Tavarua Island, Fiji (Wednesday, May 24, 2000). Two-time world champion (1983 & ’84) Tom Carroll (Aus) today caused a major upset when he defeated world-number twelve Jake Paterson (Aus) in perfect six-foot conditions at Cloudbreak in the Quiksilver Pro Fiji 2000. The Quiksilver-sponsored surfer received a wildcard position into the event and has already proved himself a danger man on the famed left-hand reef break against the top 45-rated surfers in the world.
Carroll, 38, who retired from full-time competition back in 1994, stated yesterday he believes he could go all the way to win the Quiksilver Pro Fiji 2000. Today’s result against Paterson helping to solidify this, with the kind of surfing that helped to earn him admirers all over the globe. He’ll now meet current rating’s leader Sunny Garcia (Haw) in roundthree.
“Jake’s a really tough competitor so I figured out a game plan last night and just put it into action,” Carroll explained afterward. “I wasn’t feeling great this morning in that heat, but I’m stoked to have gotten through. It’s perfect out there.”
“I think these competitions always bring the best out of you and I think that’s a great thing about competition,” he said yesterday. “I think I can win the event. There’s a big mountain there to climb, but there’s a flag at the top and I can see myself up there. I’ve got to get through a lot of heats first, so we’ll see how I go.”
Paterson, 27, who’s no slouch when it comes to surfing reef breaks as he proved winning the coveted Pipe Master’s crown in 1998, had no luck today. He managed some explosive top-turns, but when surfing a hollow reef break like Cloudbreak, tubes are what the judges are looking for to reward the higher points.
“I knew Tom would be getting barreled and I would have to try and find some,” Paterson admitted. “It’s difficult on your backhand, and I just didn’t find them. I got smashed out there.”
Quiksilver’s replacement surfer Troy Brooks (Aus) was another giant-killer today eliminating world number-10 Nathan Webster (Aus). Brooks was offered his position in the event when Great Britain’s Russell Winter developed a blood infection last week in Tahiti and consequently had to pull out of Fijian event.
“After I fell on my first wave I was a bit shaken up, but then I managed to get barreled and boost my confidence,” explained the 21-year-old Brooks. “I took a few deep ones and then with 30-seconds to go I pulled into my second tube on my last ride and was pitched onto the reef and snapped my board in half.”
Brooks, who also competed in The Rip Curl Pro last month, went on to explain how he ended up in the event, and his thoughts moving into the next round against world number-two Taj Burrow (Aus).
“I was coming over here anyway, hoping if there were any injuries I might get a spot. Then Russell Winter said he couldn’t make it due to a blood infection, and I was the only person here and managed to get it – I’m rapt.
“At Bells (for The Rip Curl Pro) it was my home break so I had confidence from that, plus all of my friends were there to support me. This is my first time to Fiji and my first experience was seeing 10-12 ft waves at Cloudbreak, which was a bit daunting, especially drawing the world champ in round one. It’s tough, but there’s no pressure on me to dowell. I’m just going o cruise and hopefully get a few more good barrels.”
Current world champion and defending event winner Mark Occhilupo (Aus) eased past his Fijian opponent Matia Waqa (pronounced ‘Wonga’) in their heat, defeating the trials winner 18.15 to 5.75-points. Still, Occy was all praise for the local surfer.
“It was a bit like a free-surf out there then, he didn’t really get anything,” said Occhilupo. “I was watching video footage of Matia from the trials last night and he surfed really well. It’s a shame more Fijians aren’t able to compete in the event, but I guess that will happen. I take my hat off to him.”
Occhilupo will now face six-time world champion and last week’s Gotcha Pro Tahiti winner Kelly Slater (USA) in the most eagerly anticipated match-up of the event so far.
Damien Hobgood (USA) secured the highest total heat score of the day when he defeated South African Paul Canning 24.55 to 11.00-points. Hobgood’s twin brother CJ, also surfed a fantastic heat over Hawaiian Kalani Robb (23.90 to 21.80-points).
The single highest wave went to American Rob Machado in the last heat against Australian Glyndyn Ringrose. Machado needed a very good ride within the final minute, before slotting into a perfect barrel for a near-perfect score of 9.8 out-of-a possible 10-points.
Official Results of the Quiksilver Pro Fiji 2000 Round Two
Heat 1: M Occhilupo (Aus) def. M Waqa (Fiji)
Heat 2: T Carroll (Aus) def. J Paterson (Aus)
Heat 3: T Brooks (Aus) def. N Webster (Aus)
Heat 4: F Padaratz (Brz) def. R Dornelles (Brz)
Heat 5: C Lopez (USA) def. T Martin (Aus)
Heat 6: L Hitchings (Aus) def. N Padaratz (Brz)
Heat 7: D Hardman (Aus) def. M Hoy (Aus)
Heat 8: B Emerton (Aus) def. K Malloy (USA)
Heat 9: D Hobgood (USA) def. P Canning (SAfr)
Heat 10: F Gouveia (Brz) def. A Daltro (Brz)
Heat 11: Y Sodre (Brz) def. D Wills (Aus)
Heat 12: CJ Hobgood (USA) def. K Robb (Haw)
Heat 13: S Powell (Aus) def. B Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 14: R Lovett (Aus) def. G Emslie (SAfr)
Heat 15: R Rocha (Brz) def. S Sutton (Haw)
Heat 16: R Machado (USA) def. G Ringrose (Aus)
Mick Lowe v. C.J. Hobgood
Peterson Rosa v. Tim Curran
Mick Campbell v. Todd Prestage
Shane Dorian v. Richie Lovett
Luke Hitchings v. Renan Rocha
Damien Hobgood v. Guillerme Herdy
Sunny Garcia v. Tom Carroll
Taj Burrow v. Troy Brooks
Beau Emerton v. Shea Lopez
Cory Lopez v. Taylor Knox
Shane Beschen v. Rob Machado
Mark Occhilupo v. Kelly Slater
Damien Hardman v. Yuri Sodre
Luke Egan v. Fabio Gouveia
Victor Ribas v. Shane Powell