Satellite feed of today's competition will take place Thursday, December 7, 2000.|
Coordinates: 2:45-3:00 Pacific
Galaxy 3, Transponder 23 C-band
Give Eric Wayman a call at MKM if you have any questions: 714-375-2188
Sunset Beach, O`ahu, HAWAI`I - (Wednesday, December 6, 2000) -- Hawaii¹s Sunny Garcia has posted back-to-back victories in the 2000 Vans G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing, winning today's Rip Curl Cup final at Sunset Beach in tough 8-12 foot surf. Hot on the heels of his win in the G-Shock Hawaiian Pro two weeks ago, 30-year-old Garcia is set to enter his name into the record books one more time before the season is done. Recently clinching his maiden world title after 15 years on tour, Garcia has all but won a record fifth Vans Triple Crown title. The third and final jewel in the crown, the Mountain Dew Pipe Masters looks set to be the crowning moment of Garcia's life.
While the competition was tough Portugal's Tiago Pires (second place), Kauai's Andy Irons (3rd), and defending Rip Curl Cup champion Zane Harrison (Australia, 4th) Garcia dominated the final. He rode the largest waves, held critical positioning, and carved a sweeping white-water trail top-to-bottom on waves that loomed three times overhead.
It was a huge day of competition for Garcia, forced to overcome a near-drowning in the first heat of the day and go on to surf four more heats before winning the final. He truly proved his world champion class by the end of the day, never looking better than he did during the final.
Despite becoming the most decorated Hawaiian surfer ever, Garcia was still humble in accepting today's victory.
"To me, Dane Kealoha (Hawaiian surf star of the 80's) will always be the best Hawaiian surfer ever. He's one of the most powerful surfer's ever and he's able to surf everything from Haleiwa to Backdoor Pipe. I don't even know what it would take to get to his level. I would never consider myself in the same league. He's my idol and I could never surpass that. He's been my idol since I started surfing at seven years of age," Garcia said.
"I knew going into the final that it was going to be hard. Paddling out for the final my arms were cramping. The other surfers beat me out and I was paddling as fast as I could. I didn't even know when I came in that I had won. A win was a long way from a near-drowning in the first heat.
"In my first heat of the morning I grabbed a little wave and the whitewash hit me, I fell and got dragged quite a long way and couldn't get up for air. I was right beneath the surface and I could feel my hands out of water, but every time I took a deep breath I swallowed water."
Garcia is the first surfer in 13 years to win back-to-back Triple Crown events. The last to do so was Australian Gary Elkerton, in 1987.
The only person who can mathematically overtake Garcia for the Vans Triple Crown title is fellow Hawaiian Kaipo Jaquias, but the odds are stacked against him. Jaquias would have to emerge as one of two to survive the Pipe Masters trials and then go on to take first place in the event. In addition, Garcia would have to lose in his first heat.
It was a proving day for all four finalists today. Second placed Pires launched his professional career and put Portugal on the pro surfing map. He was also crowned Nose Guard Rookie of the Triple Crown, earmarking him as a star of the future. Third placed Irons confirmed that he has made a return to the pro surfing world and is now ready to strike out for a world title in 2001. Having requalified for the World Championship Tour, the best looks to be around the corner for Irons. Fourth place Harrison, who arrived like a shot in the dark when he won the Rip Curl Cup last year proved he's no fluke. In fact, his consistent performance in two solid winters on the North Shore have him at the center of the surfing world's focus.
The Vans Triple Crown now moves to its third and final surf stop for 2000, Pipeline, for the 30th anniversary Mountain Dew Gerry Lopez Pipe Masters December 9-21. As the final stop on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) for 2000, the Mountain Dew Pipe Masters will determine the elite WCT Top 44 competitor lineup for 2001. It will also crown the 2000 Vans Triple Crown Surfing champion the most consistent performer throughout the three event Series.
The Vans G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing is made possible through the proud support of major sponsors Vans, Mountain Dew, G-Shock, Rip Curl, Quiksilver Roxy, Billabong, as well as PlayStation, Ford Ranger, Right Guard Xtreme Sport (Gilette), Rolling Stone, ESPN/ESPN2, Surfrider Foundation, the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, and the ASP.
Check out all the latest on http://www.swell.com offering live stream feeds of the day's events, along with all the scores, results and images of the events.
For further information:
ESPN AIR DATES
Thursday, 12/14/00, 3pm, G-Shock Hawaiian Pro
Back to The Beach
Last Modified: Thursday - 20001207.10:40 EST
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