O’Neill Deep Blue Open Day Five

O1Neill Deep Blue Open 2001 Day 5

Himmafushi Island, Maldives Wednesday 13th June 2001

– Fanning and Davidson Blow Up in Round 3 of O1Neill Deep Blue Open –

Australia’s Mick Fanning and Chris Davidson firmly secured there positions in the final 32 of the O1Neill Deep Blue Open in the Maldives, with someawesome surfing in small 2 – 3 ft surf at Jailbreaks. Under a clear blue early evening sky the two Australians went ballistic, destroying the field with their fast, balls to the wall surfing. Davidson with his crisp, sharp, fast wave attack in heat 13 clocked the highest score of the competition with 23.5 out of a possible 30. This was until rubber man Fanning and current leader of the WQS Tour, paddled into the line up for heat 15 and began his all out assault on the 2001 Deep Blue Open Crown.

“Mick’s surfing so well. Said Ben Mundy commentator for the Deep Blue event. “He didn1t get the best conditions for his heat, but this kid isthat fast and surfs so quick it1s incredible. He ended up with the highest heat score of the day, 25.8 out of a possible 30. It was the first time I’ve seen him surf up close up and I was just blown away. He was just blowing up! Maz Quinn from New Zealand also was going hard” Mundy added. “This morning Quinn scored the highest score of the day with a massive 9.4, he was going absolutely mad!”

The conditions at the Jailbreaks rightander continued to fluctuate throughout the day and a lack of consistency left a number of surfersscrapping about for high scoring waves. Despite this world number one Cory Lopez from the USA had no problem securing his place in the final 32.

“The waves were fun when we first got in, I think the low tide is affecting that now so. I had a few fun waves that came my way so I was lucky. It feltgood so we1ll see what happens in tomorrow’s heats.”

However current world number 7 Paul Canning from South Africa didn1t have such an easy time of it in the inconsistent surf.

” I didn’t make it though. I just took the wrong wave at the start of the heat and was out of rythmn with the sets.” Said Canning “The other guyswere sitting wider and taking these long rides straight down the line, I guess I was unlucky today. The format of the contest is great just wish the waves were bigger. I’ve never been to the Maldives before so I thought I’d comeand check it out and try and get a result while I was here but not everything always goes to plan. I’ve got the WCT to prepare for now in Rioso I have to start concentrating on that.”

Today’s round also saw the end of the European bid in the competition. One by one they were picked off and left to free surf for the remainder oftheir time in the Maldives. Great Britain’s Sam Lamiroy was eliminated after a solid start in heat 9. Sam said,

“It started off alright I got a good set wave and scored a 6.5 for it and then I got another good wave but after that I found myself struggling tofind a wave that ran. A couple of the other guys scored some good waves but the Brazilian, Fabio Silva just pulled in to all the decent looking waves, he just got all these big bombs about twice the size of all the rest of the waves. They just seemed to run and run to the next continent. He had a really good heat. I1m out but it1s been a fantastic experience out here inthe Maldives.”

The Australian crew buzzed throughout the day as they hooted 19 of their fellow countrymen through to the next round. Among the Australiancontingent joining Fanning and Davidson is Nathan Hedge. Hedgey said.

“It went well for me, I was lucky a friend gave me a wave which I ended up getting an 8 on, he was too deep so he called me on to it. I’m happy, it’spretty inconsistent out there so I was happy to get three good waves. I had one high scorer and a couple of back ups. Half an hour is a long time to be out there but there are some long lulls so you got to get the right waves. It’s always good to have the guys out on the dinghy screaming fromthe channel. You never know, if the judges hear the screaming form the channel they may give you and extra point five or so, that1s what we hope foranyway. (laughs) It’s good to get a bit of team support. It1s good to knowthat your boys are out there in the channel supporting you

The O’Neill Deep Blue Open is cooking. With some incredible surfing producedfrom round 3 expect the standard of surfing to step up another gear as we enter the critical 4th round tomorrow.