Beachley Takes Womens Roxy Pro Final

Results from ASPLIVE

Sunset Beach, HI (December 3, 1997)--Confused surf reigned today at the four-star Rip Curl World Cup of Surfing presented by Zeal, making it extremely hard for surfers to decide where to sit in the line up, and even harder to decide which waves to ride.

And for all the men inching their way heat-by-heat toward the $80,000 purse in this final World Qualifying Series of the 1997 season, it was only a few points one way or the other that would make -- or break -- their day.

Hawaii's Sunny Garcia, 28, squeaked through his first heat with 1.09 lead and a 13.43 total score over Jake Paterson's 12.34. Rizal Tandjung finished with a 10.00 and Jake Spooner had a 6.27.

"My final ride was a fairly low score and the wave petered out," Garcia said. "I wasn't sure what I needed. I had two waves and I knew there wasn't much time so I just took that wave, but it only came out to a 1.05. It was enough to win and I'm very happy with it. All you need is three waves and you can go out and you can pretty much make the heat.

"It's really hard today, the wind's really strong and the current's really bad," said Garcia . "It's challenging and pretty obvious that the worlds best surfers are having a hard time surfing these waves.

Strategy on the beach changes once surfers get in the water. "You sit on the beach and you watch and you have a plan of what you're going to do but once you get out there you have to adjust," said Garcia. "It almost never goes the way you plan. Its a matter of adjusting to the conditions and doing it in a rush because you only have 25 minutes."

Brazil's Victor Ribas leads the WQS ratings and aims to keep it that way. His goal is to be the WQS champion and he won his heat today with a score of 15.53, but he's still got his guard up against Australia's Beau Emerton who is 390 points behind in second place. Today, he used local knowledge to help him through his heat.

"My friend Marcello from Brazil has lived here for along time," Ribas said. "He was my caddy and helped me a lot. He made me feel good in the water and gave me the right position to stay in the water and I have luck to get the good waves. I just made the waves today all the way to the inside and I'm so stoked to get through.

"I'm gonna do my best here," said Ribas. "I've got four more rounds and I go get more points and Beau Emerton needs to go to the finals to beat me."

Hawaii's Pancho Sullivan, a man who knows Sunset waves better than most, won the Xcel Pro contest at Sunset a month ago but today he was second to Ribas.

"It's hard to line up out there today and you can't be too choosy. You gotta go on anything that looks like it might be ridable and make the best of it," said Sullivan, explaining that smaller wave scores can add up to a win. "When it's so raw and stormy like that, that's the best you can do -- just turn around and take off and hope it lines up."

Sullivan, a Rip Curl team rider, didn't let the pressure affect him. "I wouldn't say I'm feeling any pressure. All I can do is hope to do well and I'm just happy that a company like Rip Curl realizes Hawai`i is the epicenter of the the surfing world. This is where the highest rated event should be. To come here and sponsor that kind of event shows a lot of support for me, cause that's the kind of surfing I'm more in tune with.

In the last heat of the day Garcia came back to win his second heat with a 22.77 heat score, the highest of the day; anchoring it with his best wave, an 8.33 ride. Garcia won the World Cup in 1994 and like all of the others making it through, would like to have his name engraved on the cup once again.

In that heat with Garcia was Western Australian Taj Burrow, who trailed until the last minute, then pulled out a 9.00 ride which moved him into second.

"I was really lucky," Burrow said. "I had a few fun ones, but everyone was surfing really good. I couldn't hear a thing and I didn't know what was happening, but I knew I needed a good ride and I got one right at the end, a good barrel and it took me to second."

Garcia is the only former World Cup champion to make it through to the quarter finals. Hawai`i surfer Michael Ho won the contest three times; in 1983, '84 and '85, and defending champion Paul Paterson ended his heat out of the running, in fourth place today.

Competition will continue tomorrow with the men's quarter finals, semi final and final, surf permitting.

Quarter Final 1: Victor Ribas (Brazil); Pancho Sullivan (Hawaii); Simon Law (Aust.); Todd Prestage (Aust.). Quarter Final 2: Dan Malloy (USA); Michael Barry (Aust.); Adam Faunce (Aust); Pat O'Connell (USA). Quarter Final 3: Yuri Sodre (Brazil); Beau Emerton (Aust); Luke Hitchings (Aust); Mike Rommelse (Aust); Toby Martin (Aust); Quarter Final 4: Toby Martin (Aust.); Kolohe Blomfield (Hawaii); Sunny Garcia (Hawaii); Taj Burrow (Aust).

For more information:
Carol Hogan or Jodi Holmes
Lava.Net/Honolulu Cellular - Sunset Beach Media Center
808-638-5533 Fax: 808-638-5008

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Last Modified: Wednesday 12/03/97 2259 HST
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