Heat two is veteran Aussie Mick Campbell who's had a wicked backside attack and has been taking the young guns out. But he's up against none other than eight-time world champ Kelly Slater who's been in top form getting a perfect 10 in his round three heat, and a 9.5 score in round four as he took down South Africa's Greg Emslie with some mind-blowing barrels and lip bashes. In heat three it's lightning-fast Australian Mick Fanning and fellow Aussie Josh Kerr who's been going off, while quarter four features two Australians — last year's finalist Taj Burrow, who's had some blistering forehand gouges, versus rookie Ben Dunn who's been on fire, too, and looks like a new threat here at the start of the Assn. of Surfing Professionals' 2007 season. Stay tuned for more results.
The National Scholastic Surfing Assn. held Open Season event number eight at Newport Beach's 54th Street last weekend in some small-scale, 1- to 3-foot surf.
Taking the win in the men's division was hot Newport local Andrew Doheny in home-ground surf. Doheny still has one year left in juniors, but is giving the men's division a run for its money and is rated third overall.
Also in men's competition, Huntington Beach's Quinn McCrystal rode one of his dad's shaped surf boards to come in fourth with nice turns.
In juniors competition, Doheny came up with another victory while Huntington's Christian Saenz ripped to third. In boy's competition, little Kanoa Igarashi surfed up and placed third and Johnny Elles rounded out the top six.
In mini groms, Kanoa racked up his fifth incredible win of the season, showing he's pretty much unstoppable. In women's competition, Surf City's Sara Taylor — last year's state high school champ — took first with an impressive performance.
I hear tell there's finally going to be a swell this weekend after a week of miniature surf. Still saw some of the H.B. big boys out ripping on the small days, including Brett Simpson blowing some tail-out moves, Shaun Ward slashin' it, "Hoiso" Hoisington tearing, "Misko" busting some airs, Chris Waring slamming some lips, "Tippy" Brandon Tipton throwing a couple of fierce roundies and Santa Cruz's Zolton Torkos throwing some reverses to name a few. It was inspiring.
See ya. Figgy, over and out.
RICK FIGNETTI is a nine-time West Coast champion and has been the KROQ-FM surfologist for the last 18 years. He owns a surf shop on Main Street. You can reach him at (714) 536-1058.