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Curren and Occhilupo face off in new series




J-Bay Open

ASP WCT Men's Event #6
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay South Africa
10 - 21 July 2014

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Iconic Duo Battle at JBay for ASP Heritage Series

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 July, 2014 - Legendary surfers Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo will face off once again at the world-class righthander of Jeffreys Bay for the first installment of the ASP Heritage Series, running in conjunction with the J-Bay Open.

The ASP Heritage Series, making its debut this week in South Africa, is designed to celebrate and honor the foundational contributors to the sport of surfing – athletes, venues, happenings and culture. The Heritage Series will showcase rematches between iconic surfers, video profiles and sporting history as well as engage with fans, both current and new, across a variety of platforms.
The J-Bay Open, Stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), is hosting the world’s best surfers this week in their return to South Africa and the hunt for the world surfing crown. This year, as part of the new ASP Heritage Series, the world’s best surfers will pay tribute to Curren and Occhilupo as the two square off in a single heat of competition set against the idyllic Jeffreys Bay lineup.  
“When you think of modern surfing, you’d be hard-pressed to find two surfers who have had more of an impact than Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo,” Kieren Perrow, ASP Commissioner, said. “The ASP Heritage Series is a great initiative to honor and celebrate professional surfing’s pioneers and icons and tie the sport firmly to its foundations. We’re all very excited to have Tom and Mark here in South Africa and very much looking forward to seeing them surf.”
Curren, from California’s Santa Barbara, rose to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s utilizing a pointbreak-honed style on the international stage and collecting three ASP World Titles (1985, 1986, 1990). Universally-regarded as one of the most stylish surfers ever to step foot on board, Curren’s impact on the sport of surfing, both in and out of the competition jersey, cannot be overstated.
“J-Bay has been pretty important to both our careers, mine from the ‘Search’ films and Mark from competition,” Curren said. “It’s fantastic to be back here and I’m excited about having a heat out there with Occ (Mark Occhilupo). Hopefully the waves pump for everyone this week.”
Occhilupo, originally from the Sydney suburb of Kurnel, soon advanced to the surfing center of Cronulla before exploding onto the national scene as a prodigious teenager. The ‘Raging Bull’s’ full-speed approach and unparalleled power proved revolutionary as the goofy-footer’s rose up the international rankings. At 18-years young, Occhilupo redefined backhand surfing at Jeffreys Bay, claiming the Country Feeling Classic in 1984. The following two decades would see a dizzying rise and fall from grace for the passionate Australian before mounting one of the more impressive comebacks in sports history, claiming the ASP World Title in 1999.
“It’s a very special thing to be back here in South Africa and preparing for another match with Tom (Curren),” Occhilupo said. “From Bells Beach to Huntington Beach and certainly Jeffreys Bay, Tom and I have had a very fun and colorful history in competition with one another. To be honest, it’s just a real honor that the ASP and the world’s best surfers would have us here in this fashion. It’s very humbling and I hope we can put on a good show for everyone.”
The first installment of the ASP Heritage Series can run as early as July 12, 2014, but will have opportunity to run at any point during the competition window which runs through July 21, 2014.
Surfline, official forecasters for the J-Bay Open, are calling for: The modest, new, lully pulse of SSW swell that we saw filling in this evening will continue into Saturday morning, with an easing trend in the afternoon. Smaller leftovers prevail Sunday. A slightly smaller SSW swell will move in Monday before fading Tuesday. Wed-Fri look slow at this time but we are now tracking a better swell for around the final day of the waiting period.

Dave Prodan

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