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Mark Occhilupo in devastating form at Quiksilver Pro ....


Snapper Rocks on fire : photo Tostee/aspworldtour.com.


Quiksilver Pro & Roxy Pro

2003 World Championship Tour (WCT)

Gold Coast, Queensland.

4 - 16 March 2003

Occhilupo In Devastating Form

(Surf Report/Forecasts)

March 8, 2003 (Snapper Rocks, QLD, Australia) 1999 World Champion Mark
Occhilupo (Aus) was in devastating form today during the Quiksilver Pro. The
US$250,000 World Championship (WCT) recommenced with remaining third round
heats following the completion of the Roxy Pro this afternoon.

Great 4ft (1.3m) waves were on offer at Snapper Rocks as tens of thousands
lined the beach or watched the action live via the Internet.

Occhilupo, who opened with a devastating 9.5 ride against fellow Australian
power surfer Luke Hitchings, later upped the ante with a flawless display of
backhand surfing. The 36-year-old ´Raging Bull´ unleashed an unbelievable
series of backhand re-entries down the line, before sneaking in for a tube
and emerging to belt the lip repeatedly once more for a near-perfect 9.97 -
the best single score so far. Combined, his total of 19.47-points is the
highest of the Quiksilver Pro.

While ´Hitcho´ was also impressive with an 8.33 and then another 8.27, he
still required a combination of rides worth 11.14-points. Occy now faces
world #7 Kieren Perrow, who won a grueling exchange with fellow Australian
Nathan Webster the heat prior.

"I just felt really calm," began Occhilupo afterwards. "I´ve been surfing
out here everyday for months and I was on my favorite board. The combination
of the waves, too, all felt pretty good.

"Maybe I should settle down on the wave a bit after all," he laughed, when
told he looked like a windup doll belting the lip constantly. "I can work on
that next heat. Kieren will be real hard though. I don´t know if it´s an
advantage on your backhand, but I feel comfortable and don´t mind being
against a natural footer."



Taylor Knox advance to round 4 : photo Tostee/aspworldtour.com.


Defending Quiksilver Pro champion and world #2 Joel Parkinson (Aus) put an
end to Armando Daltro´s (Brz) campaign with another commanding performance.
The Snapper Rocks local posted a 9.57 and then an 8.83 to now meet 2001
world champion CJ Hobgood (USA) in round four. The Floridian went berserk on
the long right-handers against Peterson Rosa (Brz), earning a 9.77 in the
process.

"I was on my favorite board and really tried to find the inside waves, as
the tide was increasing," explained Parkinson. "I got into that good wave
Armando let go and then waited with my priority for my second. "It doesn´t really matter who you have now," he added of his upcoming heat.
"You do your best and if it´s not good enough, it´s not. If you win you keep
going on and live to fight another day."

Neco Padaratz (Brz) secured his fourth round berth by overcoming an equally
in-form Damien Hobgood (USA) this afternoon. The Brazilian locked in a 9.0
early on, and while the lead swung, he was able to gain it once more with
his final 7.57 pressurized ride. He now challenges world #3 Luke Egan, who
was all-class against fellow Australian Phil MacDonald, collecting a 9.4 on
one ride.

"It´s always hard to beat Damien, or his brother CJ," said Padaratz.
"They´re such perfect surfers and don´t fall or make mistakes. I´m always
shaking from before the heat until the end when I have either of them. It´s
good for me and just one more step. I´m trying to make people believe in me
more following the problems I´ve had in the past. Things are better now."

Pat O´Connell (USA) continued his dream run through the Quiksilver Pro by
eliminating world #6 Michael Lowe (Aus). The 31-year-old´s forehand attack
appeared made for Snapper Rocks, as he faced down the line executing precise
turns. O´Connell now faces fellow Californian Taylor Knox in round four,
after he ousted Floridian Shea Lopez in the day´ final heat.

"I was watching such good surfing today I had to tell myself not to get
caught up in it," said O´Connell afterward. "Your mind starts racing when
you stand up on a wave ´cause they´re so long and you have so many
opportunities to turn. Gosh, I saw ´Occy´ ride a wave today that was
probably the best I´ve ever seen anybody surf. I didn´t want to have that
too much in my mind, as I wanted to relax and ride the waves the way I knew
I could, and no matter what, just find the way to win (laughs)."



Steadman & Paterson on Fosters podium : photo Tostee/aspworldtour.com.


The ´Torquay Time-Tunnel´ award for the longest tube ride in the Quiksilver
Pro is currently going to Sunny Garcia (Haw) for an additional AUD$5,000
bonus.

A spectacular Foster´s Expression Session was held prior to the Roxy Pro final, held immeddiately before the mens event, showcasing many of the world´s top rated men. WCT newcomer Luke Stedman (Aus) taking out the best maneuver for US$2,000, while Jake Paterson (Aus) was awarded the best overall wave for a US$1,000 bonus.

"I was pretty lucky to get a good wave cause there were so many guys out there," reasoned Stedman. "Fortunately it had a little section for me to try an aerial and I managed to pull it off. It´s really cool Foster´s put up the money as it´s really entertaining for the crowd and good for the surfers to get out there and have fun and enjoy the whole atmosphere."

Special guest Jesse Billauer, a quadriplegic from California who injured his spinal cord while surfing, was helped onto waves during the Foster´s Expression Session. Close friend and six-time world Champion Kelly Slater (USA) actually executed a series of brilliant maneuvers in the pocket of one ride while Billauer watched on from the shoulder as he rode alongside on his board for the duration of Snapper Rocks point.

Official results;
Quiksilver Pro Third Round (defeated=17th)

H9: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 18.4 def. Armando Daltro (Brz) 14.17

H10: CJ Hobgood (USA) 17.77 def. Peterson Rosa (Brz) 10.83

H11: Kieren Perrow (Aus) 17.56 def. Nathan Webster (Aus) 16.9

H12: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 19.47 def. Luke Hitchings (Aus) 16.6

H13: Luke Egan (Aus) 18.13 def. Phil MacDonald (Aus) 8.86

H14: Neco Padaratz (Brz) 16.57 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.96

H15: Pat O´Connell (USA) 16.84 def. Michael Lowe (Aus) 15.47

H16: Taylor Knox (USA) 17.33 def. Shea Lopez (USA) 15.66




(Click banners for Photos, Videos, Heats/Results, Interviews etc.)


Massive contest crowd : photo Tostee/aspworldtour.com


The Quiksilver & Roxy Pro are based at Snapper Rocks from March 4th through
to the 16th, and being mobile means they utilize the best surf between
North Stradbroke Is, Qld and Ballina in Northern NSW during the allotted
waiting period.

Live broadband video webcast will be available on www.aspworldtour.com during competition hours courtesy of ASP and www.coastalwatch.com

Previous reports:-

# 1 : Quiksilver & Roxy Pro brings best surfers to Gold Coast


# 2 : Trialists Vying For Final Wildcard Spot In Quiksilver Pro

# 3 : Munro wins Quiksilver Pro Trials & official launching held

# 4 : Quiksilver & Roxy Pro postponed due to small conditions

# 5 : Quiksilver Pro opening performances set blistering pace

# 6 : Defending champ Parkinson fights back at Quiksilver Pro

# 7 : Slater mobbed by fans after advancing at Quiksilver Pro

# 8 : Coming soon

# 9 : Coming soon



(Click either banner for all photos of event)


More Australasian Surfing News available here

Check the latest Australasian Surf Reports and Forecasts

For more information:

Mandy McKinnon 0417.079941

Quiksilver Pro/Roxy Pro Media Director

mandymac@ozemail.com.au

Mark Rayner - 0419 509 609

Quiksilver Media Manager

Mark.rayner@qsilver.com.au

Jesse Faen

Media Director, ASP Int´l

jesse@aspworldtour.com

www.aspworldtour.com

Mobile (on-site): +61-407-189-289

ASP Int´l office (Aus): +617-5599-1550

WCT-Contests - Surfersvillage

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