Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii (Dec.4, 1996) -- Strong winds forced
competitors to shift their strategies as they climbed through heats in the
G-Shock World Cup of Surfing presented by Zeal Optics and the
Quiksilver/Roxy Women's Pro today at Sunset Beach.
The contest is the second jewel in the Red Dog Triple Crown of Surfing, and the final ASP World Qualifying Series contest for the 1996 season.
Competition today took place in three- to five-foot waves, but as the day progressed the waves were blown apart in the strong trade winds, hampering attempts to advance. Matt Keenan from Ocean View New Jersey fell victim to the trades and didn't make it through his heat.
"Its so windy out there I got blown off two waves," Keenan said. "You can't hear the announcer on shore to know what's going on so you've just gotta get all you can and when you get to the beach find out how you did."
Australian Cheyne Horan, 36, is a North Shore veteran. He couldn't hear what was going on either.
"I thought I was winning so I started stalling the heat, taking people out of position so they couldn't get any good waves," Horan. "If I'd known I was losing, I would have paddled into the right position. I lost by .01. It was a misjudgment and had I known, I would have played it a another way.
"In the heat before me they were scoring 7 points per tube ride. In my heat I had three tube rides and the best point they gave me was 6.5 and 6.3 and 5.8." Horan said. "That was part of my strategy too, was to go out there and get tubed; stay in the most critical part of the wave." Horan was third in his heat. The men's competition concluded today with Round 2 of the Main Event.
In the women's Quiksilver/Roxy Women's Pro, Hawaii rookie Melanie Bartel, 14, made it into the quarter finals of the and found the wind difficult to deal with. She also had a taste of "hassling" for position as she scrambled for waves with older, more experienced professionals on the women's tour.
The next few days are decisive in the Roxy Pro as the women enter the quarter finals. In quarter final number one, three Hawaiians -- Megan Abubo, Rochelle Ballard and Keala Kennelly -- are pitted against Australia's Neridah Falconer. At sixth overall, Ballard is the highest rated of Hawaii's women.
Women's world champion Lisa Andersen, Florida, meets Michelle Donoghoe and Serena Brook from Australia, and in her first Triple Crown quarter final, Waianae's Bartel is the lone Hawaiian. Andersen has never won a contest in Hawaii.
Defending Roxy women's champion Pauline Menczer, a former world champion, heads up her heat with fellow Australians Lynette MacKenzie and Kim Wooldridge. Lahaina, Maui's Melissa Proud makes up the foursome. Menczer has won three Sunset Beach Contests (1991, '94 and '95) and if she wins this Roxy contest and Andersen places lower than third, Menczer will overtake Andersen to become the women's world champion.
Quarter final number four features OP Pro women's winner Layne Beachley, Trudy Todd and Melanie Redman from Australia, with Tahiti's Patricia Rossi the fourth competitor.
A larger swell is expected tomorrow, and more men's heats will take place in the morning. The women's contest will be completed, with with an awards ceremony on the beach following the final, surf permitting.
The competition continues tomorrow, surf permitting.
The hotline number for updated, recorded contest information is: 808/638-5024
Triple Crown News Directory