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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 21, 2003

Irons beaten in surf meet

Advertiser Staff

For the second year in a row, South Africa's Sean Holmes eliminated Kaua'i's Andy Irons from the Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

Holmes, a wildcard entry into the World Championship Tour event, scored 14.66 points on solid 8-foot surf to win the third-round heat.

Irons, the reigning world champion and current ratings leader, scored 13.5 points.

"I'm pretty stoked as Andy is really difficult to beat," said Holmes, 25. "It could have gone either way with conditions like this. Everyone knows he's the kind of surfer that could come up with a perfect 10 in the last 30 seconds of a heat, so luckily for me, it didn't happen for him today."

Irons, winner of three of the first five WCT events this season, posted the heat's best single score of 8.5 at the start, but fell on a crucial wave midway through the heat.

"Everyone was cursing me, wanting me to lose, and it happened," said a somber Irons. "He's real nice and I couldn't think of a better guy to beat me, but it's really sour in my mouth right now.

"I don't really like losing, but hopefully he goes on to win the contest and takes everyone else out so the (ratings) points won't move around too much," Irons added. "I'm really bummed and just want to get on the first flight home."

WCT rookie Tom Whitaker later scored another major upset by eliminating defending Billabong Pro champion and current ratings No. 2 Mick Fanning. Whitaker scored 15.33 points to beat fellow Australian Fanning, who amassed 14.5 points.


• Perkins places third: Hawai'i's Bonga Perkins placed third in the Nokia Biarritz Surf Festival longboard surfing contest yesterday at Biarritz, France.

Perkins was edged in the semifinals by Australian Josh Constable, 14.5 to 14.4. Perkins needed a score of 6.1 in the closing minutes to win the heat, but received a 6.0.

Taylor Jensen of California beat Constable in the final.

Perkins moved up to No. 2 in the World Longboard Tour ratings. Through four of five events on this year's tour, Perkins has 1,208 points. Jensen is No. 1 with 1,310.

The only remaining event is the Oxbow Pro at New Zealand, Nov. 7-16. That contest is the highest rated event of the tour, and will offer the most points and prize money.


• Blast need boost: The Pacific Blast women's professional football team has targeted noon today as a goal to sell at least 4,000 game tickets.

The Blast announced last week that their season was in financial jeopardy.

To help, go to www.pacificblast.com or call 286-5150. For each $10 donation to the booster club, you will receive one ticket to any regular-season home game.

The Women's Professional Football League season is scheduled to start Aug. 3.