Although you won’t be able to place Occy or Curren on your Fantasy Surfer team for J-Bay, the latest scuttlebutt coming out of the media wire is that you’ll be privy to watch the two icons surf against one another yet again during a specialty heat at the Billabong Pro J-Bay starting July 9.
If you, like a healthy chunk of the adolescent surfing population, were still in diapers when these two cats famously went head-to-head in the 1980s, then brace yourself, son—as this heat will surely be one of the most classic match-ups of the year. In their heyday, the Occy/Curren rivalry was as intense as anything the sport has ever witnessed with each of the surfers winning eight of their 16 previous match-ups. To boot, we even heard a rumor that Curren will be packing a replica model straight from ’86 into his boardbag.
We’ve also gotten wind that Occy’s been training every day since the deal’s been sealed. “I’m taking it really seriously. Someone told me I’ve got the wood on him [in the win-loss stakes], but I was sure he had it on me. I’m not sure how seriously he’ll take it, though,” said Occy in an interview with Stab Magazine. “You can never tell. He’s such a mysto man, you never know how he’s going to turn up. I used to have the same anxiety before I’d meet him before a big event. Every time I saw him I’d know how switched on he is just by the look in his eye. I’ll be looking for the same thing [at J-Bay]. But I haven’t seen him for years, so I don’t know how he’s going to turn up.”
Throughout their respective careers, both icons have proven that they are deserving of their trumpeted status in surf lore. As a professional, Curren held an astounding 70-percent win-ratio while Occy stood firm at 50-percent. Although the numbers may stand in Curren’s favor, you can’t dispute the fact that Occy’s been a professional competitor up until two years ago, at one point holding his own against surfers nearly half his age. To date, the two surfers have never met before at J-Bay.
For daily updates and exclusive coverage of the match-up, stay tuned to Surfermag.com and FantasySurfer.com as SURFER’s own Brendon Thomas brings you the goods from J-Bay.
The waiting period for the Billabong Pro J-Bay begins July 9.