”Pirates!” was the quote from captian Creepy Carl as he pelted another grom with a handfull of powder. The 4th Annual VQS World Championships was held on May 14th-16th, 2004 at 54th Street port, in Newport Beach, CA. The surf ranged in conditions, but the two- to five-foot surf was peaky and maintained itself through the weekend. Over 192 invited competitors showed up from all over the world to fight for 30,000 dollars in cash and a slough of pirate loot.
In the Grom division it was Andrew Doheny, Bones Brighton, Shota Nakamura, and Cory Arrambide who would draw thier swords in a quest for the 4,000 dollar first place prize. Cory Arrambide came out swinging with years mastery of the sword but fell short for fourth place and a 1,000 dollar check. Bones Brighton battled and even his local knowledge could not withstand, and he settled for 1,200 dollars in cash. Andrew Doheny and Shota Nakamura would dual till the bitter end. In the end Doheny would take a respectfull second place finish and 1,750 in cash. Shota Nakamura from Japan would hail as the 2004 Grom Division Champion and would take home 4,000 in cash As well as a Honda CRF 50 provided by Alpinestars Boots.
The cannons would be blasting for the Juniors division grand finale! Alex Gray and Blake Jones battled non stop for the first palce finish. In the end, Alex Gray from Palos Verdes would come up with the win and 4,000 in cash and a free surfboard from Al Merrick. Blake Jones finished in second with 1,750 dollars for his efforts. Ricky Whitlock a Blowfish regular would finish with a solid third place and take home 1,200 in cash. Ashley King from Australia would finish in fourth and recieve $1,000 in cash.
The Air Spectacular is a uniqe specialty event to the VQS World Championships. Competitors in this event are chosen to compete due to thier previous success and individuality in progressive surfing. 24 competitors are chosen and in the end it comes down to four finalists. Josh Kerr would redeem himself from last years close loss and take home 4,000 in cash. Gavin Beschen who flew over from Hawai’i to compete, finshed in second and received 1,000 dollars. Matt Archbold came down to watch his son Ford compete and decided to join the festivities and walk with 750 dollars for his efforts. Zach Keenan ended with a solid finish and recieved 400 bucks for his efforts.
The Pro-Am would see some new faces this year. It was no surprize when Hawaiian prodigy Dustin Cuizon finished in the first place position winning 4,000 in cash. In second place was Newport Beach’s native son Punker Pat taking 1,750 dollars for his efforts. Ola Eleogram from Hawaii finished in third place and recieved 1,200 bucks. In the fourth place position was Florida’s Eric Taylor walking off with 1,000 in cash.
All finalists recieved huge prize bags as well as Surfboards, Snowboards, Skateboards, Bicycles from contributing product sponsors. Special thanks to everyone who had a hand in making this event a success.
1.DUSTIN CUIZON-HAWAII $4,000.00
2.PUNKER PAT-NEWPORT BEACH,CA $1,750.00
3.OLA ELEOGRAM-HAWAII $1,200.00
4.ERIC TAYLOR-FLORIDA $1,000.00
1.JOSH KERR-AUSTRALIA $4,000.00
2.GAVIN BESCHEN-HAWAII $1,000.00
3.MATT ARCHBOLD-NEWPORT BEACH,CA $750.00
4.ZACH KEENAN-CARDIFF,CA $400.00
1.ALEX GRAY-PALOS VERDES,CA $4,000.00
3.RICKY WHITLOCK-SAN DIEGO,CA $1,200.00
1.SHOTA NAKAMURA-JAPAN $4,000.00
2.ANDREW DOHENY-NEWPORT BEACH,CA $1,750.00
3.BONES BRIGHTON-NEWPORT BEACH,CA $1,200.00
4.CORY ARRAMBIDE-VENTURA,CA $1,000.00