6-Star Salomon Masters
(March 29 - April 4) www.salomonmasters.com
& 4-Star SunSmart Women's Classic
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) www.aspworldtour.com
2004 World Qualifying Series (WQS)
Perfect Surf Continues
Thursday, April 1, 2004
(Margaret River, Western Australia) Perfect
surf continued today for Australia's premiere
World Qualifying Series (WQS) the Prime rated
6-Star Salomon Masters. The women's 4-Star SunSmart
Classic also commenced, running simultaneously
to the men's tournament in ideal conditions
at nearby Southsides.
Excellent 6ft (2m) waves
were on offer for both the men and women's tournaments,
with two separate right and lefthand peaks being
utilized at Surfer's Point, Margaret River.
South African Ricky Basnett
surfed a dream heat in the dayís opening
clash, emerging from a couple of deep tube rides.
The 18-year-old posted a fantastic 9.5 for the
first barrel ride of the 2004 Salomon Masters,
and combined with another 8.67, collected the
second highest tally of the event so far. Together
with runner-up Gabe Kling (USA), they ended
the run of local star Rique Smith and Che Stang
"I didn't catch
a wave for the first 15-minutes, but then I
got lucky when that one came out of nowhere.
I didnít expect it to barrel at all,
but then it started to throw, so I pulled in
and made it. Conditions were ideal."
Hawaiian Pancho Sullivan
then continued the international charge, earning
a 9.33 score during the following match. The
powerful natural footer always appreciates the
bigger wave venues, and was quick to give added
credit to event sponsor Salomon for staging
the Masters at Margaret River.
"The waves are beautiful
today," began Sullivan.
"It's a tricky lineup
out here, but I was very blessed with one really
good wave. It's always a little nerve-racking
when you travel so far; you dread an early round
loss. Hopefully I can build some momentum from
here and get another high result.
"It's great a company
like Salomon recognizes the value in quality
wave venues and how much higher the level of
surfing can actually be," he added.
to be a well-rounded surfer, but hats off to
them for picking a consistent location and supporting
surfing and the World Qualifying Series (WQS)
New Zealand's Maz Quinn
picked up where his younger brother Jay - who
was eliminated yesterday afternoon - left off.
The former WCT surfer locked in the dayís
best single score for a near-perfect 9.7, and
advanced with the second highest tally of 17.63
points. Over Germany's sole entrant in the Salomon
Masters, Marlon Lipke, the pair eliminated Damon
Nichols (Gold Coast, AUS) and Japan's Naohisa
"I just got onto
a rhythm and two really good waves in a row,"
"My board felt good
and I just hit the lip as many times as I could.
My brother was a bit unlucky yesterday, but
I'm just taking it heat by heat at the moment
and hopefully keep on going."
Drew Everest used a lucky
last wave to become the lone West Australian
to advance into the top seeded rounds of the
event. In the latter stages of his heat the
21-year-old was lagging in 3rd position before
picking off one of the dayís better waves
and posted a brilliant 9.27 ride. The powerful
natural footer executed a series of strong backhand
re-entries to claim victory and progress in
front of Hawaii's Love Hodel.
"I saw that one
wedge up and thought I might get a good score
on the left, and was able to do a few turns
and link it up all the way," recalled Everest.
"It's a perfect
size for Margaret's today. I'd give it a nine
and a half out of 10. Last year I was knocked
out in that round, so this is the best Iíve
done so far and am stoked."
Gold Coaster Damon Harvey
(QLD, AUS) commenced his Salomon Masters campaign
on track with a great win this morning. The
goofy footer came alive during the second half
of his match, taking the win from Eli Mirandon
(USA) and together eliminating Australians Russell
Molony and Jock Barnes.
"In the last half
I seemed to find my flow and ended up getting
the sets," explained Harvey. "This
is the biggest contest of the year, besides
the final one in Hawaii, so youíve got
to make it count. Weíre all really lucky
to have great waves."
Other standouts today
included Iker Fuentes (ESP), Joao Gutemberg
(BRZ), Australians Shane Bevan (AUS), Ben Dunn
(NSW, AUS), and Scott Wildin (Gold Coast, QLD),
as well as Tyler Fox (USA) and Sean Moody (HAW).
In the women's SunSmart
Classic, organizers ran through the opening
rounds with quarterfinalists already decided
and expected to hit the water tomorrow morning,
again at Southsides.
(2000-02) SunSmart Classic winner and local
West Australian Melanie Redman-Carr kept her
hopes of a record eighth final's appearance
at Margarets alive. The former world #2, who
finished runner-up last year, began her campaign
with a win this morning over fellow Australian
Kate Skarratt. Despite a wave-starved heat,
the experienced veteran used her knowledge of
the venue to secure the better rides.
"It was very clean
and a nice size, but during our heat there was
a bit of a lull and no one was really catching
any waves," began Redman-Carr. "In
the past this event wouldn't have counted at
all towards the end of the year ratings. Now
with it being a 4-Star it's an important result,
so it makes all the difference for a serious
Defending SunSmart Classic
champion Heather Clark (ZAF) also progressed
to the quarters. The world #3 is the highest
rated WCT surfer competing, and edged out fellow
South African Jessica Matthews for the win.
"There were good
waves out there, but you had to be really selective,"
explained Clark. "I'm glad the other girls
didn't get too many, as it was a low scoring
heat. It was good the other South African girl,
Jessica Matthews, also made it through. I wasn't
going to come over this year if it remained
a 1-Star event. I find this a good warm up for
the next World Championship Tournament (WCT)
in Fiji though, so I'm really happy it was upgraded."
Former world #3 Lynette
MacKenzie posted the most convincing victory
today, with three eight plus scores in her tally.
Her combined two wave total of 17.25-points
has set the benchmark for the tournament, and
pushed her through along with runner-up getter
Laurina McGrath (Byron Bay, AUS).
"That was the first
time I've ever surfed out there," explained
MacKenzie. "It was a little bit difficult,
but compared to anything I get at home in Sydney,
it was really good. We don't have that many
competitions in Australia, so it's really important
this event was upgraded and a lot of the girls
will be counting their results here at the end
of year towards qualifying. It's great to be
here, as weíre pretty much guaranteed
to get good waves."
Also through to the quarterfinals
are Australians Pauline Menczer, Amee Donohoe,
Amanda Clegg, Phillipa Tugwood, Dara Penfold
and Rebecca Woods, as well as South African
Sarah Johnston and the United States Jodie Nelson
and Erica Hosseini.
Former world #2 Serena
Brooke (Gold Coast, AUS) was forced to withdraw
from the SunSmart Classic due to an unfortunate
free-surfing accident prior to the event. Her
surfboard tail and fin smashed into the left
side of her face, leaving a serious cut under
the eye and need for hospitalization and intensive
A live webcast is available
on www.salomonmasters.com during competition
hours throughout the eventís waiting
period (March 29 - April 4).
The Salomon Masters is
proudly sponsored by Salomon, "Perth"
Western Australia, SunSmart, Department of Sport
&Recreation, Wet Dreams International, Tooheys
Extra Dry, Coca-Cola, SAAB, 92.9 ninety two.
nine, Bacardi & Cola, Evans & Tate,
Margarets Beach Resort, Corporate Traveller,
Telstra Country Wide, Margaret River Law, Tracks,
Bico Australia and Odyssey 2020.