Rio Surf International 2000 – Garcia Clinches World Title

Barra Da Tijuca, Brazil (Sunday, Oct 22, 2000). Hawaiian Sunny Garcia todayclinched the 2000 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world title atBarra beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 15-year veteran fulfilled his dreamby finishing equal third after watching closest rivals leading into theevent – Australians Luke Egan and Jake Paterson – both eliminated in thefourth round this morning. Kalani Robb then added to the historic day forHawaiian surfing by defeating 1999 Rio Surf International champion TajBurrow (Aus) in the final to win his maiden World Championship Tour (WCT)event.

[IMAGE 1]Garcia, 30, began his 2000 campaign winning back-to-back tournaments inAustralia as the season commenced in March, then dominated throughout theyear with consistently high results. His extreme determination and focus sawhim reach the quarterfinals, or better, in eight out-of-12 events, climaxingtoday with the ultimate goal. After winning his fourth round match againstBrazilian Fabio Gouveia this morning, the Hawaiian nervously watched Eganand Paterson contest the same round, in a situation almost mirroringAustralian Mark Occhilupo’s position last year, when he became worldchampion.

Egan was first to lose, being eliminated by eventual contest winner Robb.Following his demise, the weight of the world title fell on Paterson’sshoulders when he met fellow Australian Michael Lowe. Though leading at thestart, Paterson was unable to maintain his position and as the final sirensounded at approximately 10:40am (local time), a thunderous ovationsignified the official moment when Garcia was handed his world crown.

“I don’t even know what to say,” admitted an emotional Garcia surrounded bymedia and fellow competitors. “It’s been 15-years on tour and after I lostthe title in ’95 I didn’t think I would have another shot. To hold on andkeep trying has been really hard, and I’ve just been very fortunate to havethe success I’ve had this year.

[IMAGE 2]“It’s really hard to just sit, watch, and wait,” he continued, when askedabout his feelings leading up to the moment. “Jake’s my really good friendand so is Luke. It’s weird to sit and kind of hope they don’t make heats.Even though I’m happy, I’m really sad for Luke because he started (the tour)in the same year as me in ’86 and I know he’s been working really hard, andfor him to come up short, for me, was pretty sad. Hopefully he can keep itgoing next year and we’ll have another good race, or if I don’t do well,hopefully he does. I’m beyond myself that I’m here, and I won. Like I said,right now I don’t even know what to feel. I’m just so stoked.”

ASP President and 1978 world champion Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew (Aus)articulated the achievement as follows….

“It’s always something special when you see a boyhood dream come true,” saidBartholomew. “It took Sunny a long time to climb his personal Mt Everest,but he never quit and this year was symbolic of his whole career, really. Itwas gritty, and he never finished lower than ninth place. He just wouldn’tlet the opposition in – there were no chinks in the armor. It’s wonderful tosee an achievement like this by a tour veteran. I really think that Occy didinspire Sunny. He showed that it isn’t just a game for 22 year-olds, thiskind of territory is for the true believers.”

Robb, who jumped from 18th on the ratings up into 11th after securing hisbest result of seven years, shared Garcia’s elation today. The last timehe’d reached a final (1999 in Australia) was also against Burrow, but intheir 30-minute decider at Barra beach the result went his way.

“I’m so happy,” began Robb after his win. “I can’t believe it. He wassurfing so good the whole week that I knew I’d probably meet him here in thefinal. He usually beats me, so I’m just so stoked. I was nervous the wholetime and actually thought I was going to puke. You can’t expect to win whenyou’re against Taj. You’ve really got to be on it, and have some luck.

“This is the best day of my surfing reer,” he continued. “I’d never won a’CT and Sunny won the world title. I get to share a world title with aHawaiian and just be stoked. I don’t know what to say, I’m just happy.”

Defending event champion Burrow started this year’s final strong, but afterbreaking his board midway through the clash, was forced to use a fellowcompetitors’ board since he had broken his spare during round four thismorning. Although disadvantaged, the Australian had his work cut out for himregardless, especially once Robb posted an 8.0 – the highest of the final.In the end, Burrow needed a 6.16.

“I’m still so stoked,” said Burrow afterward. “I’m stoked for him as it’shis first victory. It’s too good to be true. The feeling is justunbelievable. I’m stoked and Kalani is stoked. I broke my board halfwaythrough and then Jake (Paterson) brought me… it was one of ArmandoDaltro’s (Brz) boards. It was a 6’1″ and I usually ride a 5’11″, but it wasstill all right. Kalani was ripping the whole contest, though, so I can’tcomplain. Obviously I’d like to congratulate Sunny, too. I wish I was in therunning and it went down to Pipe (Hawaii), but he just killed it too much.”

Finishing equal third today was the new world champion and Brazilian NecoPadaratz. Garcia bowed-out to Burrow after he tried to surf away from themain contest bank to no avail, while Padaratz pushed Robb all the way intheir match to secure his equal best finish of the year.

In equal ninth, though playing pivotal roles today, were Egan and Paterson.Both added to the drama surrounding the 2000 world title race with awin-a-piece during the year, and neither gave Garcia an inch as they triedin vain to catch his commanding lead and prolong the crowning as long aspossible.

Paterson, 27, is still rated third, and explained his perspective afterlosing to Lowe this morning.

“It’s been a pretty good year,” said Paterson. “I’ve made three finals andcan’t really complain. I just wish I could have made it more interesting forthe finish, but I tried my hardest. I wasn’t nervous at all, as I hadnothing to lose. I just tried to have fun, but made a few slight mistakes -like you do every heat – but they cost me that one.

“He deserves it,” added Paterson, in praise of Garcia. “He’s had a greatyear and such a strong start. 15-years on tour… he’s paid his dues(laughs).”

[IMAGE 3]Egan, 30, was in a slighter better position than Paterson leading into Rio,but needed a combination of rides at the end against Robb. Regardless, he issecond on the ratings and looks set to secure his best tour finish of15-years.

“I’m stoked, as no matter what, it’s probably going to be the best I’ve evendone,” said Egan. “But you get the taste in your mouth, and it’s good, soit’s hard to swallow when you lose it. Even though Sunny was so consistentall year, it’s hard to… I’ve had the taste in my mouth since I won inFiji. I’ve done everything I pretty much could, but he’s just been so strongand hasn’t lost a beat since winning the first two in the beginning of theyear. I’m pretty stoked with my efforts to keep him worried until now, but Iwould have loved to have done a good thing today and made it interesting atPipe. My whole focus was to contend with him at Pipe, and I missed out onthat which is the most disappointing thing for me. It would have been greatto do it all there where the waves really mean something.

“I think I can back it up,” he added about next year. “I saw Occy do it lastyear (win the world title) and it gave me incentive. I definitely want to bea part of it. It’s looking like being an incredible year – more compact, soonce you get momentum you’ll be able to keep it. I’ll be back.”

On stage, once the results were official, ASP President Bartholomewsummed-up the epic day.

“This was history in the making,” said Bartholomew. “There were twobeautiful achievements for Hawaiian surfing today. Sunny winning his firstworld title and then Kalani earning his first WCT victory – and it allhappened here.”

More information is available on www.aspworldtour.com.

Official Results of Final Day in the Rio Surf International 2000 – WCT#12

1st Kalani Robb (Haw) 19.40 def. Taj Burrow (Aus) 17.90

Semifinals

1. Taj Burrow (Aus) 17.55 def. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 11.25
2. Kalani Robb (Haw) 22.15 def. Neco Padaratz (Brz) 21.10

Quarterfinals

1. Taj Burrow (Aus) 21.20 def. Armando Daltro (Brz) 13.00
2. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 21.25 def. Beau Emerton (Aus) 20.90
3. Kalani Robb (Haw) 22.00 def. Shane Dorian (Haw) 18.60
4. Neco Padaratz (Brz) 21.00 def. Michael Lowe (Aus) 14.40

Round Four

1. Armando Daltro (Brz) 20.80 def. Michael Campbell (Aus) 19.85
2. Taj Burrow (Aus) 21.25 def. Luke Hitchings (Aus) 19.75
3. Beau Emerton (Aus) 16.85 def. Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 14.60
4. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 19.25 def. Fabio Gouveia (Brz) 17.50
5. Kalani Robb (Haw) 19.90 def. Luke Egan (Aus) 12.15
6. Shane Dorian (Haw) 20.20 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 18.30
7. Michael Lowe (Aus) 21.65 def. Jake Paterson (Aus) 16.05
8. Neco Padaratz (Brz) 23.30 def. Renan Rocha (Brz) 18.10

Official Ratings after Rio Surf International 2000 – WCT#12

1. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 7270-points
2. Luke Egan (Aus) 6300
3. Jake Paterson (Aus) 6050
4. Shane Dorian (Haw) 5880
5. Taj Burrow (Aus) 5790
6. CJ Hobgood (USA) 5660
7. Michael Campbell (Aus) 5630
8. Rob Machado (USA) 5610
9. Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 5510
10. Shea Lopez (USA) 5390

Details On Sunny Garcia

2000 FINAL RANKING: 1
D.O.B.: January 14, 1970
YEARS ON TOUR: 15
HIGHEST RATING: 1 (2000)
2000 WCT VICTORIES: 2
CAREER WCT VICTORIES: 9
2000 EARNINGS: US$135,550
CAREER EARNINGS: US$798,030

2000 WCT EVENT RESULTS
1ST-Billabong Pro (QLD, Aus)
1ST-Rip Curl Pro (VIC, Aus)
9th-Gotcha ProTahiti
9th-Quiksilver Pro Fiji
9th-Billabong/MSF Pro (Jeffreys Bay, SAfr)
2nd-Bluetoch Pro (CA, USA)
5th-TC Lacanau Pro (Fra)
3rd-Hossegor Rip CurlPro (Fra)
9th-Billabong Pro (France/Spain)
3rd-Figuiera Pro 2000 (Port)
5th – Billabong Pro (USA)
3rd – Rio Surf International 2000 (Brz)
?Mountain Dew Pipeline Masters (Haw)
Events Missed: 0

2000 PERFORMANCESunny stormed out of the gates winning back-to-back WCT events in Australiawhen the season commenced. He then commanded the ratings lead all year,reaching the quarterfinals or better in eight out-of-12 events, beforesecuring his first world title in Brazil one tournament prior to the tour’scompletion. Surfed every heat with the same ‘winning is the only option’attitude, and took the rare losses hard. Was confident in his ability to winan elusive title, and earned nothing but added respect from his peers as hepowered to this ultimate achievement.

CAREER WCT VICTORIES (9)
2000 (2) – Billabong Pro (Aus); Rip Curl Pro (Aus)
1996 (1) – Rip Curl Pro (Aus)
1995 (2) – Rip Curl Pro (Aus); Quiksilver Surfmasters (Fra)
1994 (1) – Reunion Pro (Reunion Is.)
1992 (1) – Gunston 500 (SAfr)
1990 (2) – Pukas Pro (Spn), Seland Pro (Spn)

PERSONAL DETAILS
PLACE OF BIRTH: Honolulu, Hawaii
CURRENT RESIDENCE: Kauai, Hawaii
HEIGHT: 5’10″
WEIGHT: 180 pounds
STANCE: Natural
SPONSORS: No Fear, Spy, BYB, Warrior, Pukas, Kicker and Sticky Bumps.
MARRIED: To wife Raina; and has three children from previous marriage.
WAVE PREFERENCES: Anything, anywhere
FAVORITE BREAKS: Backdoor Pipeline and Makaha
TRADEMARK MOVES: Power and style
TRAINING: Swimming, running, weights, boxing
FAVORITE FOOD: Hawaiian, Sushi
FAVORITE MUSIC: Hawaiian
OTHER INTERESTS: Motocross, watching TV
PRIOR TOUR RATINGS:
’99-4
’98-6
’97-7
’96-3
’95-3
’94-3
’93-10
’92-3
’91-6
’90-10
’89-16
’88-16
’87-17
’86-47
re.”

More information is available on www.aspworldtour.com.

Official Results of Final Day in the Rio Surf International 2000 – WCT#12

1st Kalani Robb (Haw) 19.40 def. Taj Burrow (Aus) 17.90

Semifinals

1. Taj Burrow (Aus) 17.55 def. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 11.25
2. Kalani Robb (Haw) 22.15 def. Neco Padaratz (Brz) 21.10

Quarterfinals

1. Taj Burrow (Aus) 21.20 def. Armando Daltro (Brz) 13.00
2. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 21.25 def. Beau Emerton (Aus) 20.90
3. Kalani Robb (Haw) 22.00 def. Shane Dorian (Haw) 18.60
4. Neco Padaratz (Brz) 21.00 def. Michael Lowe (Aus) 14.40

Round Four

1. Armando Daltro (Brz) 20.80 def. Michael Campbell (Aus) 19.85
2. Taj Burrow (Aus) 21.25 def. Luke Hitchings (Aus) 19.75
3. Beau Emerton (Aus) 16.85 def. Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 14.60
4. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 19.25 def. Fabio Gouveia (Brz) 17.50
5. Kalani Robb (Haw) 19.90 def. Luke Egan (Aus) 12.15
6. Shane Dorian (Haw) 20.20 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 18.30
7. Michael Lowe (Aus) 21.65 def. Jake Paterson (Aus) 16.05
8. Neco Padaratz (Brz) 23.30 def. Renan Rocha (Brz) 18.10

Official Ratings after Rio Surf International 2000 – WCT#12

1. Sunny Garcia (Haw) 7270-points
2. Luke Egan (Aus) 6300
3. Jake Paterson (Aus) 6050
4. Shane Dorian (Haw) 5880
5. Taj Burrow (Aus) 5790
6. CJ Hobgood (USA) 5660
7. Michael Campbell (Aus) 5630
8. Rob Machado (USA) 5610
9. Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 5510
10. Shea Lopez (USA) 5390

Details On Sunny Garcia

2000 FINAL RANKING: 1
D.O.B.: January 14, 1970
YEARS ON TOUR: 15
HIGHEST RATING: 1 (2000)
2000 WCT VICTORIES: 2
CAREER WCT VICTORIES: 9
2000 EARNINGS: US$135,550
CAREER EARNINGS: US$798,030

2000 WCT EVENT RESULTS
1ST-Billabong Pro (QLD, Aus)
1ST-Rip Curl Pro (VIC, Aus)
9th-Gotcha ProTahiti
9th-Quiksilver Pro Fiji
9th-Billabong/MSF Pro (Jeffreys Bay, SAfr)
2nd-Bluetoch Pro (CA, USA)
5th-TC Lacanau Pro (Fra)
3rd-Hossegor Rip CurlPro (Fra)
9th-Billabong Pro (France/Spain)
3rd-Figuiera Pro 2000 (Port)
5th – Billabong Pro (USA)
3rd – Rio Surf International 2000 (Brz)
?Mountain Dew Pipeline Masters (Haw)
Events Missed: 0

2000 PERFORMANCESunny stormed out of the gates winning back-to-back WCT events in Australiawhen the season commenced. He then commanded the ratings lead all year,reaching the quarterfinals or better in eight out-of-12 events, beforesecuring his first world title in Brazil one tournament prior to the tour’scompletion. Surfed every heat with the same ‘winning is the only option’attitude, and took the rare losses hard. Was confident in his ability to winan elusive title, and earned nothing but added respect from his peers as hepowered to this ultimate achievement.

CAREER WCT VICTORIES (9)
2000 (2) – Billabong Pro (Aus); Rip Curl Pro (Aus)
1996 (1) – Rip Curl Pro (Aus)
1995 (2) – Rip Curl Pro (Aus); Quiksilver Surfmasters (Fra)
1994 (1) – Reunion Pro (Reunion Is.)
1992 (1) – Gunston 500 (SAfr)
1990 (2) – Pukas Pro (Spn), Seland Pro (Spn)

PERSONAL DETAILS
PLACE OF BIRTH: Honolulu, Hawaii
CURRENT RESIDENCE: Kauai, Hawaii
HEIGHT: 5’10″
WEIGHT: 180 pounds
STANCE: Natural
SPONSORS: No Fear, Spy, BYB, Warrior, Pukas, Kicker and Sticky Bumps.
MARRIED: To wife Raina; and has three children from previous marriage.
WAVE PREFERENCES: Anything, anywhere
FAVORITE BREAKS: Backdoor Pipeline and Makaha
TRADEMARK MOVES: Power and style
TRAINING: Swimming, running, weights, boxing
FAVORITE FOOD: Hawaiian, Sushi
FAVORITE MUSIC: Hawaiian
OTHER INTERESTS: Motocross, watching TV
PRIOR TOUR RATINGS:
’99-4
’98-6
’97-7
’96-3
’95-3
’94-3
’93-10
’92-3
’91-6
’90-10
’89-16
’88-16
’87-17
’86-47