O'NEILL WORLD CUP OF SURFING
Big waves too much for World Cup
Waves can get too big and unruly for even the world's best surfers, and yesterday at the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing was proof of that.
Only eight of 16 heats in the Round of 64 -- a half day's worth of competition -- were completed before Vans Triple Crown of Surfing officials decided to stop the contest at Sunset Beach for the day.
Wave faces averaged between 12 and 24 feet, but closeout sets approaching 30 feet and poor winds became too predominant by midday for the World Cup to continue.
Among the names advancing from the eight heats to a spot among the final 32 were new world champion Mick Fanning (Australia), Ian Walsh (Hawaii) and new Triple Crown series leader Bede Durbidge (Australia). Durbidge placed second to Kauai's Roy Powers at the Triple Crown's first jewel at Haleiwa last month, but now possesses the lead for the Triple Crown championship that goes to top overall performer in the three Hawaii events after Powers was among those eliminated from the second jewel yesterday.
Defending Triple Crown overall champ Andy Irons, also of Kauai, was a no-show for his heat -- the first of the morning -- and effectively removed himself from contention for the series title this year.
At least two more days will be needed to complete the contest that also serves as the season finale for the World Qualifying Series in addition to the Triple Crown's second stop.
The World Cup's waiting period ends Thursday.