Courstesy ASPLive.Com

Also SEE: Story from Honolulu Star Bulletin 12/9/98

Hale`iwa Hawai`i (Dec 9, 1998)--Shane Dorian posted his first big international win on Oahu's North Shore when he took off on an eight-foot Sunset Beach wave, ducked into the barrel not once, but twice, and emerged with a final wave score of 9.25. It was the final heat in the
Rip Curl World Cup of Surfing and Dorian was on top of the World.

Prior to that, Dorian and Australia's Michael "Munga" Barry traded first place back and forth in the heat while Kelly Slater rode every wave that came his way. Occasionally the veteran trio let the fourth member of their 45-minute final -- rookie standout Christiano Spirro from Brazil - catch a wave or two.

The Rip Curl event is 1998's final Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) competition, and while today's win does not affect his status as 6th in the world on the ASP World Championship Tour , it did catapult him into first place in the Triple Crown Championship title race. A good finish the Pipe Masters could see him win the title.

Dorian and Barry each rode six waves (with the best four counted), and the final score was a tight 26.45 for Dorian to Barry's 26.40. Dorian's heat score was the highest of the entire event, followed by Barry's and Pancho Sullivan's 26.30 yesterday. Slater caught nine waves for a 22.75 while Christiano caught only four for 9.50. Dorian got $8,000, Barry got $4,000, Slater got $3,000 and Christiano got $2,600.

"I'm so tired," said Dorian who surfed four heats today. " I'm fighting off a cold right now, believe it or not. When I woke up this morning I was so lethargic. I just woke up super tired and had a radical chest cold. I felt horrible."

In his first heat this morning, Dorian only wanted to make it through so he could surf again. Given his North Shore expertise, he knew the waves were going to get bigger. By the time he got to the final he was so tired he didn't think he could make it.

How did he do it? "Sheer will power," Dorian said. "I really wanted to win. I just kept telling myself not to give up. My arms were telling my brain to stop paddling and my heart wouldn't let them.

"I'm so excited. It's really thrilling," Dorian said. "I won on the wave that you always want to win. There's nothing like needing a huge score and getting it and nothing like coming from behind in a final -- not that I've never done it before.

"Beyond that, it's winning in Hawaii. Although I won events before, I feel this is my first real win," Dorian said. "To win in Hawaii is a totally different feeling and being the only guy in the final I felt like I had a bit of pressure on me. I felt like I really wanted to win for Hawaii."

Barry had a lot to lose in the heat. He needed a first or second in the final to remain in the Top 44 and compete on the 1999 World Championship Tour. It took him the better part of the day to get the right boards selected for the changing waves. He got through each of his four heats in second place, but by the final he had the right board for the job.

"Positioning was the key to it all," Barry said. "Then in the semi final the waves were barreling and that semi final was one of the happiest times of my life. I got an average wave for the start and then my next wave I was playing the field because the other guys were too far out the back. I took off on an inside wave and just got barreled." The judges gave him a 10.

"I was really happy, making it out of a barrel that size. It was pretty amazing and tough. The wave actually opened its mouth like a mean creature. After that I was stoked and knew I had two good waves and needed another solid one to make the final. Kelly was ripping and then he got a 10. I had to play my cards right because I knew what I had to do to qualify for the WQS. That really made me happy after making that barrel.

"The semi-final was my best heat," Slater said. "I was just really in sync and got some nice barrels. I caught one of the best waves I've ever caught at Sunset and got a 10. I had a great time in that heat.

"This is a classic spot, its as fun as it is competitive," Slater said. "I think Munga was the most focused in the heat. He had to be because he had to qualify.

"It was beautiful out there today, you really couldn't ask for anything more. But I was under gunned in every heat. My board was just too small but I finally got the right board in the final," Slater said.

Brazilian Fabio Gouveia finished first in the WQS ratings.

SEE: Rip Curl World Cup Results

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Last Modified: Sunday - 19981213.08:52 HST
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