Vans Triple Crown Update

The Master & The Rookie Rule Vans Hawaiian Pro Surfing

Honolulu, HAWAII (Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004) – Fifteen years and a generation of surfers might separate 19-year-old rookie Nathan Carroll (Sunset Beach) and Vans Triple Crown of Surfing veteran Sunny Garcia (Waianae), but less than two points separated their fourth round scores in the Vans Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park today. Both surfers are through to the final day of action tomorrow.

Twelve years ago, Garcia, 34, won his first Hawaiian Pro here at Haleiwa and went on to win his first Triple Crown of Surfing title. Carroll was just seven years old at the time, surfing in Haleiwa’s famous childrens ‘menehune’ (little people) event. Going back further, Carroll hadn’t even been born when the first Hawaiian Pro was surfed in 1985, and Garcia was a 15-year-old rookie entering his first professional events. The Vans Hawaiian Pro celebrates its 20th anniversary this week.

Today, they bridged the space between, an even match in excellent waves that stood as high as two-story buildings. Garcia comes into the Vans Hawaiian Pro as the most decorated surfer of the event with an unmatched record of five Vans Triple Crown titles – awarded to the surfer who performs best across all three Triple Crown events. Carroll enters as one of the greenest competitors in the field – a fact that is by no means indicative of his ability. Both surfers advanced out of a critical, hotly contested fourth round today, by which time surfers the likes of world champion Andy Irons (Kauai), defending Vans Hawaiian Pro champion Troy Brooks (Australia), and Haleiwa’s favorite son Fred Patacchia had already been eliminated.

For Garcia, a string of injuries that kept him in the spectators bleachers here last year was enough motivation to return to the spotlight. Carroll’s fuel is a magic surfboard shaped by his father and the desire to achieve the world-wide respect of Triple Crown success that Garcia knows well. Both appeared to hold a touch of magic today, surviving impossible maneuvers and overcoming mountainous sections of white-water with an apparent inability to falter.

“I don’t know what’s going on, I’m just going for it,” said Carroll. “It’s the best I’ve ever done in a six-star (World Qualifying Series rated) event. I’m in rhythm. I just want to do well in the Triple Crown because I know it will help my career drastically.”

Despite having already made a name for himself as a Sunset Beach surfer – the venue for next week’s O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, the second of the three Triple Crown events, Haleiwa has loads of sentimental value for Carroll, who rode his first wave here at the age of five.

“Primarily, Sunset is my focus and I guess I’m known more for being a Sunset surfer, but this is where I learned to surf. This is where I first felt that shot of adrenaline you get from riding a wave.

“I’m surprising myself. I did a lot of mental work before this event and it’s paying off. Plus my board. This is the best 6’9″ I’ve ever had. My dad made it for me for Western Australia earlier this year, but it’s unreal out here. It feels like everything is just going to work. I get that feeling sometimes before an event, and it usually goes that way.”

If Garcia needed any extra reason to shine today, it came from his son.

“I missed my son’s game this-morning,” said Garica. “His team was competing for the state football championships and I was so upset I had to miss his game. But they won, so I figure now the best thing I can do for him is win this and dedicate it to my son.

“Sitting here last year out of the water got me psyched to do well this year. Plus the waves are just so good today. It’s like taking off with a clean canvas and a bunch of paint. The Triple Crown is always a motivation for me. To be able to surf at home and in events that always mean a lot.”

Andy Irons, who won his third world title two weeks ago in Brazil, had a difficult time in his debut apprance this-morning. The best waves eluded him in his heat against advancing surfers Marcelo Trekinho (Brazil) and tour veteran Shane Beschen (California), resulting in a less than desired start to the Hawaiian winter season.

The Vans Hawaiian Pro ran through round three and half of round four today. Just 11 heats remain before the 20th Vans Hawaiian Pro champion is crowned tomorrow. Still in contention are eight Australians, six Brazilians, four Hawaiians, one French surfer, one surfer from the Canary Islands, one Japanese, one Mainland American, one South African, and an Englishman.

Garcia holds the highest heat score of the event to date with 17.17 points out of 20 for his two best rides in the third round. The highest single scoring ride belonged to defending champion Troy Brooks – a 9.87 point ride that he posted in round three to eliminate the legendary Tom Curren (California) from the event. He was later eliminated in the fourth round by Eric Rebiere (France) and Bernardo Pigmeu (Brazil).

Competition is scheduled to resume at 8am tomorrow morning, with the remaining four heats of round four, before the quarter finals, semi-finals, and the final which is scheduled for 12:30pm.

A satellite feed of Vans Hawaiian Pro highlights will be distributed on Monday morning, Hawaii time.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is made possible through the support of a partnership of the world’s leading brands and media companies including: Ford Trucks, G-Shock, O’Neill, Rip Curl, Surfing Magazine, Surfline.com, Roxy.com, Oahu’s Turtle Bay Resort, The Honolulu Advertiser and Fox Sports Net.

Vans Hawaiian Pro Results

Round 4

1st and 2nd to Quarter Finals
3rd=9th Place; 4th=13th Place
Listed in order of 1st through 4h
H1: Eric Rebiere (FRA); Bernardo Pigmeu (BRA); David Weare (ZAF); Troy Brooks (AUS);
H2: Nathan Carroll (HAW); Paulo Moura (BRA); Frederick Patacchia (HAW); Mikala Jones (HAW);
H3: Toby Martin (AUS); Norimasa Ohno (JPN); Dustin Cuizon (HAW); Adam Robertson (AUS);
H4: Sunny Garcia (Haw); Luke Stedman (Aus); Marcelo Trekinho (Brz); Shane Beschen (USA) Draw for remaining round 4 heats:
H5: Bruce Irons (Haw); Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY); Adriano de Souza (Brz); Neco Padaratz (Brz)
H6: Fabio Gouveia (Brz); Kirk Flintoff (Aus); Tom Whitaker (Aus); Gavin Beschen (USA)
H7: Phillip MacDonald (Aus); Zane Harrison (Aus); Kalani Robb (Haw); Darren O’Rafferty (Aus)
H8: Travis Logie (SAf); Renato Galvao (Brz); Joel Parkinson (Aus); Russell Winter (UK)

Round 3

1st and 2nd to Round 4

3rd=33rd Place; 4th=49th Place

Listed in order of 1st through 4th

H1: Bernardo Pigmeu (BRA); Eric Rebiere (FRA); Marcelo Nunes (BRA); Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW);

H2: Troy Brooks (AUS); David Weare (ZAF); Tom Curren (USA); Guilherme Herdy (BRA);

H3: Frederick Patacchia (HAW); Mikala Jones (HAW); Victor Ribas (BRA); Danilo Costa (BRA);

H4: Paulo Moura (BRA); Nathan Carroll (HAW); Shaun Cansdell (AUS); Peterson Rosa (BRA);

H5: Adam Robertson (AUS); Norimasa Ohno (JPN); Renan Rocha (BRA); Chris Davidson (AUS);

H6: Toby Martin (AUS); Dustin Cuizon (HAW); Paul Canning (ZAF); Armando Daltro (BRA);

H7: Sunny Garcia (HAW); Luke Stedman (AUS); Greg Emslie (ZAF); Ben Bourgeois (USA);

H8: Marcelo Trekinho (BRA); Shane Beschen (USA); Luke Hitchings (AUS); Andy Irons (HAW);

H9: Bruce Irons (HAW); Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY); Dayyan Neve (AUS); Beau Mitchell (AUS);

H10: Adriano de Souza (BRA); Neco Padaratz (BRA); Chris Ward (USA); Matt Jones (AUS);

H11: Fabio Gouveia (BRA); Kirk Flintoff (AUS); Dean Morrison (AUS); Roy Powers (HAW);

H12: Tom Whitaker (AUS); Gavin Beschen (USA); Joel Centeio (HAW); Eneko Acero (SPN);

H13: Phillip MacDonald (AUS); Zane Harrison (AUS); Nathan Webster (AUS); Dean Randazzo (USA);

H14: Kalani Robb (HAW); Darren O’Raffrety (AUS); Mikael Picon (FRA); Jason Shibata (HAW);

H15: Travis Logie (ZAF); Renato Galvao (BRA); Tiago Pires (POR); Kieren Perrow (AUS);

H16: Joel Parkinson (AUS); Russell Winter (GB); Kainoa McGee (HAW); Matt Thompson (AUS); Perrow (AUS);

H16: Joel Parkinson (AUS); Russell Winter (GB); Kainoa McGee (HAW); Matt Thompson (AUS);