World Title Showdown at Sunset Beach
year’s ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) climax is nearing, as the Rip
Curl Cup will very likely host the crowning of the 2002 world champion.
The penultimate event, now in its 28th consecutive season, will showcase
the world’s top 45 surfers, last year’s defending champion, as well as
two other wildcards selected from the 32-man Rip Curl Cup Trials. The
waiting period for the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset runs through December 7th
and needs only four day to complete the competition.
ratings leader Andy Irons (Hawaii) commands a well-earned advantage going
into the Rip Curl Cup, with a thousand points separating him from the
nearest three Australian rivals still holding a mathematical chance of the
crown. A victory or runner-up finish at Sunset would guarantee the
Hawaiian’s maiden world title, though in reality the pressure is really
on his opponents. Unless at least one of them reaches the four-man final
and places highly in the Rip Curl Cup, there is no chance anyone can
surpass Irons during the season ending Xbox Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters.
24, won back-to-back victories at Bells Beach Australia and then Tahiti to
take an early lead on the 2002 circuit. Current ratings #2 Luke Egan
zoomed into contention at Trestles (USA), with a convincing WCT win in
California backing up his 2nd placing to Irons in Tahiti. The Hawaiian
then broke the 17th place hoodoo on the European leg, securing a runner-up
finish in France, before taking out the following WCT in Spain for his
envious position far in front.
33, remains Australia’s best hope at the world title, but will require
huge results at both Sunset and Pipeline to break Irons’ steely grip on
crucial during the Rip Curl Cup and Xbox Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters will
be the race to re-qualify in the WCT, with the top 27 final place getters
ensuring their position among the elite ranks, while the top 15 (excluding
‘double’ qualifiers) on the
Rip Curl Cup and Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion Myles Padaca
(Hawaii) will again be a major threat during Sunset.
format for the Rip Curl Cup, as well as the year’s final tournament, the
Xbox Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters, has recently changed due to permit
restrictions. Four man heats will now be held each round, including the
finals, though a second ‘losers’ round will still be in place. Jet
skis will not be used to help assist surfers back into the lineup
following their rides.
daily updates, status and other information check online at www.asp