OP PRO
MEN CHALLENGE
EACH OTHER IN THREE- TO FIVE-FOOT WAVES
AND WOMEN'S OP PRO GETS EVEN BETTER WAVES

Round 1 (132) complete
Round 2 (96) Completed -|- Matchups forRound 3 (64)

Haleiwa, HI (November 13, 1997) -- Three- to five-foot Haleiwa waves offered up a vertical stage for the world's best surfers as the second day of competition in the $70,000 OP Pro Surfing Championships continued on Oahu today.

The OP Pro is the first jewel in the G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing and is sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP). The format consists of the $60,000 men's World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, a $10,000 women's WQS event and the OP Junior offering a $2,500 scholarship to the winner.

The last four heats of men's round two continued this morning with some well recognized surfers making it through to round three while others equally well-known didn't make the cut.

Bruce Irons, 17, from Hanalei, Kauai won his heat (21.20 points) against Christopher Strother (2-USA, 15.37) veteran Jeff Deffenbaugh, (3-USA, 14.37) and Mineto Ushikoshi (4-Japan, 13.07). Irons will compete in the OP Junior and the Men's OP Pro. Now rated at 183 on the WQS tour, and having graduated from High School, he's out to change his WQS rating soon, as he surfs through the Triple Crown series.

Richie Collins posted the highest heat score of the day, a 21.44 in heat 13 while Irons had the second highest at 21.20.

"Next year I plan to surf all the WQS events; the first one -- I'm going to it." Irons said. "There were waves today, they were kind of inconsistent but I got lucky and got some good waves and came out on top. It was about three feet out there today and there were some four footers. It was better to go right, but it was glassy and nice."

California's Brad Gerlach, trying for a pro-tour comeback, won his early morning heat with a total of 16.83 points against Hans Hagen (2-USA, 14.66), Maz Quinn (3-New Zealand, 11.83) and long-time professional Simon Law (4-Aust. 11.00). Gerlach is currently rated WQS 120 while Law sits in 23rd place worldwide.

North Shore brothers, Liam and Garrett McNamara went head-to-head with Garrett winning the heat with only 14.87 pts., while Liam placed fourth with 13.00 points. Placing second in that heat was former OP Junior surfer C.J. Hobgood (14.19, USA), and third was Russell Winter (14.07).

California's Omar Etcheverry out paced Hawaii's Larry Rios by .64 , finishing first with a 19.27 to Rios' 18.63.

Advancing into the next round are: Australia: Luke Hitchings; Shane Bevan; Tony Ray; Toby Martin; Luke Stedman; Brendon Margieson; Nicky Wood; and Sam Carrier. Hawaii: Ronnie Yamada; Jay Vieira; Garrett McNamara; Larry Rios; Bruce Irons; Jason Bogle. Indonesia: Rizal Tandjung; Reunion Island: Boris Le Texier. South Africa: Paul Canning. USA: Keith Malloy, Marty Thomas, Brad Gerlach, Hans Hagen, C.,J. Hobgood, Richie Collins, Anthony Ruffo, David Giddings, Omar Etcheverry, Dino Andino, Damien Hobgood, Christopher Strother, Jay Larson, Peter Mel and Pete Rocky.


Womens results: Round 1 (40) completed -|- Round 2 (32) thru heat 3

Haleiwa, Hawaii (November 13, 1997) -- In what she termed a "shocking heat," Pauline Menczer, a former women's world champion, was bounced off the reef once, met with closeout waves "too many times," and finished fourth with 11.87 points in a heat that was won by fellow Australian Kate Skarratt. Skarratt posted a 19.84 heat score. Second and third place were taken by the USA's Kim Hamrock, 14.83 and Falina Spires, 12.00.

In overall statistics, Skarratt was the only woman to make it into the top ten ride scores of the contest, tallying a 7.67 in the above heat . Israel's Maya Dauber posted the highest heat score of the day -- 20.16 -- and also made it into the top ten heat scores of the contest so far. Dauber won her heat against Hawaiian's Circe Yee and Gypsy Ann Russ and Brazilian Joindile Duncan but didn't make it through the next heat.

"I caught too many closeouts," Menczer said. "it's really shallow out there and I hit the reef on my second wave. Most of the waves I caught were closeout, so I didn't get through. There's the wrong swell direction for Haleiwa and the waves are shutting down every time they hit the reef. The water is shallower than usual."

As far as affecting the points she needs to make it into the Top 11 on the women's World Championship Tour, Menczer said: "I don't think anyone's really going to overtake me too far. Basically, I think I have to get to the final to secure a place in the qualifying Quiksilver Roxy contest and if I don't make it to the final there, I have to do two places better than Rochelle Ballard in the final World Championship Tour presented by Kahlua.

Menczer has been surfing the Triple Crown Series since 1990 and won the women's ASP World Championship title in 1993. Like all of the surfers entered in the three women's contests this year, she has her eye on the newly announced Triple Crown of Surfing Women's Championship presented by Kahlua.

"I would like to have had a head start on the women's Triple Crown, but that's the way it goes," said Menczer of her heat today. But since she excels in the Sunset Beach break, Menczer expects to do well there. "Everyone's unbelievably excited about the women's Triple Crown because its the first one. We want it to be special."

Advancing into the quarter finals are: Australia: Kate Skarratt , Lynette MacKenzie and Neridah Falconer; USA: Kim Hamrock; Hawaii: Tara Gilligan; Tahiti: Patricia Rossi.

Both men's and women's competition will continue tomorrow, surf permitting.

Haleiwa Main Street and organizers of the G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing and the OP Pro are offering a free mini-festival on Saturday, November 15th at Ali'i Beach park. Featured music includes Toto & Rashan, Justin & Pacific Blu, Local Jamm and special guests Hapa. The concert begins at noon and concludes at 4 pm.

SkyDive Hawaii will make a series of jumps throughout the afternoon and Haleiwa Main Street merchants will feature activities in town, throughout the day and evening.

For more information:
Carol Hogan
Lava.Net/GTE Wireless - Ali`i Beach Media Center
808.637.4771 Fax: 808-637-1759.

Check out the official Triple Crown website at: http://holoholo.org/triplecrown/

News from yesterday -|- News Index

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Last Modified: Sunday 11/16/97 1939 HST
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