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ROOKIES CONTINUE TO PREVAIL IN BILLABONG PRO ROUND TWO
News provided by ASP World Tour on 17 July 2006
It was another huge day for the underdog today at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay with round two getting underway today in clean one metre (three foot) waves at the famed break known as “Supertubes”.
With the swell being somewhat inconsistent many of the biggest names in the sport found the going tough as the rookies and lesser-ranked competitors flourished.
Finding themselves ousted from the event were none other than three-time Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour champion Andy Irons (HAW), his brother Bruce Irons (HAW), currently third ranked Bobby Martinez (USA), 2001 world champion CJ Hobgood and 2005 ASP Rookie Of The Year Fred Patacchia (HAW).
Finding the big scores needed to claim wins were rookies Roy Powers (HAW (defeated Andy Irons), Jarrad Howse (AUS) (defeated Martinez), David Weare (ZAF) (defeated Bruce Irons), Mikael Picon (FRA) (defeated CJ Hobgood) and Pancho Sullivan (defeated Patacchia).
Creating the biggest stir today was Powers. His victory has put a serious dent in Andy Irons’ fourth world crown aspirations just when it looked like the highly competitive naturalfooter was on a roll after his win in the previous event held in Mexico.
Powers was in excellent form and in perfect tune with the waves and came from behind in the last three minutes to post a 7.33 on a long walling wave where he executed no less than six top to bottom rail turns.
Powers had mixed emotions after the heat – he was elated with himself and his win, given that it is only his second since joining the top ranks in 2006, but he also felt for friend Irons who so desperately needs to get another solid result in order to reel in the ratings lead of Kelly Slater (USA).
“It feels good to get a win,” said Powers. “I haven’t had one all year except in my first heat and it has been a little bit depressing, but I feel good now. It kind of sucks beating someone you grew up with, somebody you look up to. I mean, he’s my hero. He’s been my hero since I was a little kid, and he’s really done a lot of stuff for me, so in a way I feel bad, but then, you know, it feels good for me to beat him too, ‘cos he is the champ.”
Powers is now looking forward to brighter things and is hoping to maintain the momentum and finish in the business of the esteemed event.
“I’ve been looking anywhere for a turning point to tell you the truth!” laughed Powers. “But definitely, I thought to myself ‘this is going to be the heat of my year’ because this heat is against number two in the world and he’s the hardest guy to beat, so I feel like it’s a turning point. But you just take it heat by heat, see where you go and don’t get too ahead of yourself and start getting all big headed.”
Howse, like Powers, was ecstatic with his win over Martinez, who has been one of the form surfers of the year.
Howse has also been struggling to find the means to win throughout the year, but today he attributed a “crisis meeting” and a bit of help from his friends as giving him the edge for the heat victory.
“Yeah, we had a crisis meeting last night and we said ‘it’s our day boys, step it up!’” said Howse. ”Roy beat Andy which was pretty gnarly. It was inconsistent, and he got the good one at the end. Similar to me, Bobby had the better of the exchange but I sort of played a smart heat and had my mates on the hill waving when sets were coming so I knew what waves to take. You need every bit of help you can get out in waves like that.”
Howse has now set a goal to get past the third round.
“We’re midway through the year and I’ve had two 17ths and three 33rds. Now, I can hopefully go on to get my first ninth, or quarters, or who knows? Anything can happen. I feel like I’m surfing good and I just hope that the waves come up and I get through a few more heats.”
Local Davey Weare had the support of the massive crowd on hand and every time he sprung to his feet there was a huge roar egging him on to victory.
He also found strength in the fact that many other big names had already gone down to rookies and underdogs.
“It all started with Roy taking out Andy in the beginning,” said Weare. “Today it’s just about who gets the best waves and luckily enough I got one towards the end that was by far the best actual wave of the heat. I’ve been here a bunch of times so I feel pretty comfortable."
The three-man South African contingent on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour have been a rising force this year and later in the day Weare’s good mate Travis Logie showed shear determination to win his heat against Bede Durbidge (AUS) surfing with a broken foot.
Weare strongly believes that a win for a South African is just around the corner.
“South Africans on the whole are doing a lot better than a few years back,” said Weare. “Definitely, one of the South Africans has the ability to take this whole thing out. It could easily happen. I’m not going to make any predictions, but I want to get pretty far in this event and just have fun, I guess. It could happen here – you have the whole crowd behind you, so that’s great.”
Leading the Brazilian charge into round three was none other than pint-sized Adriano de Souza.
Slater claimed last year that the young hot shot could very likely win an event in his maiden year on tour – and the form he showed today demonstrated why this is such a strong possibility.
In defeating Cory Lopez (USA), de Souza was solid all the way down the line and pulled out every trick in the book.
“I was so lucky,” said de Souza. “In the beginning Cory surfed so well and got an 8.0 and a 6.0, and I was way behind right at the start of the heat! But I’m pretty stoked, I found two good waves, an 8.0 and a 9.0. This was an amazing heat and today’s been one of the best days for me since joining the tour this year.”
Sporting a peroxided hair do, de Souza revealed that it was the result of a bet on the soccer World Cup gone wrong.
“I made a bet with my hair and the World Cup, and because Brazil lost, I lost too!” said de Souza. “I think I have to keep this hair for the rest of the year. My girlfriend doesn’t like it, but I’ll still keep it!”
Also of note was the withdrawal of Chris Ward (USA) due to injury and the scratching of Damien Hobgood (USA) due to his wife giving birth to the couple's first child.
For the full rundown of today’s action head to www.billabongpro.com in the news section and inspect the heat-by-heat updates.
For further athlete quotes head to the media centre in the notes and quotes section.
TV feed details, images and audio downloads are also available here.
There is still one heat to be completed in round two and organisers will return to assess conditions at first light tomorrow.
There is every chance that the first heat of the day will hit the water at 7.30am local tiime.
Round two results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def Stirling Spencer (USA) 8.50
Heat 2: Roy Powers (HAW) 10.83 def Andy Irons (HAW) 10.66
Heat 3: Pedro Henrique (BRA) def Damien Hobgood (USA) withdrawn
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.50 def Toby Martin (AUS) 13.73
Heat 5: Jarrad Howse (AUS) 12.83 def Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.00
Heat 6: Davey Weare (ZAF) def Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 7: Mikael Picon (FRA) def CJ Hobgood (USA)
Heat 8: Tim Reyes (USA) 16.83 def Marcelo Nunes (BRA) 11.97
Heat 9: Victor Ribas (BRA) 15.67 def Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.34
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.60 def Cory Lopez (USA) 14.67
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.60 def Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.50
Heat 12: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 15.07 def Fred Patacchia (HAW) 12.17
Heat 13: Mick Lowe (AUS) 16.67 def Luke Stedman (AUS) 15.10
Heat 14: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) def Chris Ward (USA) scratching
Heat 15: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 15.17 def Jake Paterson (AUS) 14.53
Round three heat draw:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 2: Greg Emslie (ZAF) vs Victor Ribas (BRA)
Heat 3: TBC vs Adrian de Souza
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs Yuri Sodre (BRA)
Heat 5: Phil Macdonald (AUS) vs David Weare (ZAF)
Heat 6: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) vs Peterson Rosa
Heat 7: Nathan Hedge (AUS) vs Mick Lowe (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs Sean Holmes (ZAF)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF)
Heat 10: TBC vs Pancho Sullivan (HAW)
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs Jarrad Howse (AUS)
Heat 12: Danny Wills (AUS) vs Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 13: Taylor Knox (USA) vs Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 14: TBC vs Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 15: Tim Reyes (USA) vs Pedro Henrique (BRA
Heat 16: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) Raoni Monteiro (BRA)