TITLE RACE STILL HOT AS MUNRO AND FANNING WIN IN ROUND TWO OF QUIKSILVER PRO JAPAN
News provided by ASP World Tour on 3 September 2005
Trent Munro (AUS) and Mick Fanning (AUS) kept the tight race for the 2005 Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour crown alive today when they both defeated local competitors in round two of the Quiksilver Pro Japan.
Both will now progress into round three and, with a solid result here in Japan, either could reel in ratings leader Kelly Slater (USA) or overtake number two Andy Irons (HAW).
Adding interest to the scenario was that number five-rated Joel Parkinson was a shock withdrawal from the event due to medical advice suggesting he may have a serious, grade three medial ligament tear in his knee, which he injured while practising.
A dejected Parkinson flew home to Australia last night and he will attempt to right himself before the next event in the United States, which begins in just over a week’s time. His departure from this event will effectively dash his hopes of staying up there with the ratings front-runners.
Increased swell from Typhoon Nabi, which was upgraded to Super Typhoon status, arrived overnight and organisers moved the Quiksilver Pro Japan 20 minutes drive south from its home base at Hebara to a reef break named Malibu, where surfers were treated to solid two metre (five to six foot) right to left breaking swells.
The set-up at Malibu is unique in that the site is located directly beneath a freeway built out over the beach. The wave itself is a punchy peak that the surfers really enjoy riding.
“The waves had a bit of kick out there and I had fun despite not getting in a warm-up surf,” said Fanning. “It’s a pretty bizarre scene here with a freeway built right over the sand. I spun out looking back in from the lineup. The Japanese people are really cool too. They run around all day snapping off photos. They love surfing and they love us coming here.”
Fanning was also feeling confident for a solid run home in the second half of the season. Prior to Japan, he has notched up two wins this season – one at his home break of Snapper Rocks in Queensland, on Australia’s Gold Coast, and one at St Leu, Reunion Island.
“I’m feeling good at the moment,” he said. “I’ve been training really hard. Everything has been going really well and I have some good boards. Hopefully I’ll get there.”
Californian young gun Dane Reynolds also turned heads today as he accounted for tour veteran Luke Egan (AUS). After a shaky start, the 19-year-old really hit his straps toward the end of the heat, even pulling off a very radical aerial reverse manoeuvre and the judges awarded him an 8.0 out of 10.
“It’s still super intimidating surfing against these guys but I’m starting to get the hang of these WCT events,” said Reynolds. “I actually get really nervous before heats but I’m slowly getting used to it. I was lucky I did that air reverse and made it. It’s a good thing that the new judging criteria recognises creative surfing.”
Reynolds will now face reigning Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour champ, Andy Irons (HAW) in round three and will be looking to upset the Hawaiian’s campaign for a fourth world crown.
Twelve months ago the youngster toppled Irons in the same round at the event held at Trestles, USA and is fearing Irons will be “out for his head”.
“Coming up against Andy next isn’t going to be easy,” Reynolds said. “I shook hands with him after I beat him last year so hopefully it’s all cool [laughs]. I just hope he doesn’t go too hard on me this time around. I don’t want to be embarrassed!”
In other results, former world champion Sunny Garcia (HAW) showed tremendous form during his defeat of Chris Ward (USA), while a now injury-free Toby Martin knocked out fellow Australian Jake Paterson. (Toby missed two events earlier this year due to a nasty ankle injury, followed by a knee injury that he sustained while competing in Tahiti.) Tim Curren (USA) was no match for Mark Occhilupo (AUS) and Renan Rocha (BRA) defeated Fred Patacchia Jnr. (HAW).
The ongoing forecast indicates a further increase in swell and organisers are expecting to continue on with round three tomorrow.
Results round two:
Heat 1: Masato Watanabe (AUS) wins by forfeit over Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Trent Munro (AUS) 17.67 def Kenta Hayashi (JAP) 8.77
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00 def Hideyoshi Tanaka (JAP) 7.47
Heat 4: Nathan Hedge (AUS)15.34 def Masatoshi Ohno (JAP) 12.16
Heat 5: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.50 def Luke Egan (AUS) 8.66
Heat 6. Renan Rocha (BRA) 13.90 def Fred Patacchia (HAW) 12.83
Heat 7. Danny Wills (AUS) 14.90 def Shea Lopez (USA) 13.57
Heat 8. Toby Martin (AUS) 15.77 def Jake Paterson (AUS) 14.17
Heat 9: Shane Beschen 12.97 def Peterson Rosa (BRA) 12.43
Heat 10: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 14.33 def Tim Curren (USA) 4.43
Heat 11: Taylor Knox (USA) 14.77 def Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.50
Heat 12: Sunny Garcia (HAW) 17.17 def Chris Ward (USA) 13.66
Heat 13: Marcelo Nunes (BRA) 14.94 def Kalani Robb (HAW) 12.50
Heat 14: Travis Logie (ZAF) 16.53 def Tim Reyes (USA) 15.06
Heat 15:Troy Brooks (AUS) 14.00 def Greg Emslie (ZAF) 13.54
Heat 16: Lee Winkler (AUS) 15.33 def Raoini Monteiro (BRA) 13.40
Quiksilver will be doing live webcasts of the next three ASP WCT events on www.quiksilver.com and www.aspworldtour.com
* Quiksilver Pro Japan. 31 August - 7 September
* Boost Mobile Pro presented by Quiksilver. 13-18 September
* Quiksilver Pro France. 23 September - 2 October
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