Friday, December 5, 2003 (Sunset Beach, Haw) West Australian Jake Paterson today won the Rip Curl Cup with an inspired performance. The US$250,000 World Championship Tournament (WCT) resumed this morning with round three heats, running all the way through to its climax and crowning of the 2003 event winner. A Foster’s Expression Session was also held this afternoon.
Great 8-10 ft (3m) surf was on offer throughout the day from an ideal northwest direction. Huge barrels exploded on the inside bowl section, with scores of epic tube rides enthralling the strong beach crowd, including Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis who was on hand to witness the amazing display.
Official ASP Top 10 Ratings after Rip Curl Cup, WCT#11/12
- 1. Kelly Slater (USA) 8,340-points
- 2. Andy Irons (Haw) 8,244
- 3. Taj Burrow (Aus) 7,344
- 4. Mick Fanning (Aus) 7,080
- 5. Kieren Perrow (Aus) 6,480
- 6. Joel Parkinson (Aus) 6,420
- 7. Taylor Knox (USA) 6,000
- 8. Michael Lowe (Aus) 5,820
- 9. Jake Paterson (Aus) 5,772
- 10. Dean Morrison (Aus) 5,718
Paterson, in his first WCT final of the season, created an early lead over opponents Andy Irons (Kauai, Haw), Shane Dorian (Kona, Haw) and fellow West Australian Taj Burrow. With some of the most critical forehand snaps and powerful carves of the entire tournament, he posted a 9.07 and then another 8.57 for the highest combined points total of the 2003 Rip Curl Cup. By doing so, the 30-year-old claimed his fourth WCT career victory, pocketed US$30,000 and jumped into 9th position on the current ratings.
Additionally, he added his name alongside older brother Paul’s to the Rip Curl Cup honor roll (1996 winner) – therefore making them the second brothers act since Hawaiians Michael and Derek Ho claimed their respective Cups more than a decade ago. More importantly though, he’s now leading the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing ratings following his finals berth at nearby Haleiwa in the recent World Qualifying Series (WCT) event. Having previously won the Pipeline Masters in 1998, the West Australian is a clear favorite heading into the all-important final tournament at the same venue.
“The Davis Cup Australian team last week were (my) inspiration,” began an elated Paterson, after being carried up the beach by fellow Aussie competitors. “I just dug deep, and it came down to whoever wanted it the most. I saw those other guys struggling and Andy said he was cramping out there, so it just made me want it even more (laughs). I was frothing. It hurts more to lose than the pain you’ve got to go through.
“He told me the tide was getting lower and the waves actually bigger, so I should paddle around everyone and sit out the back,” he explained of brother Paul’s pre-final advice. “It really worked for me and I got some nice, open faced waves, so he probably made me win.
“I can’t wait for next week,” he continued. “This makes it all exciting. The title race is alive and kicking. I’m leading the Triple Crown… I love this game (laughs). Any final in Hawaii is a dream, but two in a row is incredible. We really had to perform today, so I’m over the moon and can’t believe it. To be carried up the beach by your mates is just the best feeling in the world.”
Reigning world champ Andy Irons was arguably the form surfer of the Rip Curl Cup today, posting three of the event’s top four single wave scores en-route to his runner-up finish. Most significantly, the Kauaian earned the only perfect 10 of the tournament in the 30-minute decider, but still required another 7.64 to catch Paterson’s lead.
Nonetheless, the 25-year-old bridged a huge ratings gap and is now only 96-points behind Kelly Slater’s poll position. Whoever places further in the upcoming year-ending Xbox Pipeline Masters (Dec 8-20) will secure the 2003 world title in one of the most eagerly awaited showdowns of professional surfing history.
“I’ve never been as sore in my life,” said Irons, completely exhausted afterward. “My body feels like one big cramp. I needed another score… usually when you get a (perfect) 10 you’re pretty set, but Jake had two really good waves and I couldn’t catch him. Stoked to get second though.
“Coming into Pipeline is a dream come true,” he added, of anticipated showdown. “I’m coming from behind and Kelly’s got the lead, but I think the pressure is more on him than me right now. I’m just psyching on it and hopefully a couple of Trialists take him out early there too. I’m going for it for sure. It’s on.”
1998 Rip Curl Cup winner Shane Dorian (Kona, Haw) finished third. Despite announcing his retirement from full-time competition earlier this year and only competing in select events, the Hawaiian secured his best result of the season today. Having emerged from countless tubes throughout the day, he ultimately required another worth 8.98 in the final.
Taj Burrow regained the #3 ratings position by placing fourth. Although unable to claim the world title now, even with a win at Pipeline, the 25-year-old cemented his position near the top with his fourth final of the year.
Narrowly missing out on a finals berth and placing equal 5th today in the Rip Curl Cup were Chris Davidson (Narrabeen, Aus) and Cory Lopez (FL, USA). Davidson locked in some of the best barrel rides of the day, including a 9.23 during his quarterfinal, but was unable to find a second high scoring wave in the semis to reach the event pinnacle.
“Pretty stoked to make the semifinals at Sunset,” said Davidson. “Would have liked to have made a final, as it would have been my first WCT final – and especially over here in Hawaii, as it would have been one of the highlights of my life so far. I had some good barrels today though, which was pretty surprising. Hopefully I can build on it next week and get another good result.”
Also reaching the semifinals to finish equal 7th overall were Luke Stedman (Avalon, Aus) and Dean Morrison (Gold Coast, Aus). For Stedman, the result marks his best to date, and despite sitting in 39th position heading into the Rip Curl Cup and facing the loss of his WCT position for 2004, he’s created the possibility of re-qualifying with another big finish at Pipeline during the year’s last tournament.
The biggest shock of the day came when six-time world champion Kelly Slater (FL, USA) had his hopes of clinching a record breaking seventh title at Sunset squashed, losing to Paterson and Hawaiian Kalani Robb in round three. The Floridian appeared unstoppable, having won back-to-back WCT titles in the previous two events, and held a massive ratings leading into the Rip Curl Cup. His elimination opened the door for Irons to regain lost ground, and that’s exactly what transpired.
“Sunset’s a tricky wave,” acknowledged Slater. “It’s sort of anyone’s game out there. Jake seemed to be riding a bit bigger a board, and was in the right spot all the time. I let Kalani snake me on one, and that was probably the tuning point. I just got a little impatient at the end, thinking I needed two scores instead of just one good wave. That’s the way it goes. I’ve had a good run the last few contests and I guess it was my turn to stop.
“I’ve got to get my head back in it,” he added, of the looming title showdown at Pipeline. “I’ve just been relaxing the past couple of weeks and not really in contest mode or form, but I think this is probably what everyone wanted. Coming down to Pipe, and the points are close, so we’ll see what happens. There’s a lot of sand there, so it’s probably not going to be perfect Pipe. You’re going to have to know the wave pretty well in different conditions, and I do. If I knew Sunset like I do Pipe, I would have made that heat probably. It’s just going to come down to finding the right waves.”
Defending Rip Curl Cup champion Joel Parkinson (Gold Coast, Aus) and then ratings #3 Mick Fanning were also eliminated in major third round upsets.
The Foster’s Expression Session prior to the final showcased many of the world’s best. Hawaiian big wave charger Makua Rothman collected US$2,000 for the best barrel, while fellow local Nathan Carroll earned another US$1,000 for the best maneuver.
Live heat scores, video and audio commentary was available on www.ripcurl.com during competition hours, with information presented in four different languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
The Vans Triple Crown Series features the world’s top athletes competing in three championship events in each of the following sports: Skateboarding, Wakeboarding, Surfing, Snowboarding, BMX and Freestyle Motocross. The Series is made possible through the support of Vans, the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, Mountain Dew, Ford Trucks, Right Guard Xtreme Sport, Fox Sports Net, Surfing Magazine and NBC Sports. For full coverage of the Triple Crown of Surfing: www.triplecrownofsurfing.com
Rip Curl Cup Final Results
- 1st Jake Paterson (Aus) 17.64 – US$30,000
- 2nd Andy Irons (Haw) 17.17 – US$16,000
- 3rd Shane Dorian (Haw) 14.3 – US$11,000
- 4th Taj Burrow (Aus) 7.6 – US$9,000
Semifinals (1st, 2nd>Final; =5th receives US$8,500; =7th receives US$7,500)
- SF1: Shane Dorian (Haw) 13.23; Jake Paterson (Aus) 11.87; Chris Davidson (Aus) 11.67; Luke Stedman (Aus) 8.57
- SF2: Andy Irons (Haw) 15.9; Taj Burrow (Aus) 13.1; Cory Lopez (USA) 11.43; Dean Morrison (Aus) 7.5
Quarterfinals (1st, 2nd>Semifinal; =9th receives US$5,500; =13th receives US$4,500)
- QF1: Shane Dorian (Haw) 9.73; Luke Stedman (Aus) 8.67; Damien Hobgood (USA) 6.67; Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 4.54
- QF2: Jake Paterson (Aus) 15.5; Chris Davidson (Aus) 13.3; Michael Lowe (Aus) 8.77; Kalani Robb (Haw) 5.93
- QF3: Dean Morrison (Aus) 17.17; Andy Irons (Haw) 15.76; Richard Lovett (Aus) 5.4; Michael Campbell (Aus) 3.97
- QF4: Cory Lopez (USA) 10.73; Taj Burrow (Aus) 9.5; Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 9.06; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 7.8
Round Three (1st, 2nd>Rnd4; 3rd, 4th=17th receive US$4,000)
- H1: Guilherme Herdy (Brz) 10.26; Luke Stedman (Aus) 7.33; Joel Parkinson (Aus) 6.36; Daniel Wills (Aus) 4.36
- H2: Shane Dorian (Haw) 11.77; Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.16; Mick Fanning (Aus) 3.76; Peterson Rosa (Brz) 3.76
- H3: Michael Lowe (Aus) 14.5; Chris Davidson (Aus) 7.43; Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 6.8; Luke Egan (Aus) 6.07
- H4: Jake Paterson (Aus) 14.66; Kalani Robb (Haw) 10.63; Kelly Slater (USA) 7.47; Manoa Drollet (Tah) 3.17
- H5: Andy Irons (Haw) 17.57; Richard Lovett (Aus) 10.33; Trent Munro (Aus) 8.67; Love Hodel (Haw) 5.23
- H6: Michael Campbell (Aus) 8.9; Dean Morrison (Aus) 7.83; Taylor Knox (USA) 7.8; Luke Hitchings (Aus) 3.93
- H7: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 12.83; Taj Burrow (Aus) 11.03; Joel Centeio (Haw) 9.84; Phil MacDonald (Aus) 9.1
- H8: Cory Lopez (USA) 14,16; Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 12.0; Neco Padaratz (Brz) 10.33; Kieren Perrow (Aus) 5.53