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Pat O'Connell talks to ASL about Hurley's Trestles event



Pat O'Connell carves : photo Australia's Surfing Life

Team News

Pat O'Connell talks to ASL about Hurley's Trestles event

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 August, 2009 : - - The Hurley Pro kicks off next month in California. After the runaway riot of success that was the US Open WQS at Huntington this year, this event is Hurley’s first run at a World Tour event. We gave Pat O’Connell, contest director, star of the Drive Thru series and ’90s World Tour campaigner, a call to see how things are shaping up. Pat’s ace, and we wish we got to compete in his event. If you’re a World Tour surfer, this is going to be awesome.

You’ve just wrapped up the US Open and the countdown has already begun for the Hurley Pro at Trestles. How’s it all going?
Fuckin’ busy. It’s all good, actually it’s really good. Hold on, I just lost my wallet while I’m speaking to you, how lame is that? Ha ha. Yeah, things are really good, there’s a bit of excitement because the US Open just rolled through and it went really well. So it feels like now we have one under our belt so we’re feeling confident about the next one.

So the US Open was almost like a practice run for the Hurley Pro?
Well it’s interesting because the US Open is a way bigger event. There’re like 600,000 people who come to that, so some of the daily activities and making things run somewhat smoothly are a challenge. When you take the Hurley Pro, it’s already got a built in audience and for us we just need to make sure that we don’t step on our own toes.

We make sure the athletes are stoked and that they have the best environment to compete in. So when they leave here they go “Fuck, that was insane” even if they got a 33rd and that’s tough to do. “We make sure the athletes are stoked and that they have the best environment to compete in, so when they leave here they go “Fuck, that was insane” even if they got a 33rd.”

Boost Mobile Pro was presented by Hurley but run by Boost in the past. What, if anything, is going to be different?
We are trying to keep some of the integrity of what the Boost guys have done. Every year they were always the number one event for hospitality, as far as looking after the surfers goes. All the guys love to come here and they feel like they’re well taken care of and we want to keep that going, but take it another level higher.

We have a concierge that will be at the event so if any of the athlete’s families want to go to Disneyland or they want to see a baseball game, whatever it is they want to do, we have a cleaning service, we have a ding repairer, all those things will be down on the beach. Just say you surf a heat at nine o’clock in the morning and you’ve got a whole day to piss off, we’ll find something fun for you to do. They won’t have to worry about “how do I get here?” or, “what am I gonna do?” We’ll have someone there specifically to do that for them.

A lot of surfers bring their families to America so we’ve thought of that as far as what we are gonna get for the guys (as gifts for competitors). One year we got the guys golf clubs form Nike. At the US Open we did this All Star thing where we gave everyone who competed a brand new laptop computer. So we’re going to do something fun like that when they turn up to this event and it’s going to be focused on the fact that they’re going to be on the road for the next few months. Again, our attention is 100 per cent about the athletes and making their experience the best it can be. We want the guys when they leave to be like “Fuck, America can be crazy” but they enjoy coming to see us.

It seems like surfing events are catching up to other sports, where the athletes are taken good care of just for showing up to the event.
Yeah, that’s kinda what we’re thinking, but we aren’t alone in doing this. A lot of the other brands have come to the table and do things of that nature, but we’re just trying to take it to the next level. It’s really fun too, we don’t have too many events, we don’t have four events on the tour like Billabong, so this is our opportunity to really focus in, you know? This is our back yard, so if we can’t do it here we shouldn’t be in the business. We have pride in this area, I grew up just down the street so it’s important for me to show it off. Like, it’s a good place and it’s a good wave so have fun.

Is Bob Hurley going to chuck in an extra $70,000 prize money like he did last year?
That’s going to be a wait and see, haha.

You’re the contest director. Tell us about that job.
My job is to make sure that the guys have the most fair playing field possible. It’s a pretty easy job because Trestles is probably one of the most consistent waves ever. It can be totally terrible but if you’re talking about this little area that I live in, I mean today everywhere in Southern California is flat and if you went down to Trestles you’d have a chest to head high peeling little peak. You can always find a wave out there.

Read the full article at Australia's Surfing Life

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Will Hayden-Smith

World Tour Contests - Surfersvillage

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