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TOP TWO SEEDS TAKE THE LOW ROAD IN THE GLOBE WCT FIJI
News provided by ASP World Tour on 22 May 2006
Cloudbreak lived up to all expectations today when it fired in some incredible two metre (six foot) plus barrels for competitors in the fourth event on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour – the Globe WCT Fiji.
And taking full advantage of the pristine Cloudbreak barrels on offer were underdog Paulo Moura (BRA) and tour veteran Danny Wills (AUS) who took down the top two seeds for the event in three-time world champion Andy Irons (HAW) and Bobby Martinez (USA), who won the most recent event in Tahiti.
For Moura it was a huge occasion and as the proud Brazilian left the water he received many accolades from his fellow countrymen.
The goofyfooter Moura, who hails originally from the commonly wave-starved north east area of Brazil, looked right at home in the solid reef break waves today and was confident that this win was just the start of a run of big results.
His tactics were perfectly suited for the heat in which the lead swapped and changed on quite a few occasions and he sealed the deal when he came home right on the buzzer with a solid score after an excellent tube ride.
“I’m really happy. I knew it was going to be a hard heat because Andy always pushes the limits,” said Moura. “I just did my best and knew I needed that one good wave at the end. I was sitting there thinking, well I’m here and I’m ready for it. Then it came and I knew I had to do something different to win and beat Andy and I was lucky that I got a barrel and did some good turns and did it!”
The large tribe of Brazilians on tour are potentially like a volcano ready to erupt. The talent is there and it is only a matter of time before they get on a roll and begin to take out more of the big names.
“We (the Brazilians) are all good surfers but we need more confidence in these events and need to start believing in ourselves,” said Moura. “We all got together before this event and talked about what it would mean for one our friends to win here and we have a family vibe and a good feeling about the event so its going to be good for us.”
And on his own potential?
“This year I’m feeling stronger than ever and my surfing is way better,” said Moura. “I also have a bit more confidence and am just going to go and do the best job I can. I’ll be out here first thing tomorrow like a grommet to get ready for the event.”
For veteran Wills the win today was all about staying focussed on a well worn game plan that he knew would outpoint the relative inexperience of rookie and currently ranked world number two, Martinez.
Wills, who has been around professional surfing since his very early teens dominated the heat, which also included wildcard Koby Abberton (AUS), from start to finish.
“I had a game plan and I stuck to it and watching the previous heat it started to slow down a bit as the tide was coming in,” said Wills. “I knew that Bobby would be going for the barrel so I thought if I just picked them off and put the pressure on from the word go I’d take it.
“It’s a tricky wave and I guess after coming here year after year I’ve learnt to read it a little bit. I think Bobby was a little unlucky with the waves that he caught. The ones he grabbed were a little straight and didn’t offer him too much and perhaps caught him a little deep.”
Wills was also excited about surfing against his good mate Abberton, who has been absent from standard competition for a few years as he has been pursuing the big-wave arena.
“It was a good heat,” said Wills. “It was good fun to surf against Koby… we haven’t had a heat for a while so we were having a bit of a laugh out there. “
Bursting out of the gates today in heat one of the event was 2001 Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour champion CJ Hobgood.
Notching up the highest score of the day, a 9.90, Hobgood’s form was mind blowing to say the least and it’s obvious the Floridian is hungry for a win here in Fiji as he hasn’t taken the winners podium since Japan in 2004 (which is coming up to 24 months ago).
In his heat that included Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Roy Powers (HAW), Hobgood was pushed all the way and he was taken aback by the standard from the opening whistle.
He was placed in a position where he had to fight back in the dying stage to claim the win, and he did so with gusto.
“I didn’t think the first heat of the event would be this gnarly,” said Hobgood. “The waves are that good and I just thought that if I get some good ones I’ll be okay but Adriano scored two 8.0s and then I needed a 9.0.
“Then this one wave came through and I ended up being last in line but Adriano paddled over it and I snuck inside Roy and it turned out to be a mega wave. I wasn’t expecting to get that long a barrel. I was stoked. I rode that wave as good as I could.”
All second and third place getters in round one are now forced to compete in what is known as the “loser’s round” or round two while heat winners go straight through to round three.
Forecasts indicate the swell that pumped through the arena today will continue to push in tomorrow at around the same size (two metres/six feet mark), and organisers are confident that round two will kick off at around 8.30am local time.
They will convene at 7am sharp to make the decision.
Results round one:
Heat 1:1. CJ Hobgood (USA) 18.73; 2. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.17; 3: Roy Powers (HAW) 6.50
Heat 2: 1. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 13.50; 2. Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 12.17; 3. Yuri Sodre (BRA) 3.64
Heat 3: 1. Bruce Irons (HAW) 16.34; 2. Travis Logie (ZAF) 7.16; 3. David Weare (ZAF) 5.93
Heat 4: 1. Pedro Henrique (BRA) 13.60; 2. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 12.50; 3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 10.93
Heat 5: 1. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 13.83; 2. Nathan Webster (AUS) 11.93; 3. Taylor Knox (USA) 9.26
Heat 6: 1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.00; 2. Mick Lowe (AUS) 10.83; 3. Ian Walsh (HAW) 6.43
Heat 7: 1. Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.17; 2. Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) 14.67; 3. Yaden Nichol (AUS) 10.73
Heat 8: 1. Paulo Moura (BRA) 14.00; 2. Andy Irons (HAW) 13.77; 3. Aca Ratu (FIJ) 6.33
Heat 9: 1. Danny Wills (AUS) 15.00; 2. Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.16; 3. Koby Abberton (AUS) 8.23
Heat 10: 1. Pete Mendia (USA) 13.67; 2. : Luke Stedman (AUS) 11.06; 3. Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.97
Heat 11: 1. Dean Morrison (AUS) 16.83; 2. Jake Paterson (AUS) 10.00 3. Adam Robertson (AUS) 9.80
Heat 12: 1. Cory Lopez (USA) 14.33; 2. Peterson Rosa (BRA) 12.43; 3. Marcelo Nunes (BRA) 7.74
Heat 13: 1. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 14.00; 2. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 14.00; 3. Jarrad Howse (AUS) 13.16
Heat 14: 1. Tim Reyes (USA) 12.60; 2. Mikael Picon (FRA) 12.00; 3. Phil MacDonald (AUS) 11.00
Heat 15: 1. Chris Ward (USA); 2. Victor Ribas (BRA) 12.26; 3. Greg Emslie (ZAF) 9.60
Heat 16: 1. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.00; 2. Troy Brooks (AUS) 13.60; 3. Trent Munro (AUS) 12.57