Andy Irons Wins O’Neill World Cup Of Surfing

Andy Irons has won events all around the world, yet a victory at Sunset Beach had eluded him-until Saturday, December 3rd of 2004. In windy, yet rippable four to six foot Sunset, Irons took a field of finalists that could be best described as diverse. Fred Patacchia, who lives within paddling distance of the break, placed third, Mark Occhilupo, who has been devastating Sunset forever, came in second with his backside power hacking, and Joel Parkinson, the events winner last year, rounded out the final.

With his victory, Irons moved within 150 points of Sunny Garcia, who trails Australian Phil MacDonald by 122 points. Going into the last leg of the Triple Crown at Pipeline, it’s anyone’s ballgame. However, if turns out to be Backdoor type of conditions, the word on the bikepath is that Sunny has been owning Backdoor.

While the waves for the O’Neill event weren’t all-time, it looked really fun-the kind of day where you’re not going to get blasted by a huge clean up set. Interesting to see was the two distinct styles of surfing in the final, with two backsiders and two frontside surfers. The goofys were going straight up and down, tagging the lip four or five times while the regular guys were carving and tube hunting. Even more interesting was Andy’s winning wave – a left. While not unheard of, going left at Sunset usually means you can’t get a right. Andy snagged a good one, and, going headfirst into the 25mph tradewinds, got deeply barreled. It actually turned out to be the highest scoring left ever ridden at Sunset during the Triple Crown.

Huntington Beach pro Tim Reyes had a day to remember. With his semifinal placing he qualified for the WCT, and was awarded the Nose Guard Rookie Of The Year award, which goes to the highest placing newcomer to the Triple Crown.

Official Results For The O’Neill World Cup Of Surfing
1. Andy Irons, $15,000
2. Mark Occhilupo, $8,000
3. Fred Patacchia, $6,000
4. Joel Parkinson, $4,000

Saturday, Mikala Jones and Split hosted a BBQ with TransWorld Surf at the awesome “Jones Estate on the beach at Rocky Point. Jamey Stone manned the grill, Mikala played the dad role with his baby daughter, Jamie Sterling was chowing down, and Chris Davidson told me about putting Adam Sandler in a headlock the other night. That guy is a classic. Good times, thanks Mikala!

Surf Night at Sunset Beach Elementary was a blast. The best pros in the world turned up and the kids were psyched. The line to get autographs was snaking all the way to the highway as groms waited to get a chance to meet Andy, Bruce, Occy, Slater, among others. The pros deserve a pat on the back for spending some time with the kids, it really means a lot to ’em. Thanks guys.

Next up: The Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters. The waiting period is from December 8-20. Daily updates right here, right after it happens.