96 Triple Crown News

Australia's Taj Burrow a Close Second

Round 1 (32) -|- Qtr Final -|- Semi Final -|- Final

Haleiwa, HI (Saturday, November 23, 1996) -- There's no question about it, finalists in the 8th annual OP Junior were treated to a rare glimpse of the future as competitors 19-and-under vied for the title of best Junior surfer in the world. But it was California's Dan Malloy who won the event, the first ever in the 14th annual Triple Crown of Surfing.

Second in the final was Western Australia's Taj Burrow, 18. Third was Omar Etcheverry 19, from Santa Cruz, Calif., and fourth was Kailua, Hawaii's Jason Bogle, 18. Surf was a clean three- to six-feet at Haleiwa's Ali`i Beach Park.

Malloy and Burrow matched each other wave-for-wave in the final heat, with Burrow leading until the last 30 seconds with one good right after another. Earlier in the day he had commented he would count on his backhand and stick to rights if he made it to the final. And that's what he did, with long rides that kept him at the front of the heat.

With a mere 30 seconds left in the heat, the announcer called out to the surfers in the water, telling them what kind of a wave score they would need to overtake Burrow. Malloy heard he needed at least a 7.03 wave and he took the message to heart. He had already posted the highest wave score of the heat -- an 8.27 on a long right

"I knew what I needed," Malloy said. "I was surprised, really. I thought I had two eights and a seven. I knew Taj was surfing really well but I didn't think I needed another seven or eight. I was thinking, 'oh my gosh, this is going to be really tough, I need a really good wave.' And then just before the heat ended a wave appeared on the horizon.

"When it (the wave) came I was a bit nervous because I'm thinking 'this is it, I could either win right now or blow it,'" Malloy said.

He had already posted the highest wave score of the 35-minute heat -- an 8.27 on a long right, with huge cutbacks that threw rooster tails into the air -- but Burrow matched him on a long left, going vertical more than once to post an 8.17 to retain the lead. Malloy's last ride was the score he needed, an 8.43 that gave him a 1.39 point edge and a total heat score of 32.06 to Burrow's 30.67.

"I'm really excited because I haven't won a junior contest yet. A few of my friends have, and I really wanted to get that last contest under my belt," said Malloy, who surfs again tomorrow in the OP Pro Surfing Championship men's division.

"I heard a few scores," said Burrow, who is currently ranked 14th on the WQS and has a chance to turn pro and travel on the 1997 Coca-Cola/ASP World Championship Tour. "I knew I had an eight and a few sevens; so did Dan. Everyone was getting good ones. I thought I had it at the end, but Dan got it and I'm stoked. It's the happiest second place I've ever had, anyway.He's ripping, so he deserved it."

Burrow revealed to the press just prior to the final that he will not turn pro and follow the WCT tour, preferring instead to do just eight or ten contests next year, take some surf trips and learn to surf bigger waves better. "I want to go into the WCT more prepared."

"It was fun out there," said Etcheverry, who graduated from a private school a few years ago and has already surfed a circuit of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Qualifying Series (WQS) tour this year and plans to continue the WQS in 1997.

"I made a few bad mistakes," said Etcheverry. "I fell on a few waves but I had a good time. I was kind of hoping with all the waiting we've have some bigger waves, but that's the way it goes in surf contests." Etcheverry was on the winning US team at the World Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif.

"The waves were great, everyone was surfing really good," said Bogle, who graduated from Kalaheo High School in Kailua. "I kinda stuck on the inside and didn't realize how long a heat 35 minutes would be. I dug myself in the hole and couldn't get out. I had a couple of big amateur contests this year, but this is definitely one of the bigger placements. I'm just real stoked to be in the final. After this, I'll probably travel the WQS tour and hopefully eventually qualify for WCT.

In an error of timing North Carolina's Ben Bourgeois missed the start of his semi final heat, and arrived with 10 minutes left. He paddled out but scored only enough points to place 4th. "I thought I still had an hour and a half to get here, said Bourgeois, 18, who is staying five miles north at Sunset Beach. I don't have a car here and I had to wait until my friend got out of the water. I was on my way here, it was a series of mishaps, but it was my fault."

Sixteen heats in the Men's Division were run today. Competition will conclude tomorrow, with the men's finals scheduled for early afternoon, surf permitting.

For recorded contest information, please call: 808-637-6376.

Media information: Carol Hogan


Triple Crown News Directory

Last Modified: Tuesday - 12/03/96 - 12:13:45 HST
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