Unique Contest Format, Sixteen Top World Surfers and $104,500 USD PrizeMoney Make Up the Reef Biarritz Surf Trophee. World surfing champion Mark Occhilupo (Gold Coast) has been forced to withdraw from theinaugural Reef Biarritz Surf Trophee, featuring sixteen of the worlds top surfers who will competing in a unique contest format for USD104500 in prize-money. Occhilupo, who incurred an ankle injury at an artificial wave machine in America and has been out of the water sinceSeptember but is hopeful of making a full recovery for the Hawaiian Triple Crown late next month.
The 34-year-old has been unable to compete in the two previous WorldChampionship Tour (WCT) events, including the recent Brazilian one where Hawaiian Sunny Garcia claimed the 2000 ASP world title as did Occyin 1999.
1999 runner-up Taj Burrow (Yallingup, W.A.) will join a star studdedline-up including six times world champion Kelly Slater (USA) and three times world champion Tom Curren (USA) at the Grand Plage inBiarritz, France forthe tournament which has a waiting period from October 28th through toNovember 5th. Burrow has had a major return to form on the home run of this year’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), WorldChampionshipTour (WCT) to be currently ranked at no.5 in the world. The only otherAustralian who will compete in the contest is Forster’s Beau Emerton.
Fernando Aguerre, co-founder and chairman of Reef stated, “With thecreation of the REEF Biarritz Surf Trophee, we hope to introduce a unique and challenging contest to the surfing community. This contestwill infuseBiarritz and the competitive circuit with a new energy.” The contestboasts a unique format where all surfers will have a chance to compete against one another through a series of one-hour heats. There is nowave limitbut the judges will use only one score (best wave) from each of the heats.The top eight point-ranked surfers will advance to the semi-finals and finally four will advance to the finals. With $104,500 in USD prizemoney up for grabs, the contest is sure to bring out the best in the surfers.
Aguerre continued, “We are proud to include some of the best European,Hawaiian, Australian, South American, and U.S. athletes in this contest. These talented surfers are certain to bring an elevated level ofcompetitionand enthusiasm to the Reef Biarritz Surf Trophee.” The surfers, includingKelly Slater and Rob Machado, were chosen based on their contest performance and radical free surfing abilities.
The competing surfers are Tim Curran (USA), Matt Archbold (USA), BradGerlach (USA), Rob Machado (USA), Beau Emerton (Forster, Aus), Conan Hayes (Hawaii), Victor Ribas (Brazil), Taylor Knox (USA), NathanFletcher (USA)and European surfers Jeremy Flores, Patrick Bevan, Fred Robin, and DidierPiter.
For a live webcast of the event, go to www.ridingzone.com or for dailyupdates and information check outwww.reefbrazil.com.