Hawaii Beat

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Irons outsurfed
by Padaratz

Neco Padaratz overcame a serious back injury and current ratings leader Andy Irons to win the inaugural Quiksilver Pro France and collect $30,000.

Padaratz, 26, was No. 43 leading into the Quiksilver Pro France. A herniated disc in his lower back forced him to miss three meets this year and continues to affect his ability to surf as desired.

Throughout this event, however, he ignored it and secured his first victory since 1999 as a wildcard at Huntington Beach. His surprising win over Irons moved him up to 31st.

Against Irons in the 35-minute final, the Brazilian trailed for the majority before using priority with less than seven minutes remaining to post a brilliant 9.5 ride. His series of fast forehand snaps and a long floater earned the most during the decider, and his combined three-wave total of 23.85 points left Irons searching for another worth 7.61 from the judges.

"Andy is one of my best friends and he's such a good surfer," Padaratz said. "I've learned so much from him. We've been competing together since the juniors in '94. I have so much respect for him in the water."

Kalani Robb, who needed a near-perfect 9.66 ride toward the end of his semifinal bout with Irons, picked off a fantastic right-hander and proceeded to belt vertical re-entries all the way down the line to post a 9.35 and be narrowly eliminated.

"It just goes to show how incredible everyone is surfing," said Robb.

Marathon entries ahead of 2001

With more than two months to go before the Honolulu Marathon, entries are running 20 percent ahead of 2001.

As of Saturday, 7,436 runners had registered, compared with 6,193 at the same point last year. The marathon, which is the country's third largest, will be held Dec. 8.

Metzger, Wong finish with silver

Stein Metzger and Kevin Wong ended the 2002 pro beach volleyball campaign with a podium placement at Fortuleza, Brazil, as the United States tandem captured a silver medal at the last FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event of the season.

Second-seeded Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran of Brazil scored a 22-20 and 21-17 win over fifth-seeded Metzger and Wong in the 59-minute final to share $22,500.

"We had our chances to win the match, but let it slip away," Metzger said.

Metzger and Wong, who won only one of three meetings with Marcio Araujo and Benjamin this season, finished 2002 as the top American tandem on the FIVB Tour after posting disappointing results on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Tour. They finished the year 53-21 with $110,520 in earnings.

See line scores and results in
the [Scoreboard] section.

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