Torquay, Australia & Honolulu, Hawai`i (August 13, 1997) -- In a
special joint announcement today, Doug Warbrick, co-founder of Rip Curl,
and Randy Rarick, executive director of the G-SHOCK Triple Crown of
Surfing, confirmed Rip Curl's sponsorship of the 1997 World Cup of Surfing
at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of O`ahu, Hawai`i.
The contest, one of surfing's oldest and most prestigious professional competitions -- is celebrating its 23rd year. It will be held over a 13-day waiting period from November 24 to December 6, 1997. The combination of new title sponsorship by Rip Curl and renewed presenting sponsorship by Zeal Optics has upgraded the event from a 3-star rating in 1996 to a 4-start in 1997.
"This will be fantastic," said an excited Warbrick. "We have wanted to sponsor a major event in Hawai`i for some time, and now we've secured the World Cup at Sunset -- part of the legendary Hawaiian Triple Crown and an epic event historically, with a list of winners matching the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in Australia." (The Rip curl Pro is Australia's premier World Championship-level event, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 1997. In addition, Rip Curl has sponsored the Rip Curl Pro WCT in Hossegor, France, since 1985.
"Like many of the world's greatest surfers, we regard Sunset Beach as the supreme test of any surfer's overall skill," Warbrick said. "We are stoked to be able to provide this opportunity for the surfers and to increase the importance of Sunset Beach in the international big picture of pro surfing."
ASP executive director Graham Stapelberg also welcomed the announcement, saying: "It will no doubt be a fitting end to the 1997 Coca-Cola ASP World Tour. With Hawai`i hosting the 4-star WQS Rip Curl event at Sunset and the final WCT at Pipeline, these tournaments will have a major bearing on the final outcome of both tours and next year's top 44"
"It is with extreme pleasure that the Triple Crown of Surfing welcomes Rip Curl on board," added an enthused Rarick. "With the combined efforts of Rip Curl along with Zeal Optics, we can elevate the World Cup to the rating status it justly deserves. The World Cup will focus the surfing world's attention on Sunset Beach for the climax of the 1997 WQS showdown, and it will definitely separate the men from the boys."
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