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Wet and Wild with Rockin Fig -- Rick Fignetti

January 17, 2002

Rick Fignetti

There hasn't been a drought for waves, as the last swell hung around

Surf City for days. Many of those were way overhead, the cliffs were even

bigger and I heard Box Cars, that big outside peak by the cliffs, was

breakin' with a few brave hearts out. The windless days with the hazy sun

and warm air temps and fun surf were a great treat in January.

Right here in town last weekend the National Scholastic Surfing Assn.

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took advantage of those conditions, to run its fifth Explorer season

contest. The site was on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier and

the action was hot. In the boys, Seal Beach's Chris Waring was ripping it

up, even bustin' some fins out maneuvers to pull into second place.

Huntington Beach's Ian Ekberg had some nice ones too, finishing fourth.

In the overall standings at the half way point of the season, Ekberg's in

second and Waring's in third, battling to catch the No. 1 spot. In

juniors, Brett Simpson proved to be unbeatable in the home surf -- doing

some rad airs, taking first by pulling some nines and 10's from the

judges. He's also in control of the ratings points lead by more than 900

points. Willie Safreed pulled into the third position. Meanwhile in the

mens, Sean Taylor had the big moves to win it, but Safreed again made

another final and placed second this time, surfing a division up pretty

good. As the finals were being run a big fog bank rolled in, which made

it hard to see. And if ya can't see ya can't judge so the rest of the

finals had to be canceled. They will be run at the next event in

Oceanside Jan. 27 first thing in the morning, by the north side of the

pier.

Up north at C-Street, the United States Surfing Federation held the

Donnie Soloman Memorial contest. Huntington Beach's James Webb pulled his

best showing yet, placing second in the peeling rights. Webb picked off

some good size sets, slashed some mean lips and worked them down the

line. Jeff Combs lost a close decision in the semis and placed equal

seventh in two divisions, open mens and seniors -- not to mention being

the iron man second in the bodyboarding too. In longboarding Laird

Schlick finished seventh and is in the lead in the overall standings. In

grand masters, Richard Eldridge and Jay Bolt were one and two

respectively, dominating the field. I thought I heard World Champion Tour

star, Pat O'Connell, one of Donnie's bro's, took the pro division.

Huntington's danger woman, Kim Hamrock won a new board in the raffle.

Next up is Seaside Reef, Feb. 3.

Hawaii has been macking with big time surf and when it gets the

biggest at the Waimea Bay, they hold the "Quicksilver Eddie Aikau

Memorial Big Wave Classic." The waves were anywhere from 25- to 35- with

40-foot sets. Former six time world champ Kelly Slater was the man who

rode some of the biggest mountains of water out there and came up on top.

Slate's edged Aussie big wave extraordinaire Tony Ray, to claim the

prestigious title, in a close one. That's it for now, see ya.

* RICK FIGNETTI is a six-time West Coast champion, has announced the

U.S. Open of Surfing the last eight years and has been the KROQ-FM

(106.7) surfologist for the last 15 years where he's done morning surf

reports. He owns a surf shop on Main Street. You can reach him at (714)

536-1058.

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