SLATER AND IRONS POISED TO POTENTIALLY MEET AGAIN IN FINAL
News provided by ASP World Tour on 13 September 2005
With a one metre (three foot) swell pulsing through the break at Trestles, Southern California, organisers of the Boost Mobile Pro of Surf presented by Quiksilver sent out the best 44 surfers in the world plus four wildcards for round one today.
And although the afternoon breeze had swung onshore to make conditions slightly less inviting for the eighth event on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour, the top three surfers in the race for the world crown dominated to claim convincing victories in their respective heats.
Surfers who win in round one progress to round three while surfers who place second and third progress to round two to face sudden death man-on-man encounters.
Currently ranked number one, Kelly Slater (USA) fired a warning shot early in his match-up with tour legend and 1999 world champion, Mark Occhilupo and wildcard hopeful Mike Losness, posting a 9.17 out of 10 after boosting a solid aerial manoeuvre, some top to bottom gouges and a final lay back tail slide.
Interestingly, Slater hadn’t touched a surfboard since his final against Andy Irons in Japan over 10 days ago and went about this round one outing without even a warm-up surf.
“I haven’t surfed since Japan – like not even one wave,” said Slater. “I hadn’t ridden this board in two weeks. I just wanted a couple of days off to relax, so I was a little wobbly at first and maybe I was a little overscored. But I won’t complain!”
As the event continues swell is expected to build climaxing with predicted double overhead waves on the weekend and Slater was excited about the prospect of scoring another world-class venue at its best.
“It would be great to surf six foot Trestles again,” said Slater. “And overall we’ve had great surf on the tour with excellent surf at Tahiti, Fiji, Reunion, Jeffreys Bay and Japan. Hopefully we’ll get some more.”
Andy Irons also threw down the challenge today taking a win in heat nine of round one against another tour legend in Tom Curren (USA), who also progressed through the trials, and Jake Paterson (AUS).
Irons was feeling slightly overawed before the heat facing his long time hero plus revisiting the memories of an early exit from the event this time last year at the hands of whiz-kid wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA).
“I was really nervous,” said Irons. “Especially after last year where I was knocked out early. I missed a couple of waves and thought it might happen again but I stayed patient and waited for the ones that looked like good waves and I tried surfing as best I could. I was also wary of Curren. Sitting out in the lineup with him was amazing. You normally get intimidated when surfing against your heroes and he’s such a good competitor you just can’t take things lightly.”
Potentially Slater and Irons could meet for the third time this year in the final as both are placed on opposite sides of the draw. An event win here for Slater would really enhance his lead, making him almost unassailable, while Irons could really make things exciting if he were to take a win.
Lurking just behind them in third place and still well within striking distance for the crown is Mick Fanning (AUS). Revelling in the lack of media attention, due to the recent Slater/Irons showdowns Fanning was looking loose and relaxed.
“They can have it [the media attention] I don’t really care!” said Fanning. “I’ve had a good year but I’m not giving up at all and I’m going to take it down to the wire. But I’m here to enjoy every minute of it. It’s only the first round and with nothing to lose I had a lot fun. It’s such a good wave here at Trestles I’m just going to stick to my plan and go out and have a good time and just let loose.”
Also excelling in the earlier heats was Travis Logie (ZAF) who defeated eighth seed Nathan Hedge (AUS) and tour stalwart Shea Lopez (USA). It was the first time the diminutive right foot forward surfer had surfed at Trestles and he looked more than at home after a shaky start scoring a 9.0.
“Yeah, I’m stoked,” he said. “In the beginning of this heat I couldn’t get over a 3.0. I was catching every single wave that came my way. I didn’t know whether to go right or left, so I just calmed myself down, caught an average one and paddled back out. I was rapt about the 9.0.”
Tour rookie Kirk Flintoff (AUS) was another to dominate, digging deep into his bag of tricks to defeat 2001 world champion CJ Hobgood (USA) and former Boost Mobile Pro winner Richie Lovett (AUS).
Flintoff consistently launched large aerials and spun 360 degree turns heavily impressing with his “new-school” surfing.
“I knew against those two surfers I had to go big and I just threw everything I had at them,” said Flintoff. “Richie’s won the event before and CJ, well he’s been a world champ and is one of my favourite surfers so I knew I had a tough time ahead. I feel really comfortable in these conditions as they’re similar to home.”
Organisers will look to continue on with round two tomorrow morning and as stated earlier are expecting the swell to build to double overhead toward the end of the week.
Full results and the draw for round two are available on www.aspworldtour.com
|NEWS BY RSS
Onestopsurf is now providing it's news directly to customers using RSS (Really Simple Syndication).
What is RSS?
|Terms and conditions
We encourage the use of Onestopsurf RSS feeds for personal use in a news reader or as part of a non-commercial web site or blog. Whenever Onestopsurf content is posted on your website, we require a credit such as "News headlines from Onestopsurf.com", a link back to http://onestopsurf.com, and we reserve the right to require that you cease distributing Onestopsurf content.