Friday, July 30, 2004 — In front of a screaming and partisan hometown crowd, Huntington Beach’s Tim Reyes downed two-time defending world champion Andy Irons (Hawaii) and former world champion Tom Curren (Santa Barbara) today to advance to the round of 32 at the $175,000 Honda U.S. Open of Surfing.
Conditions were the most difficult thus far this week with two-four foot, bumpy and hard surf caused by Hurricane Darby. The Bank of the West Beach Games featuring the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O’Neill run through Sunday at the Huntington Beach Pier. Reyes, a graduate of the Huntington Beach high school surf team, led from start to finish after opening with a heat best 7.00 ride. Using his intimate knowledge of the sandbars and seemingly unaffected by the stature of his competition, he surfed with confidence and skill to post an overall total of 12.93 points to Irons’ 12.50. South Africa’s Royden Bryson finished in third place with 12.20 points followed by Curren with 5.86. “AI has been comboing me for the last few contests so I wanted this bad, said Reyes.
Former world champion Mark Occhilupo (AUS) finshed first in his heat ahead of San Clemente’s Shane Beschen, 12.10 points to 11.00. Both advance to the round of 32. Former world and U.S. Open champion Sunny Garcia, a fixture at Huntington Beach dating back to the glory days of the Op Pro, looked completely out of synch and failed to advance, finishing in fourth place with only 5.17 points. Laguna Beach’s Pat O’Connell surfed a solid heat, defeating Australia’s Trent Munroe 13.67 points to 12.50. San Clemente’s Shaun Ward failed to advance, coming in third place with 10.33 point followed in fourth by Hawaii’s Roy Powers (9.60). “It seemed like the smaller waves were better shaped, said O’Connell. “The large waves were really hard to ride today. Reigning Honda U.S. Open of Surfing champion Cory Lopez (Florida—12.30) finished second in his heat behind Damien Hobgood (Florida—13.83). Ventura’s Bobby Martinez (11.00), another finalist from 2003, also finished second in his heat behind Australian Richard Lovett (14.50). Brazilian Neco Padaratz, a graduate of Edison high school in Huntington Beach and Gotcha Pro Champion in 1999, advanced over San Clemente’s Chris Ward.
Chelsea Georgeson (AUS), reigning Honda U.S. Open of Surfing women’s champion, opened the women’s quarter-finals with a convincing victory over former world number two Serena Brooke (AUS). Georgeson started slowly, but was able to take command midway through the heat and wound up with an overall score of 12.00 to Brooke’s 10.17. Australian Kim Wooldridge finished second with 8.94 points followed by Carlsbad upstart Lauren Sweeney with 6.40. Current World Chamionship Tour (WCT) points leader Sofia redeemed herself from yesterday’s defeat to Melanie Bartels (Hawaii) and finished first in her heat with 12.16 points followed by Amee Donohoe (AUS) with 11.56. Bartels finished third with 11.10 points while Heather Clark came in fourth with 6.83. Calsbad resident Julia Christian kept her event title hopes alive by finishing second in the third quarter-final (9.43 points) heat behind Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS—10.77). Also advancing to tomorrow’s semi-finals were Lisa Hurunui (New Zealand) and Brazilian Jacqueline Silva. In the Philips Soul Bowl, Jake Piasecki (Hermosa Beach) and legendary Mike McGill (Encinitas) finished one-two in the Masters Qualifying. Matt Moffett (San Diego) finished first over Brian Patch (Huntington Beach) in the Young Guns Qualifying.
For the first time in the history of the Huntington Beach Pier, thousands of spectators were treated to a freestyle motocross (FMX) demonstration. Pro riders Myles Richmond, Ronnie Renner, Graham Gustin and Jeff “OX Kargola competed in three, 20-minute round-robin style exhibitions showcasing maneuvers like the “seat grab heart attack, “shaolin bar hop and “kiss of death. Ox was the crowd favorite, completing a self-titled maneuver called the “Oxxecutioner and then capped his performance with a back flip across the 85 foot span.
Notable: Although he didn’t advance, Huntington Beach’s Brett Simpson had the wave of the day, completing a backside aerial 360. Timmy Reyes’ best wave wasn’t even counted as he started just moments ahead of the horn and it wasn’t allowed. Saturday’s schedule: Surfing competition continues with the men’s round of 64 (heats 9-16) at 8:00 a.m., women’s semi-finals at 11:20 a.m., women’s finals at 12:45 p.m., junior’s semi-finals at 1:30 p.m. and the men’s round of 32 (heats 1-8) at 2:30 p.m. The Philips Soul Bowl features BMX High Air Competition beginning at 12:30 p.m., women of skate final at 2:30 p.m., Masters of Skate final at 3:30 p.m. and the Grand Masters of Skate at 4:30 p.m. FMX demos are running at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. King/Queen of the Beach volleyball semi-finals being at 8:00 a.m. and the live music on the Bank of the West concert stage starts at 4:30 p.m. Consumer information is available at www.usopenofsurfing.com . and firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com