Tough conditions at Hawaii’s renowned Sunset Beach produced a mixed bag ofresults on the second day of competition of the 2000 Rip Curl Cup – theyear’s final and crucial Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) WorldQualifying Series (WQS) tournament.
In shifty three to four metre waves, exciting newcomers, reasonablyexperienced competitors and a few veterans shared the winning honors, withAustralians dominating in claiming seven victories from a total of 16 heatsheld, as the charge towards the US$10,000 first prize continued.
Reflecting contemporary professional surfing’s multi-cultural face, today’ssuccessful competitors came from nine countries, with another two nationsrepresented among those surfers eliminated.
The 2000 Rip Curl Cup is a six-star WQS competition (the highest grade),carrying US$100,000 total prize money and the final results will have amajor bearing on the surfers who qualify for next year’s World ChampionshipTour.
[IMAGE 1]The first six of today’s heats completed Round One, with three Australiansclaiming wins – Sydney’s Tom Whittaker and Mark Bannister; and VictorianTroy Brooks, along with Hawaiian Isaac Kaneshiro, Great Britain’s SpencerHargreaves and New Zealand’s Maz Quinn. Other Australians to advance fromRound One today were NSW surfers Koby Abberton, Luke Stedman and PhilMcDonald, and Queensland’s Sasha Stocker.
Then in Round Two action was the day’s outstanding performer, Australia’s1999 World Junior Champion, 19-year-old Joel Parkinson, from Queensland’sGold Coast, who posted the day’s highest heat score of 19.65 (out of 30) forhis best three rides, on the way to beating fellow Australian Andrew King,whose second placing sees him advance to Round Three. Parkinson’s win todaycements his qualification for next year’s World Championship contending top44.
Parkinson said after his win: “”Sunset is about as fun as it gets today.It’s really, really good conditions. This is the icing on the cake. Aftertraveling most of the year and not getting any good waves, to come here isjust great. It’s so challenging too. It would mean the world to me to winhere. It’s one of the best competitions in surfing and it’s held at one ofthe best breaks, so to win here would be awesome.”
Not far behind Parkinson in their Round Two performances were a pair of23-year-old Aussies – Lee Winkler of Coffs Harbour, and Kieren Perrow ofByron Bay – whose wins boost their chances of joining Parkinson among a hostof rookies expected to qualify for the 2001 top 44.
Sydney’s Luke Hitchings, current world number 15, was another Australian toclaim a Round Two win today, while other Aussies to advance from Round Twoheats included 1996 Rip Curl Cup champion and 1999 runner-up, Paul Paterson,from Western Australia, Gold Coaster Heath Walker and Narrabeen pair, JoelFitzgerald and Chris Davidson.
Paterson has his work cut out for him in Round Three, where he’s up againstHawaii’s 2000 world champion elect Sunny Garcia and Sunset local PanchoSullivan. No stranger to big waves, Paterson feels his next heat will be afinal in itself.
“I’ve put in a lot of time out at Sunset and it has certainly paid off,”Paterson said. “I think if I can get through this next one, I can go all theway to the final. They are by far the toughest guys to draw. Pancho is on aroll out here, he’s surfing so incredibly well at Sunset, and Sunny’s wonthe world title already and he just won last week at Haleiwa. So that’s whyI think if I can get through this one, I can go all the way to the final.”
[IMAGE 2]Davidson’s progression today was a remarkable story of persistence in theface of injury, coming after he cut his foot halfway through his 30-minuteheat, when he was in fourth place and staring at the prospect ofelimination. He said: “I cut the sole of my foot (which later needed fivestitches) and was ready to go in, but my caddy Nathan Hedge told me not togive up and said that I could still get through the heaat, so I went back outand caught a couple more waves and got second. I’m glad Hedgey talked meinto it and I really owe the fact that I’m still in the contest to him.”
Heading the non-Australian performers today were two veteran Americans,29-year-old Hawaiian Liam McNamara and 31-year-old Californian RichieCollins, a former world number eight competing in Hawaii for the first timein four years; and 26-year-old Californian Ryan Simmons, another rookielooking to qualify for the 2001 WCT with a strong performance at SunsetBeach.
The 2000 Rip Curl Cup is the second jewel in the Vans/G-Shock Triple Crown,and competition is expected to be on hold for the next two days as thecurrent swell disappears, with a new swell forecast to arrive Wednesday(Hawaiian time).
[IMAGE 3]RIP CURL CUP DAY 2 RESULTS:(Names in order of placing)
Round 1: 1st, 2nd, 3rd advance
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (Aus), Gabe Kling (USA), Koby Abberton (Aus), SteveClements (Aus), Mikala Jones (Haw)
H12: Isaac Kaneshiro (Jpn), Simon Nicholson (SAfr), Arnold Dowling (Haw),Bruce Irons (Haw), James Santos (Brz), Drew Courtney (Aus)
H13: Mark Bannister (Aus), Carlos Cabrero (Prco), Frederick Patacchia (Haw),Travis Lynch (aus), Naohisa Ogawa (Jpn), Mineto Ushikoshi (Jpn)
H14: Maz Quinn (NZ), Luke Stedman (Aus), Gavin Sutherland (Haw), Jun Jo(Haw), Anthony Petruso (USA), Matt Owens (Aus)
H15: Troy Brooks (Aus), Phillip MacDonald (Aus), Danilo Costa (Brz), KamaleiAlexander (Haw), Jason Bogle (Haw), Masaki Harada (Jpn)
H16: Spencer Hargraves (GB), Sasha Stocker (Aus), Makua Rothman (Haw), MikeLosness (USA), David Pinto (USA), Hira Teriinatoofa (Tah)
Round 2: 1st, 2nd advance (only the first 10 of 16 heats were held)
H1: Lee Winkler (Aus), Paul Paterson (Aus), Daniel Wills (Aus), Mick Fanning(Aus)
H2: Richie Collins (USA), Conan Hayes (Haw), Aaron Fredette (Haw), TamayoPerry (Haw)
H3: Kieran Perrow (Aus), Roy Powers (Haw), Crhistiano Spirro (Brz), AsherNolan (USA)
H4: Liam McNamara (Haw), Yuri Sodre (Brz), Raoni Monteiro (Brz), Kahea Hart(Haw)
H5: Love Hodel (Haw), Joel Fitzgerald (Aus), Manoa Drollet (Tah), JocaJunior (Brz)
H6: Luke Hitchings (Aus), Heath Walker (Aus), Sean Moody (Haw), Matt Keenan(USA)
H7: Joel Parkinson (Aus), Andrew King (Aus), Marco Polo (Brz), David Weare(SAfr)
H8: Ryan Simmons (USA), Edgar Bishoff (Brz), Shane Wehner (Aus), DamonNicholls (Aus)
H9: Greg Emslie (SAfr), Chris Davidson (Aus), Pablo Gutierrez (Spn),Cristiano Guimares (Brz)
H10: Tiago Pires (Port), Kaipo Jaquias (Haw), Tory Barron (Haw), NorimasaOhno (Jpn)
Heats 11-16 to be run on the next day of competition:
H11: Glyndyn Ringrose (Aus), Tom Whittaker (aus), Kling Gabe (USA), KobyAbberton (Aus)
H12: Toby Martin (Aus), Isaac Kaneshiro (Haw), Simon Nicholson (SAfr),Arnold Dowling (Haw)
H13: Andy Irons (Haw), Mark Bannister (Aus), Carlos Cabrero (Prco), FredPatacchia (Haw)
H14: Shane Beschen (USA), Maz Quinn (NZ), Luke Stedman (Aus), GavinSutherland (Haw)
H15: Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz), Troy Brooks (Aus), Phillip MacDonald (Aus),Danilo Costa (Brz)
H16: Keith Malloy (USA), Spencer Hargraves (GB), Sasha Stocker (Aus), MakuaRothman (Haw)