brien rode a never-ending wave to give Team East Coast a well earned 8.5 on the scoreboards. At the conclusion of the game, O’Brien said the win was partially due to each of his teammates peaking in different heats. “Mendia got that nine in the second quarter, which really gave us a push going into the second half, explained O’Brien. “We all worked off of each other to get the scores we needed.
Team West Coast was able to post some good scores at the bottom of the fourth quarter, but not enough to clinch the win.
Ward mentioned he “Wished the team would have had better luck with the waves in the first half. It probably would have ended differently.
Teammate, Machado, stated that the team was “Obviously disappointed with the results, but continued that overall it was “A great experience in Puerto Escondido. We had an amazing turnout and the local crowd truly gave us a warm welcoming.
In addition to The Game in X Games 11, X Games Surfing sport organizer Brad Gerlach of the National Surf League organized two locals Games that took place on July 31 and August 1. As a goodwill gesture towards the surfers of the town, the X Games coaching staff and judges adapted the rules of The Game to unify X Games competitors with the natives of the area. Local team, The Tiburones clenched the win on Sunday, but opponents The Malaguas rallied the following day to level the playing field.