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Haleiwa, O`ahu, HAWAI`I - (Monday, November 13, 2000) -- The 2000 Vans G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing kicked off on the North Shore today with the menıs G-Shock Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwaıs Ali`i Beach Park.

Round one and the first seven heats of round two were held in clean three to five foot waves with Hawaiiıs Jason Shibata and Fred Pattachia gaining unanimous approval from the judges and the crowd as the standout surfers of the day.

Armed with local knowledge and first class wave selection, 18-year-old Pattachia, a Haleiwa resident, was a round one success story. With waves a little on the inconsistent side, experience with the Haleiwa lineup paid off highly and sent Pattachia into round two with plenty of momentum. (Pattachiaıs round two heat is scheduled for the next day of competition.)

"Knowing the break definitely helps a lot," Pattachia said after his round one heat. "Itıs a really tough contest because the best surfers in the world are here for it. But local knowledge is a big bonus. You need to know exactly where in the lineup to sit when itıs an inconsistent swell like this.

"Itıs great to have the local support too. It makes you really want to get out there and do well for them. Iıve also got some good friends competing too, so Iım also hoping they do well."

Similarly, Aieaıs Jason Shibata looked comfortable and at home in the waves today, advancing with decisive wins in the first two rounds.

Defending G-Shock Hawaiian Pro champion Conan Hayes (Hawai`i) was the shock elimination of the event so far, eliminated in fourth place in his second round heat by Portugalıs Tiago Pires and Australian Kurt Jacobs. It was a disappointing start to the Vans Triple Crown for the Big Islander who was shooting for the crown this winter.

Australian Zane Harrison made an impressive debut today, convincingly winning his first round heat. An unknown when he arrived in Hawai`i for the Vans Triple Crown this time last year, Harrison departed as an international surf star after winning the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Beach. This year his aim is to settle into a similar winning groove. His performance today left little doubt about his ability.

Advancing through to round three are Hawaiiıs Roy Powers (Kaua`i), Bruce Irons (Kaua`i), Joel Centeio (Kapolei) and Shibata. New Jerseyıs Dean Randazzo put in a fantastic round one performance but was bumped out of the competition in the final seconds of his second round clash. The only US Mainland surfer to progress to round three so far is Ryan Simmons. International surfers to make an impression and move through were Luke Stedman (Australia), Simon Nicholson (South Africa), Chris Davidson (Australia), Kurt Jacobs (Australia), Heath Walker (Australia), and Tiago Pires (Portugal).

Surf forecasts predict a small day of surf tomorrow and therefore a possible lay-day in competition. However, the outlook is promising for Wednesday, with a big jump in surf expected.

The G-Shock Hawaiian Pro is the first event of the 2000 Vans G-Shock Triple Crown menıs series. It is a 5-star Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) event and will count toward this yearıs Vans Triple Crown title. Running in conjunction with this event will be the womenıs G-Shock Hawaiian Pro, and the Bear Hawaiian Pro Longboard Invitational. The complete waiting period for these events is November 12-22.

Following the G-Shock Hawaiian Pro, competition will move to Sunset Beach for the menıs Rip Curl Cup and womenıs Quiksilver Roxy Pro, November 24 ­ December 7. The last stop of the Vans Triple Crown will be the Mountain Dew Gerry Lopez Pipe Masters at Pipeline, December 8-21.

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Last Modified: Tuesday - 20001114.14:46 EST
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