OP JUNIOR
SURFING CHAMPIONSHIP UNDERWAY

OP PRO WOMEN'S SURFING DAZZLES
EVEN IN WINDY WAVES

Juniors Results:
Completed Round 1 (32) (11/17) -|- Qtr Final (11/17)
Matchups for Semi Final

Haleiwa, HI (November 17, 1997) -- The OP Junior got underway today at Haleiwa's Ali'i Beach Park in high performance 3-4-foot waves. The Junior event is one of the three competitions in the OP Pro Surfing Championship, the first jewel in the G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing.

Superb, glassy conditions beckoned some of the world's best juniors to surf early this morning, and by mid-morning waves had increased to five feet. Local knowledge became a real asset as the wave increase brought with it strong onshore winds and deteriorating conditions, forcing contest officials to postpone the finals for another day.

"I thought the waves weren't that good today, but it's a contest and you to have to handle whatever they throw at you," said Waialua High School student Fred Patacchia, 15 who won his heat (18.07 points). Second was Trent Munro, Australia, (16.83). Third was C.J. Hobgood, North Carolina, (14.90) and fourth was Aaron Naluwai, Hawaii, (12.17).

"You could find some really nice walls and stuff, some lefts would come off the point and some rights off the other point on the opposite side of the beach," said Patacchia. "It was just where you were at the time, what kind of wave you had and what you did with it."

The OP Junior is for competitors age 18 and under and features 32 of the best up and coming surfers from around the world who qualify primarily via amateur association rankings and representing. Former winners include Kelly Slater, 1989; Danny Melhado, 1990; Rob Machado, 1991; Tim Buehler, 1992; Chris Strother; 1993; Kalani Robb; 1994; Tim Curran, 1995; and Dan Malloy, 1996.

Surfers making it into the four-man semi finals are: Semi 1: Bruce Irons,18, Hawaii; Hagan Kelly, 18, OP Wildcard, California; Trent Munroe, 18, Australia; and Patacchia, Hawaii. Semi 2: Damien Hobgood, 18, North Carolina; Nathan Hedge, Australia; Mikala Jones, 18, Hawaii; and Adam Virs, 18, Calif.

"Most of the surfers demonstrated very mature surfing skills with high scores up to eight points on their best rides," said international contest announcer Nuno Jonet, from Portugal.

After consultation with the head judge Renato Hickel, Brazil, Randy Rarick, executive director for the G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing and contest director Bernie Baker decided to postpone the semi finals and final heats until the next surfing day.

The OP Junior will continue tomorrow with finals and semi-finals, surf permitting. To find out what's happening, call the Hotline at 808-637-6376 or dialup the official web page: http://holoholo.org/triplecrown/


OP PRO WOMEN'S SURFING DAZZLES
EVEN IN WINDY WAVES
Womens Results:
Completed Round 2 (32) (11/17) -|- Matchups for Qtr Final
Round 1 (40) (Completed 11/13)

Haleiwa, HI (November 17, 1997) -- After calling off the semi finals and final heats of the OP Junior, contest officials decided to let the women try their luck with the wind and waves and ran the last five heats leading into the women's quarter finals today. The women are vying for a $10,000 purse and a chance to accumulate points toward the newly created women's Triple Crown Championship title presented by Kahlua.

Today's first women's heat was history -making because former world champion Pam Burridge, was competing in Hawaii for the first time since 1993. What brought the 32-year old Aussie back to the tour?

"The change of format with the WCT and WQS," said Burridge. "I wanted to still be able to surf the contests of my choice, but I couldn't unless I qualified. I figured I was young enough so I'd just have another go at it."

Her calculations paid off because Burridge has worked her way into first place on the WQS ratings and is currently in a second place tie with Layne Beachley on the WCT ratings. (Florida's Lisa Andersen won the 1997 world title last August after placing well in a contest there and is not entered in the OP Pro.)

"It's been a great year for me I've been really consistent," Burridge said. "The funny thing was my two goals for this year were to try and win a world title or just win some events, and I haven't won one all year. Whenever I put pressure on myself to do something I do just the opposite.

Burridge won the first women's heat of the day which began after the onshore wind had already arrived. The peak was everywhere and when it fell off, the whole wave came tumbling down. Burridge's final heat score was 14.67. Second overall was Beachley, OP Women's defending champion, (13.60), third was Sandie Ryan, Australia (12.43) and Jonedeile Duncan, Brazil, (7.33).

"I've never ridden a board that small in Hawaii in a heat," said Burridge who announced her retirement after the 1993 Triple Crown. "I haven't been here for the last two years when they've had small surf in the contests, so I'm just glad I brought it. The heat was difficult, but after all the waiting I was just glad to get started because the nerves really treat my stomach badly, even after all these years. I've got three opportunities to win at least one contest this year -- one rated event anyway," Burridge said. "I'm leading the WQS right now. It would be great to win that in its first year."

Standout surfer of the day was tiny Maria Tita Tavares,23, from Forteleza, Brazil, who wowed the crowd with an early, long ride the judges scored at 8.67, a fair contribution to her 20.00 point heat score. So far, it is the highest wave score of the contest. Second in the heat was Hawaii's Keala Kennelly (13.83). Trudy Todd, Aust., was fourth 13.27 and Liz Motshagen, Calif., was fourth with 4.34.

"I used all my concentration and tried to do many maneuvers because I noticed the other girls weren't maneuvering as much," Tavares said through a translator. "I just tried to relax and do as many maneuvers as possible so I could win."

On her best ride surfers cheered from the beach and she could hear them out in the ocean, despite the wind.

"I could hear everybody from the beach, especially all my girlfriends, especially Jonedeile, a very good friend of mine" Tavares said. "All the time I was just thinking about God and praying to do good in these heats and I'm really happy to be here on the North Shore."

Haleiwa's Megan Abubo showed off her home-surf knowledge today. "I actually had a lot of fun out there," said Abubo. "This is my home spot. Today it's a little different, though. I usually don't even surf here when it's northeast, only when its northwest; that's when the waves are the best. The first couple of waves I was pretty nervous, as you could see then I started realizing 'wait, I know this wave, I should just relax.' That's what I did towards the middle of the heat."

Abubo posted the highest women's heat score of the day, a 21.50, in her heat against Australia's Melanie Redman (15.67); Japan's Sei Tsukurimichi (8.54) and Yasuo Fukuchi (7.83).

Fellow Hawaiian's Rochelle Ballard and Cathy Beuford surfed to first and second respectively in their heats (13.77) and (9.20) along with Jacqueline Silva (6.00) and Miyuki Onozato (4.00).

Other women advancing into the quarter finals were Hawaii's Keala Kennelly and Ausralians Serena Brooke, Prue Jefferies, and Melanie Redman.

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/

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Last Modified: Monday 11/17/97 1819 HST
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