Day 3 – Four-Star Rip Curl Pro At Newps

Irons’ Perfect 10 Highlights Day 4 at Rip Curl Pro Newport Beach

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA-USA (Friday, Sept. 7, 2001) – Hawaiian Andy Irons pulled into a seemingly unmakeable barrel, disappeared for several seconds and then exited into daylight ,scoring raucous cheers from the surprised crowd and the first perfect 10 point ride of the Rip Curl Pro Newport Beach, a Men’s 4-Star and Women’s 1-Star rated ASP World Qualifying Seriesevent and the fourth stop on the Professional Surfing Tour of America (PSTA).

“I just got really lucky, Timmy (Reyes) was right behind me on the wedge, and I was lucky it wedged my way,” recalled Andy, known as one of surfing’s most fearless tube riders for hisperformances at Tahiti’s Teahupoo and Hawaii’s Pipeline. “I dropped in late, and the thing just drained off the sand bar, I got lucky and made it out. There weren’t really too many barrels outthere today, so I wasn’t out there looking for ’em. It just kinda happened that way. I was totally stoked with getting a 10.”

Irons’ perfect-scoring ride was one of few barrels caught on Day 3 at the Rip Curl Pro that saw conditions range from smooth, manageable peaks to windblown suck out sections that testedcompetitors’ balance and rail control.

In the Round of 64, the first marquee heat of the day featured ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia, WCT veteran Tim Curran, Newport legend Richie Collins–replacing Mike Parsons, still on theroad from the Masters Championships in Ireland–and the streaking Carlos Cabrero from Puerto Rico. Although Garcia drew first blood with a medium scoring wave, it was Tim Curran who setthe pace on a right with four huge backhand snaps that scored an 8.00. Collins’ signature vertical backhand snaps were plentiful, and he may have advanced had he stuck a huge backhandfloater on a long 4-foot left. But it was Curran winning easily and Cabrero also advancing, as the ocean went flat for the last five minutes with Garcia needing a 5+ score to advance.

“I knew it was going to be a hard heat, especially when Richie Collins showed up at the end,” said the excited Cabrero, “but the wave being tricky and all over the place, you never knowwho can catch the good waves and win the heat.”

Curran could be considered an early favorite as his wirery frame fits perfectly into the tight Newport pockets. “Seems like all my heats so far, I’ve gotten all my waves in the beginning and ittakes the pressure off,” said Curran. “It’s worked out well for me, I’d like to get this place really good.” Curran advanced to the quarterfinals after advancing out of the Round of 32.

Conditions improved quickly and dramatically for showdown heats that included perennial top-10 WCT surfer and current WQS points leader Taj Burrow, fellow WCT vet Pat O’Connell fromnearby Laguna Beach, and hot up-and-comers Dane Johnson from Carlsbad, Calif. and Magnum Martinez of Venezuela. It was essentially a two-man heat with Burrow sneaking pastO’Connell near heat’s end on the strength of the Western Australian’s incredible quickness on the 3′ wave faces.

Dan Malloy of Ventura went from fourth to first in the last 30 seconds of his heat by scoring a 6.43 to pass North CarolinanBen Bourgeois, hot South African David Weare and WCT mainstayShane Beschen of San Clemente, while current PSTA points leader Ryan Simmons donned the black Leader’s Jersey to advance into the Round of 32 with Asher Nolan. Malloy would later fallto Ben Bourgeois and Taj Burrow in the Round of 32.

As the day progressed, the wind became more of a factor, chopping up the wave faces and making clean maneuvers more difficult. Australian sensation Mick Fanning, currently ranked #2 onthe WQS Tour, won his first heat in the Round of 64, advancing with the surprising Naohisa Ogawa of Japan, but Fanning later fell victim to an on-fire Bobby Martinez, who kept his threeadversaries in a combo situation (a lead over 10 points, with 10 the highest single wave score possible) for much of the heat. Taylor Knox of Carlsbad, Calif., also managed to negotiate thelate afternoon windblown conditions to score a 20.23. Knox said he was close to vomiting in the water after suffering from food poisoning for several days.

“Considering the conditions, and besides feeling sick, I felt pretty relaxed and good out there,” said Knox, who’s currently ranked 4th on the ASP World Championship Tour. “My board wasfeeling great, and I think I made the most of the conditions. Without this sickness I’d think I’d be really on.” About his chances for a first-ever world championship, Knox said, “It’s just day byday, you can speculate about it all day long. I’m just looking forward to getting some good waves in Europe… the goal is having fun, really. If you’re not having fun you need to quit. Sure itfeels good to be in that position, and I’ve been training harder than ever before, and also getting a lot of personal stuff cleared up.”

The SMAS Rip Curl Air Show on the south side of 56th Street jetty also saw an awesome day of action, with standout Eric McHenry from Poway, Calif. landing a huge frontside 180 reverse,then pulling off two more in the same heat. McHenry had six completed airs in his 25-minute heat, compared to one or two for the other competitors. Newport local and aerial specialist DavePost boosted a huge double grab air, a good four feet over the wave, then landed it with a seamless transition into the falling lip.

Airshow finalists battling it out Sunday include Gavin Sutherland, Dave Post, Ben Brough, Eric McHenry, Randy Welch and Shawn Barron.

On Saturday, the city of Newport Beach will be hosting a massive amateur surfing contest at the Rip Curl Pro site. In the afternoon, the women’s division of the Rip Curl Pro will commencewith the Round of 32, featuring current PSTA points leader Julia Christian and close rival Holly Beck.

For both the Rip Curl Pro and SMAS Rip Curl Air Show, the forecast is good for Sunday’s final round action, with a local hurricane swell, a southern hemisphere ground swell, and somebackground northwest wind swell all expected to peak on the weekend.

Rip Curl Pro Newport Beach, Sept. 5-9, 2001Round of 96Heat 13

1. Mikala Jones 16.03
2. Tim Reyes 13.46
3. Hira Teriinatoofa 13.00
4. Damon Harvey 12.66
Heat 14
1. David Pinto 14.17
2. Ty Arnold 13.90
3. Ryan Turner 10.37
4. Jeff Hurley 10.16
Heat 15
1. Russell Molony 16.63
2. Adam Virs 15.10
3. Drew Courtney 13.14
4. Jason Bogle 13.00
Heat 16
1. Jason Shibata 15.43
2. Jeff Deffenbaugh 12.73
3. Nick Novack 12.03
4. Jesse Merle-Jones 11.13
Round of 64
Heat 1
1. Tim Curran 18.34
2. Carlos Cabrero 14.43
3. Richie Collins 13.00
4. Sunny Garcia 11.67
Heat 2
1. Heath Walker
2. Kieran Horn 14.00
3. Zane Harrison 12.94
4. Mitchell Ross 8.10
Heat 3
1. Taj Burrow 21.17
2. Pat O’Connell 20.11
3. Magnum Martinez 13.96
4. Dane Johnson 13.67
Heat 4
1. Dan Malloy 18.16
2. Ben Bourgeois 17.73
3. David Weare 14.83
4. Shane Beschen 14.16
Heat 5
1. Omar Etcheverry 16.07
2. Matt Thompson 14.83
3. Gabe Kling 14.30
4. Shea Lopez 12.89
Heat 6
1. Ryan Simmons 18.70
2. Asher Nolan 17.07
3. Phillip McDonald 14.83
4. Matt Archbold 13.70
Heat 7
1. Nathan Webster 20.33
2. Taylor Knox 19.07
3. Nathaniel Curran 17.40
4. Mike Todd 16.03
Heat 8
1. Lee Winkler 21.34
2. Danilo Grilo 16.23
3. Samba Mann 14.14
4. Glyndyn Ringrose 13.06
Heat 9
1. Ross Williams 17.70
2. Jeremy Sommerville 16.23
3. Eric McHenry 13.93
4. Darren O’Rafferty 12.07
Heat 10
1. Joca Junior 17.30
2. Danilo Costa 16.84
3. Roy Powers 16.71
4. Bruce Irons 8.53
Heat 11
1. Bobby Martinez 20.00
2. Chris Drummy 16.91
3. Damien Hobgood 16.87
4. Kirk Tice 12.44
Heat 12
1. Mick Fanning 20.33
2. Naohisa Ogawa 18.33
3. Yuri Sodre 13.20
4. Tro
y Brooks 13.03
Heat 13
1. Andy Irons 18.40
2. Tim Reyes 15.53
3. Mikala Jones 14.53
4. Dino Andino 9.76
Heat 14
1. Toby Martin 18.99
2. David Pinto 16.84
3. Christiano Spirro 16.56
4. Ty Arnold 12.84
Heat 15
1. Adam Virs 16.60
2. Russell Molony 13.73
3Jamie O’Brien 13.17
4. Kalani Robb 11.87
Heat 16
1. Jeff Deffenbaugh 17.40
2. Jason Shibata 15.10
3. Dean Randazzo 11.67
Round of 32
Heat 1
1. Tim Curran 19.77
2. Carlos Cabrero 17.51
3. Heath Walker 15.90
4. Kieran Horn 14.53
Heat 2
1. Ben Bourgeois 18.60
2. Taj Burrow 16.90
3. Pat O’Connell 14.09
4. Dan Malloy 9.23
Heat 3
1. Matt Thompson 18.47
2. Ryan Simmons 17.49
3. Asher Nolan 13.57
4. Omar Etcheverry 11.17
Heat 4
1. Taylor Knox 20.23
2. Lee Winkler 19.17
3. Nathan Webster 14.13
4. Danilo Grilo 13.40
Heat 5
1. Joca Junior 17.83
2. Danilo Costa 15.44
3. Ross Williams 15.03
4. Jeremy Sommerville 12.97
Heat 6
1. Bobby Martinez 21.51
2. Chris Drummy 13.66
3. Mick Fanning 13.47
4. Naohisa Ogawa 11.50
Heat 7
1. Andy Irons 20.60
2. Tim Reyes 15.70
3. David Pinto 15.67
4. Toby Martin 14.20
Heat 8
1. Russell Molony 15.67
2. Jason Shibata 14.27
3. Adam Virs 12.90
4. Jeff Deffenbaugh 12.50