Wildcard Brooks Back To His Old Tricks
Australian wildcard entrant Troy Brooks is back to causing upsets on the world tour, his latest victim being world Number 6 Shea Lopez in the Quiksilver Pro at Estagnots, France.
Brooks, who is 34th in the qualifying series and just outside a full-time position on next year’s World Championship Tour, on Thursday posted the day’s best single score of 9.5 on his heat-winning left-hander against Lopez.
The Australian is not new to WCT upsets, finishing equal fifth in the 2000 Quiksilver Pro Fiji as a wildcard.
The $460,829 event at Estagnots recommenced in the afternoon with round-two heats in 1.5-metre surf after the third round of the women’s Roxy Pro.
“It was a little bit bumpy out there with all the backwash, but I was lucky enough that wave went right through with a wall and I could finally get some turns done,” Brooks said of his 9.5 ride.
World champion C.J. Hobgood of the US survived a close heat with local wildcard Frederic Robin, who scored an 8.0, the best of the heat, on his second ride, but was unable to catch another good wave. Hobgood advanced with two 6.9 scores.
“It was pretty gnarly,” Hobgood said. “He started off with an eight and I couldn’t get over a six. The only thing I had on my side was I knew the tide was coming up, so I just tried to catch plenty of waves in case it stopped breaking as much.”
Australian Mark Occhilupo, the 1999 world champion, eliminated replacement surfer Jonathon Gonzales in the first clash of the day. Occhilupo opened with a spectacular 8.25 ride, then controlled the heat to advance into round three riding previously unused equipment.
“Glad to see some good waves as it’s been a long wait,” said Occhilupo. “I haven’t been able to try any of my new boards cause there’s been no surf, but on that first wave it felt pretty good and throughout the heat.”
Australians Richie Lovett, Nathan Hedge, Luke Hitchings, Jake Paterson and Michael Campbell all won their respective heats.
Gold Coast surfer Luke Munro has wrapped up the Association of Surfing Professionals Australasian junior series title yesterday after his only rival was eliminated from the last event of the series.
Munro won his heat yesterday over junior series champion Adrian Buchan, then had an anxious wait on the beach while the only man who could steal the crown from him, NSW’s Shaun Cansdell, surfed his heat.
Cansdell finished third behind the Gold Coast’s Jay Thompson and Byron Bay’s Jarrod Sullivan.