PSTA: Curren the Top Casualty at OP Pro at Oceanside On Day Two

OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA-USA (Thursday, May 31, 2001) – Current points leaderand former three-time world champion Tom Curren was the top casualty on Day2 of the Op Pro at Oceanside, the second stop on the 2001 ProfessionalSurfing Tour of America (PSTA).

Curren fell victim to deteriorating conditions and questionable waveselection, placing third behind fellow veteran pro Chris Brown and heatwinner Nate Yeomans. Curren caught one left early in the heat scoring a5.40, but failed to catch a second wave of any consequence. Yeomansmeanwhile caught a total of six waves, speed-skating and floating over thecrumbly sections as fast as any surfer today.

“I wasn’t aggressive enough in the water I guess,” said Curren, who worethesignature “Black Jersey” signifying his status as the 2001 PSTA pointsleader by virtue of his win last month at Trestles. “I couldn’t really getany momentum going. I knew the kid in the blue jersey (Yeomans) was goingtomake it through the heat, and then Chris got a really high score. Then Ireally needed a set wave. If I had it to do over again, I would put a lotmore energy in the first couple of minutes. The tide was dropping too,making the waves worse near the end of the heat.”

Yeomans, 18, of San Juan Capistrano in nearby Orange County, Calif., wasunderstandably elated just to surf against his childhood hero Curren, nottomention beat him in a heat. “My board’s been working really good,” saidYeomans, “and surfing against Currren, I was stoked with that. It kindacametogether for me. I felt good right off the bat with my first wave, thenafter that it kept coming. Having Curren in my heat was amping me enough.Surfing against him for the first time and beating him was a dream cometrueand definitely a stepping stone for me.”

Another standout on Day 2 was Peter Rangel, one of Venezuela’s best andmostrecognizable surfers, but little known outside his homeland. Rangel’sappearance and early success showed that the PSTA is living up to its goalof providing high-level competition for gifted surfers who may not have theresources necessary to travel around the world–notably Australia andEurope–and compete full-time on the ASP’s World Qualifying Series tour.Rangel, 26, said he approaches competition very seriously, since itprovidesvital income for his wife and two small children.

“I just try to get good and more good,” said Rangel in broken English. “Ipractice a lot in small waves in Venezuela. I come here because it is workfor me, and because I want to surf better waves.”

When not surfing professionally Rangel works as a fisherman to support hisfamily. He has been competing since he was 10 years old, and has wonnumerous contests including a Budweiser specialty event in Puerto Rico lastyear and a PSTA event at Oceanside two years ago.

“I have to send money to my family all the time. That’s why I come here, totry to get sponsors to help me better. I’m working hard to do better, Ihaveto be the destroyer, all the time I have to focus. If I am good I can makeit better for my family. My dream is to do good on the WQS, but it isexpensive. I don’t have all the money to travel. But I’m happy because I amhere and the surfers push me hard and give me a chance to pick up sponsors.I love surfing, and not too many people can make money doing something theylike. So I’m lucky.”

Rangel’s dream is still alive after winning Heat 7 of the Round of 128convincingly advancing from a later heat into the Round of 28.

The Op Pro at Oceanside continues tomorrow on the north side of OceansidePier, including a first look at the women’s division. Top longboardersincluding former world longboard champion Colin McPhillips will begincompeting Saturday as well. The winner of the Op Pro men’s shortboarddivision will be invited to participate in the 2002 Op Boat Trip Challengein Indonesia.

Op Pro at Oceanside-Men’s Shortboard Round of 128

Heat 1
1. Zach Keenan 10.25
2. Tom Steenbock 7.25
3. Joe Curren 6.75
4. Kyle McCarthy 6..0

Heat 2
1. Jody Davis 8.85
2. Josh Baxter 7.65
3. Pat Bollinger 5.0
4. Sean Taylor 3.85

Heat 3
1. Ricky Schaffer 5.5
2. Chris Mauro 5.1
3. Chris Keets 4.75

Heat 4
1. Jason Bogle 12.00
2. Andy Hobson 11.25

Heat 5
1. Aaron Wonders 9.75
2. Greg Long 8.00
3. Bryan Shelton 7.00
4. Eric Ramirez 7.00

Heat 6
1. Damea Dorsey 11.00
2. Aaron Ernst 10.40
3. Cody King 9.65
4. Vincent Goza 4.25

Heat 7
1. Peter Rangel 12.50
2. James Pribram 8.50
3. Sam Baugh 6.10

Heat 8
1. Julian Mullins 9.25
2. Garth Englehorn 6.50
3. John Robertson 4.75
4. Lucas Dalager 2.50

Heat 9
1. Hamish Campbell
2. Matt King

Heat 10
1. Jim Hogan 10.25
2. Gustavo Reataguy 8.90
3. Mike Cruikshank 6.60

Heat 11
1. Nate Yeomans 12.25
2. Chris Brown 11.75
3. Tom Curren 7.15
4. Pat Maus 6.00

Heat 12
1. Mike Lamm 7.35
2. Frank Walsh 6.90
3. Richard Fox 6.15
4. Donovan Stapleton 2.25

Heat 13
1. David Diaz 12.00
2. Kris Keets 9.00
3. Rodger Eals 8.25<
BR>4. Ryan Ragan 6.15

Heat 14
1. Max Hoshino 8.25
2. Ted Gibson 6.65
3. Matt Yates 5.25
4. Matt Gilligan 4.50

Heat 15
1. David Baughman 6.90
2. Walter Cerny 5.85

Heat 16
1. Chad Wells
2. Gabe Kling

Men’s Shortboard Round of 96

Heat 1
1. Zach Keenan 10.25
2. Geoff Moysa 8.50
3. Tom Steenbock 5.90

Heat 2
1. Josh Baxter 8.85
2. Eli Mirandon 8.65
3. Kasey Curtis 6.35
4. Jody Davis 5.45

Heat 3
1. Ted Navarro 9.00
2. Peter Berkey 7.70
3. Chris Mauro 7.05
4. Ricky Schaffer 6.30

Heat 4
1. Jason Bogle 12.50
2. Seth Tilakos 6.25
3. Andy Hobson 6.25
4. James Crush 5.35

Heat 5
1. David Giddings 11.50
2. Greg Long 9.40
3. Aaron Wonders 5.60

Heat 6
1. JJ Rhoads 8.50
2. Damea Dorsey 6.75
3. Aaron Ernst 3.25
4. Danny Hart 3.25

Heat 7
1. Benji Severson 7.65
2. Peter Rangel 6.75
3. James Pribram 5.00

Heat 8
1. Garth Englehorn 10.75
2. Julian Mullins 8.75

For more information, event schedules and TV airdates:
Op Pro at Oceanside:
Official Product and “PSTA Leader Jersey” sponsorPaul Mitchell
Surf forecast partner:Surfline http://www.surfline.com976-SURF; Wavefax
National TV Partner:Outdoor Life Network
California TV Partners:KCAL Channel 9 (Los Angeles) http://www.kcal.comKION (Salinas-Monterey) http://www.kiontv.comKKFX (Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo)