Haleiwa, HI (Thursday, Nov. 21, 1996) -- Layne Beachley took advantage of clean three- to six-foot waves at Haleiwa's Ali`i Beach Park today and turned in a winning performance in the Women's division of the OP Pro.
Beachley, 24, from Manly Beach, Australia came to Hawai`i after a long bout
with chronic fatigue syndrome and not much training. Her plan was to be
relaxed and not stress out, a tactic that paid off with firsts in both the
quarter final and semi final heats leading to her win.
"It's a dream contest and I've always wanted to win here. I wasn't really taking the final that seriously when I first paddled out," Beachley said. "I feel pretty excited. I mean gosh, it's a dream come true to win in Hawai`i. Actually, I also want to win Sunset, that's the event I've always wanted to win, but this is my first in Hawai`i and it's pretty exciting. Now I'm going to go home and rest."
Beachley has been battling her fatigue since October 1995 and since last September hasn't been allowed to train. It didn't show as she posted the highest heat points of today's competition -- 28.83 -- among all the divisions including junior quarter finals and early heats in the men's division.
"I just came over here to relax and try to get healthy and fit again without putting too much pressure on myself, and it's definitely paid off," Beachley said. She won $2,000, increased her ratings points by 1000 and received an Animal watch.
Second was rookie Patricia Rossi, from Papeete, Tahiti, who won $900 and got 860 points. Rossi only weighs 92 pounds but she surfs like a mother grizzly protecting her cubs with fearless and aggressive moves.
Halfway through the final she took off on a long left and executed exciting critical maneuvers. Just as she reached the end of the ride, the power went out at the site, taking with it the electronic scoring system. Wave scores remained unknown, but it was later learned Rossi posted a 22.03 total score in the final.
"I didn't win a big contest like this one this year," said Rossi, whose
first language is French, "but I won a west coast contest pro am. I'm very
happy because I won a contest with the best surfers in the world with Layne
Beachley and Lisa. I was very lucky because I choose the best waves I
could ride. It was a little bit big for me but I knew I had to get that
wave to try to win the contest, and I get second. I'm very happy of that.
I'm proud of me."
World champion Lisa Andersen from Florida was third. She got $600 and 730 points and fourth was Kim Wooldridge, New South Wales, Australia, $500 and 670 points.
Andersen won the OP Pro Women's competition in Huntington Beach, Calif., last year. Australia's Pauline Menczer won the Pro contest at Haleiwa in 1995 but was knocked out in the quarterfinals today. Andersen still leads the women's ratings, but Menczer is in second place just 285 points behind. The next women's competition opens on November 26 and will determine the women's world championship.
Still remaining for the OP Pro are the OP Junior semi-finals and the OP Pro Men's division.
TODAY'S OP JUNIOR and MEN'S COMPETITION
November 21, 1996: The OP Junior quarterfinals were held today, in the same surf conditions, with eight Juniors moving into the semi finals. In semi final one are: Taj Burrow, Yallingup, Australia; Omar Etcheverry, Santa Cruz, Calif; Ben Bourgeois, Wilmington, North Carolina and Dayton Segundo, Haleiwa, Hawai`i. Semi final two: Nathan Hedge, Narrabeen, Australia; Damien Hobgood, Satellite Beach, Florida; Dan Malloy, Ventura, Calif; and Jason Bogle, Haleiwa, Hawai`i.
Five Men's OP Pro trial's heats were held this morning.
The competition continues tomorrow, surf permitting.
For recorded contest information, please call: 808-637-6376.
Media information: Carol Hogan
Triple Crown News Directory