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A battle brews if waves hit

September 04, 2003

RICK FIGNETTI

The World Championship Tour could be on today down at Lower Trestles

San Clemente, that premier south west point break, surf permitting.

The $250,000 Boost Mobile Pro is presented by Quiksilver, which has a

10-day window through Sept. 13 to run the event on the best five days

of surf.

The top-rated surfers from around the globe will battle it out, on

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one of California's high performance waves. It's the seventh stop on

the tour, which has already visited Australia, Tahiti, Fiji, Japan

and South Africa.

American Surfing Professionals President Wayne "Rabbit"

Bartholomew said last years surf will be a hard act to follow,

because it was pretty flawless. This could be a great title race

event between Andy Irons, the current world champ and points leader,

and six-time world champ and second in the standings, Kelly Slater.

The two have been pretty much battling this season, exchanging wins,

Irons won at Bells Beach, Australia, Tavarua, Fiji and Japan at

Niijima Island, and Slater has wins at Teahupoo, (pronounced Cho-puu)

that killer left, and the last event at Jeffries Bay, South Africa.

There is a swell predicted, a south west, southern hemi has

already hit earlier this week with pretty nice shape. So there's a

good chance it'll start today, but the decision is up to contest

director, a former U.S. champ and big wave rider extraordinaire, Mike

Parsons.

Parsons will be taking a look at the buoy readings and the weather

charts to see what's up for next week. The only thing they can't do

is run both days of the weekend. They have to give the Lower's

regulars a break to log some surf time too. The top 44 and four

wildcards will be ripping it up soon.

Ratings have Irons first with Slater hot on his heels, Australian

shredder Kieren Perrow third, up-and-coming Joel Parkinson fourth,

the explosive Mick Fanning fifth, East Coaster C.J. Hobgood sixth,

Aussie lasher Taj Burrow seventh, the U.S. Open winner Cory Lopez

eighth, the winner of the first Championship Tour event in Oz, Dean

Morrison, ninth, and the top-10 ripper, Floridian Damien Hobgood.

Other notables include last year's winner Luke Egan in 13th, East

Coaster stand-out Shea Lopez 15th, Carlsbad's Taylor Knox 16th ,

Hawaii's Kalani Robb 17th and Laguna

Beach's Pat O'Connell 19th.

The sponsor and the ASP injury wildcard spots have been given to

former San Clemente resident Shane Beschen who knows the lineup well,

Cardiff's Rob Machado a winner at Lower's before, Hawaii's rad man

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