IRVINE, California (July 10, 2000) – Two of the three Billabong Pro World Surfing Tour events leading to the culminating tournament have been completed. The results suggest a wide-open, spectacular surfing showcase when the Billabong Pro arrives on one of the world’s best performance waves September 23-October 1 at Trestles in Southern California.
Last week in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, Australian Jake Paterson and Hawaiian Megan Abubo won their respective divisions of the Billabong MSF Pro 2000. In 3-4 foot offshore conditions at Jeffreys, Paterson defeated Brazilian Peterson Rosa in the final, while Abubo beat Australian Trudy Todd in their 35-minute decider.
Thus, Paterson joins Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour points leader Sunny Garcia of Hawaii as a Billabong Pro champion in 2000. Garcia won the first Billabong Pro in the series, at Burleigh Heads, Australia in March. On the women’s side, Abubo moves into the women’s world championship points lead over two-time world titlist and Billabong team rider Layne Beachley, who won the Billabong Pro at Burleigh Heads.
All of these surfers will be in action at Lower Trestles, located 50 miles north of San Diego. The Billabong Pro will be the main event of the week-long Billabong Soul in the Bowl Festival at nearby San Clemente Pier, which will also include the World Qualifying Series 3-star rated Billabong Women’s Pro, the Billabong Junior Series event, a professional skateboard competition, live music and an education and lifestyle-oriented series of exhibits and seminars.
Paterson, 27, defeated Hawaiian Shane Dorian, defending Billabong MSF Pro champion Joel Parkinson (Aus), Brazilian Flavio Padaratz and Rosa in one of the greater one-day charges to victory in the 25-year history of professional surfing.
“Oh Yeeaahhh…,” exclaimed an elated Paterson as he was carried up the beach by some of his fellow Australian competitors. “Give me a second to think about what just happened (he laughed). I’m so stoked. I just put everything together. The chess match is finally over; Check mate! I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
“He had priority and was a little far out,” Paterson elaborated in regard to his winning 9-point ride against Rosa. “I took off and raced a bit, then did a big hack (turn) before a little ledge came over and I knew it was make or break time. I just held my rail and came through. I’m stoked it went flat for 10-minutes at the end!”
Rosa didn’t find any waves during the second half of the final, but was still very happy with his second placing. The result pushes the Brazilian up into sixth position on the adjusted WCT ratings.
“He found the right waves,” acknowledged Rosa. “I’m still stoked and happy to make my first final of the year. Now I need to put in more training and do well in the next contest. I had good surfs and found the right waves, but in the final the luck changed for him.”
Finishing equal third in the men’s division today were Australian Nathan Webster and Brazilian Flavio Padaratz. Webster, the world number-10, was at his best in the long right-handers, but was unable to match Rosa’s barrel ride in their semi-final. (more on back)
Defending Billabong MSF Pro champion Joel Parkinson (Aus) finished equal fifth when he lost to Paterson. The 19-year-old wildcard now plans to focus on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) for the remainder of the year, so he can officially join the WCT in 2001.
On the women’s side, Hawaii’s Abubo extended her ratings lead to 380 points when she claimed her second WCT victory for the year. Up against the 1998 Billabong MSF Pro champion Trudy Todd, the 22-year-old Hawaiian overcame the bumpy conditions to pull off some solid maneuvers.
“It was really hard to surf out there,” said a triumphant Abubo after being greeted by friends on the shoreline. “I was just trying to catch a wave I could do a turn on without the wind blowing me off. The guys are a lot heavier and they’re stronger, so they made it look a little easier while I was psyching up watching them. Once I got out there, though, it was really tough. There were a lot of bumps and we were surfing right over the rocks, too, so there were a lot of difficulties. I wasn’t stressing at all, I just wanted to get one good wave in the heat. It didn’t really happen, but I was just happy to be in the final out here.”
“This is my dream come true,” she continued in regard to the win, and ratings lead. “I’ve been on tour a couple of years now and I’m finally figuring it out. I’m a lot more relaxed now, so I’m just trying to have a good time surfing. I’m having a great year.”
The next stop on the Billabong Pro series is the Billabong/MSF Pro August 29-September 9 at Mundaka, Spain and Anglet, France. These are two of Europe’s most classic surf spots, and offer a variety of conditions at a crucial time on the world tour. In 1999, Mark Occhilupo put a deathlock on the world title by winning this event.
For more information on the final Billabong Pro, contact Graham Stapelberg of Billabong at 949-753-7222. Editors may also contact Horizon Communications at (805) 773-1000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official Results of Billabong/MSF Pro
Men’s Division1. Jake Paterson (Australia)2. Peterson Rosa (Brazil)3. Nathan Webster (Australia), Flavio Padaratz (Brazil)4. Damien Hobgood (Florida), Luke Egan (Australia), Richie Lovett (Australia), Joel Parkinson (Australia).
Women’s Division1. Megan Abubo (Hawaii)2. Trudy Todd (Australia)3. Lisa Andersen (Florida), Lynette Mackenzie (Australia)5. Layne Beachley (Australia), Tita Tavares (Brazil), Serena Brooke (Australia), Heather Clark (South Africa).