The Rip Curl Pro At Newps

“Newps bulletin, Newps bulletin, 56th Street has waves and none of the bros can surf it!” Just kidding. If there ever was a good time to have the Rip Curl Pro in Newport Beach, California, the final day, September 9, proved to be a perfect time for Kaua’i residents Sena Seramur and Andy Irons. Although the weather was less than desirable, the three- to five-foot waves gave some of the world’s best female and male WQS surfers plenty to play with for the four-star contest¿the fourth stop of this year’s PSTA tour. Starting with quarterfinal one, it seemed like Taj Burrow was unbeatable. Throughout the entire heat, he kept control through his consistency and ability to launch at will. The battle that heat was between Ben Bourgeois and Tim Curran who seesawed for second with Bourgeois coming out ahead. Quarter two featured a tardy Taylor Knox, who showed up with ten minutes left. Due to his veteran knowledge, he was able to find three waves and put himself into second place. Australian Lee Winkler had other plans for Taylor as he waited and found a set wave good enough to give him an 8.83 and knock Taylor out¿Matt Thompson took first. Quarter three was no contest after Bobby Martinez found three waves and three beautiful barrels for an average of over eight per wave¿enough to combo (fellow competitors needed two or more waves to pass him) the rest of the heat, including second-place finisher Brazilian Danilo Costa. Quarter number four began with a perfect tube and a perfect ten for Andy Irons. He dominated the heat followed up by a fast, loose, and progressive Jason Shibata surfing into second.The semis included more of the same with Taj Burrow in control throughout the first one. He began with an 8.67 and never looked back as Bourgeois fell into second. The second semi was a cat and mouse game between Irons, Shibata, Martinez, and Costa. With Costa in the lead and Martinez in second, Irons found a set wave that left him no chance for anything but three huge floaters, a score of nine, and a move to first¿knocking Martinez into third needing a 5.88. Although consistent all day, all Bobby could do was watch as nothing popped up and the horn rang.Three minutes into the final, Andy Irons blasted a set wave with a huge backside finisher and a score of 8.17. Bourgeois tried staying in the race with consistent midsize, mid-range score waves, but found himself looking up at Andy and Taj as they battled each other. Like poker players laying their cards on the table, Taj would throw up a nine and Andy would answer with a couple backside turns to a reverse and a higher score to match it: “It was just for fun,” said Irons. “You want to go out there and bust¿have fun. Have a good time.” Andy’s good time finished with two minutes and nothing left for Taj to do¿Andy won the battle with 21.17 points to Taj’s 20.96, with Ben in third, and Danilo in fourth. “It was a little bumpy, but I got lucky and I got a couple good waves,” said a happy Irons after the victory. When asked about his winning streak in California (he won the Billabong Pro at Trestles last year) all Irons could say was, “I don’t know, it’s good for me. I just got lucky.”In the women’s division, seventeen-year-old Kaua’i native Sena Seramur won the women’s final in a heat where everyone was in striking distance¿all within the four-point range to move into the lead. PSTA leader Julia Christian had a 7.94, but couldn’t capitalize on it. Local veteran Jodie Nelson’s consistently long rides had her in the lead until the last minute when a midsized right came through for Seramur and she took full advantage of it with two good turns. As the heat ended and she exited the water, all she could do was wait for the score that would make or break her contest. When the judges announced the results, it didn’t quite hit her: “When the judges said blue’s in first, I said, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ Then I looked at my jersey and thought, ‘Oh, I’m blue.’ I was definnitely excited, but I didn’t think I’d won.”

Rip Curl Pro Women’s Final1. Sena Seramur ($2,000)2. Jodie Nelson ($900)3. Julia Christian ($600) 4. Yvette Bertleman ($500)

Rip Curl Pro Men’s Final1. Andy Irons ($6,000)2. Taj Burrow ($3,000) 3. Ben Bourgeois ($2,500) 4. Danilo Costa ($2,100)

Current ASP 2001 WQS Men’s Ratings (As of October 1, 2001)1. Taj Burrow2. Mick Fanning3. Maz Quinn3. Nathan Webster5. Flavio Padaratz6. Kieren Perrow7. Neco Padaratz8. Paulo Moura9. Victor Ribas10. Joel Parkinson11. Marcelo Nunes12. Rodrigo Dornelles13. Peterson Rosa14. Dean Morrison15. Pat O’Connell16. Richard Lovett17. Russell Winter 18. Fabio Gouveia19. Lee Winkler20. Phillip MacDonald

Current ASP WCT Standings As Of October 1, 2001(As of press time the European leg had been cancelled)

1. C.J Hobgood2. Mark Occhilupo3. Cory Lopez4. Taylor Knox5. Sunny Garcia6. Andy Irons7. Jake Paterson8. Shea Lopez8. Nathan Webster10. Daniel Wills11. Shane Powell12. Peterson Rosa13. Flavio Padaratz14. Joel Parkinson15. Richard Lovett16. Damien Hobgood17. Trent Munro18. Kalani Robb19. Nathan Hedge20. Luke Egan21. Guillerme Herdy22. Paul Canning23. Pat O’Connell24. Greg Emslie25. Neco Padaratz26. Mick Campbell26. Luke Hitchings28. Fabio Gouveia29. Shane Dorian29. Mick Lowe31. Renan Rocha32. Beau Emerton33. Taj Burrow33. Armando Daltro33. Paulo Moura36. Joca Junior37. Rodrigo Dornelles37. Sasha Stocker39. Shawn Sutton40. Russell Winter 41. Ben Bourgeois42. Marcelo Nunes43. Mark Bannister44. Shane Beschen45. Rob Machado46. Chris Davidson