Wednesday, November 20, 2002 – (Honolulu, HAWAII) – The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing waiting game paid off big today when competitors and officials awoke to a rising 10 foot swell at Haleiwa for rounds three and four of the Vans Hawaiian Pro. Fortunately, waves remained rideable throughout the afternoon, only occasionally broaching the 20-foot range that closes out the small, harbor-side beach.
Current world number one Andy Irons (Kauai) and six-time world champion Kelly Slater (Florida) lived up to expectations, posting high heat scores and incredible individual rides throughout the day’s heats. In one of the most highly anticipated heats of the day, Andy drew highly touted younger brother Bruce, Darren O’Rafferty (Australia) and Jamie O’Brien (Oahu) in the fourth round. The heat produced the highest total score of the day for Andy – 19 points out of a possible 20, made up of a perfect 10 point ride and a 9.0 – and saw the elimination of Bruce in fourth place with a total of just 3.83 points.
Shortly after that match-up, Slater took to the water in pursuit of his quarter final berth, taking on Kalani Robb (Oahu), Phillip MacDonald (Australia) and Will Lewis (Australia). Slater, 30, produced the most sensational single maneuver of the event so far, perfectly performing a carving 360 degree turn that finished with a white-water free-fall on a 12-foot wave. While he finished second to MacDonald in that heat, and second to Robb in the earlier second round heat, Slater looked to be perfectly at home in the water and stepped up the intensity with each round.
“I’m so used to not being in a competitive frame of mind,” said Slater, who returned full-time to the ASP World Championship Tour this year after a two year hiatus. “I had all those years where I was so intensely competitively driven and I wanted to get away from it. Now I’m trying to find a happy medium.
“I’ve been coming to Hawaii for the last 10 or 12 years now. I first came when I was 12 and I fell in love with it. Haleiwa is one of my favorite spots here on the North Shore. I feel totally comfortable out here.
“I definitely have goals of trying to win the Vans Triple Crown title this year. I’ve won two (1995 & 1998) and I’d love to win a third.”
The first four of eight fourth round heats were held late in the day and proved to be the undoing of many highly touted local surfers. Fred Patacchia, Conan Hayes and Kalani Robb were eliminated along with former Hawaiian Pro winner Richard Lovett (Australia), Nathan Hedge (Australia) and Will Lewis (Australia). Round four will resume tomorrow.
Other surprise eliminations today included that of local favorite Pancho Sullivan, world champion CJ Hobgood (USA), Taj Burrow (Australia), and Flavio Padaratz (Brazil).
With the swell forecast to remain in the eight-to-10 foot range tomorrow, organizers expect to resume with round four and run all the way through to complete the final in the early afternoon. A further decrease in swell Friday will see the women’s Roxy Pro and Davidoff Cool Water Xpression Session take to the waves.
A satellite feed of highlights from all three of these events at Haleiwa will go out following the finals. A separate satellite alert with coordinates will be distributed at that time.
The Vans Triple Crown Series features the world’s top athletes competing in three championship events in each of the following sports: Skateboarding, Wakeboarding, Surfing, Snowboarding, BMX and Freestyle Motocross. The Series is made possible through proud sponsors Vans, Xbox, Mountain Dew, Ford Trucks, Right Guard Xtreme Sport, Fox Sports Net, Surfing Magazine and NBC Sports.
For daily updates, event status and other information:
Vans Hawaiian Pro
Round 3: (Round of 64. 4 man heats, first 2 advance. Heat totals based on each surfer’s top 2 rides.)
H1: Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 9.83; Andy Irons (Haw) 8.6; Royden Bryson (Safr) 6.5; Toby Martin (Aus) 5.03
H2: Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 10.5; Bruce Irons (Haw) 9.67; Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) 7.3; Jihad Kohdr (Brz) 7.3
H3: Jake Paterson (Aus) 15.33; Naohisa Ogawa (Jpn) 12.27; Danilo Costa (Brz) 7.27; Travis Logie (Safr) 4.17
H4: Richard Lovett (Aus) 16.27; Fred Patacchia (haw) 13.17; Pancho Sullivan (Haw) 10.93; Eric Ribiere (Fra) 7.5
H5: Luke Stedman (Aus) 13.6; Joel Parkinson (Aus) 13.4; CJ Hobgood (USA) 11.43; Roy Powers (Haw) 8.6
H6: Conan Hayes (Haw) 12.0; Nathan Hedge (Aus) 11.03; Maz Quinn (NZ) 9.84; Nathan Webster (aus) 5.67
H7: Kalani Robb (Haw) 16.76; Kelly Slater (USA) 16.24; Yuri Sodre (Brz) 10.67; Taj Burrow (Aus) 7.0
H8: Will Lewis (Aus) 13.34; Phillip MacDonald (Aus) 11.33; Shane Dorian (Haw) 11.17; Lee Winkler (Aus) 6.17
H9: Chris Davidson (aus) 13.16; Dean Morrison (Aus) 9.5; Michael Lowe (Aus) 8.26; Kai Otto (Aus) 5.0
H10: Todd Prestage (Aus) 12.9; Mark Bannister (Aus) 12.57; Marcelo Nunes (Brz) 11.66; Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 11.17
H11: Mick Fanning (Aus) 16.9; Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.7; Sean Yano (Haw) 8.9; Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 6.67
H12: Ross Williams (Haw) 13.9; Taylor Knox (USA) 13.66; Steve Clements (Aus) 11.1; Tiago Pires (Port) 8.36
H13: Jason Bogle (Haw) 9.84; Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 9.67; Jonathan Gonzalez (Canary) 8.76; Pat O^(1)Connell (USA) 7.1
H14: Shane Beschen (USA) 12.44; Russell Winter (UK) 11.17; Paulo Moura (Brz) 10.5; Jarrad Howse (Aus) 3.0
H15: Tom Whitaker (Aus) 12.33; Marcelo Trekinho (Brz) 10.66; Shea Lopez (USA) 9.83; Shawn Sutton (Haw) 6.76
H16: Sunny Garcia (Haw) 9.0; James Santos (Brz) 7.67; Kieren Perrow (Aus) 5.1; Mark Matthews (Aus) 4.9
Round 4: (Round of 32)
H1: Andy Irons (Haw) 19.0; Darren O^(1)Rafferty (Aus) 13.5; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 8.23; Bruce Irons (Haw) 3.83
H2: Jake Paterson (Aus) 15.5; Naohisa Ogawa (Jpn) 7.17; Fred Patacchia (Haw) 5.5; Richard Lovett (aus) 1.33
H3: Luke Stedman (Aus) 15.6; Joel Parkinson (Aus) 14.9; Nathan Hedge (Aus) 8.1; Conan Hayes (Haw) 7.8
H4: Phillip MacDonald (Aus) 18.37; Kelly Slater (USA) 17.1; Will Lewis (Aus) 9.0; Kalani Robb (Haw) 8.67
Heats 5-8 to be held tomorrow.