Haleiwa, O`ahu, HAWAI`I - (Wednesday, November 15, 2000) -- World champion
elect Sunny Garcia looked nothing short of the best surfer on the planet today as he
overcame a frothing 6-8 foot swell at Haleiwa in round two of the G-Shock
Hawaiian Pro today. After 16 years on tour, Garcia was finally able to take to
the waves of the North Shore as world champion, and he did not disappoint.
As the tide bottomed out around noon, Garcia was forced to dig deep for high-risk maneuvers and tube rides that ultimately saw him advance to round three. Armed with 17.5 points, Garcia posted a clear-cut win over Mineto Ushikoshi (Japan) 13.05, Carlos Caberos (Puerto Rico) 10.95, and Roy Powers (Hawai`i) 7.10.
"Experience is definitely the advantage you need to win heats here," said Garcia, 30. "Iıve been surfing here all my life and it paid off today. Haleiwaıs a hard wave but you just have to be patient and pick and choose.
"Since my move to Kaua`i early this year, things have been going great. Iıve been able to surf a lot with guys like Bruce and Andy Irons and Iım feeling really comfortable with my surfing. For the first time in my life Iıve achieved what I wanted (the world title) and a Vans Triple Crown title is about all I need to cap off a great season."
Garcia is a four-time Vans G-Shock Triple Crown champion. If he can again prove himself this winter to be the most consistently high performing surfer throughout the Vans Triple Crown series of events, he will become the first surfer in history to win five titles.
Australiaıs Paul Paterson won plenty of support for his performance today, putting on a great tube-riding display on several critical rides. Paterson earned himself a solid reputation back in 1997 when he charged his way through the rounds to win the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Beach.
With the waves looming well overhead today, Paterson emerged as one of the most fearless competitors. His performance was even more impressive after he revealed he had been surfing with an unhealed broken collarbone.
Definitely an "Aussie battler", Peterson could barely move his right arm by the conclusion of his heat, but headed straight for the athleteıs sports therapy station to prepare for his appearance in the next round.
"Itıs pretty sore actually," Paterson said. "But Iım just happy to be here surfing. Itıs summer in Australia now so this is definitely the place to get the big waves."
Competition started this morning with the remaining round two heats held over from yesterday, and pushed through to heat 11 of the third round. Conditions look good for competition to continue tomorrow, and it is possible that the Bear Hawaiian Pro Longboard Invitational and the womenıs G-Shock Hawaiian Pro will take to the water.
Along with Garcia and Paterson, others to advance today included Luke Stedman (Australia), Mikael Picon (France), Myles Padaca (Hawai`i), Shane Beschen (USA), Ryan Simmons (USA), Jason Shibata (Hawai`i), Pat OıConnell (USA), Jason Shibata (Hawai`i), and Paul Canning (South Africa). Surprise eliminations today included Kauaiıs Andy and Bruce Irons eliminated in round two, along with Keith Malloy (USA), and Ross Williams (Hawai`i).
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 are the womenıs G-Shock Hawaiian Pro and the Bear Hawaiian Pro Longboard Invitational. The complete waiting period for these events is November 12-22.
The Vans G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing is made possible through the proud support of Vans, Mountain Dew, G-Shock, PlayStation, Ford Ranger, Right Guard Xtreme Sport, Rolling Stone, ESPN, Rip Curl, Quiksilver Roxy, Billabong, Surfrider Foundation, the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, and the ASP.
For contest information please contact: Randy Rarick
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