Legends Clash for real at Haliewa

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When the North Shore is churning double to triple overhead waves, it's all about power surfing. The Clash of the Legends exhibition yesterday at the Reef Hawaiian Pro proved it, posting the highest scoring heat of the event so far. This special part of the first jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing featured former ASP World Champs Tom Curren, Tom Carroll, Mark "Occy" Occhilupo and Sunny Garcia, battling at epic Haleiwa.

Reef Hawaiian Pro Final Gallery

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Joel Parkinson's back, but he wasn't the only story from Haleiwa. GalleryPhoto Gallery

"I thought we were going to go out and have a friendly heat, but I guess not. Tom Curren is just, right now, the weakest person in my mind," said Sunny Garcia, who is also competing in the main event of the Reef Hawaiian Pro and advanced to the third round yesterday. "And I'm pretty pissed, you know? We're all out there taking turns and for him to swing around and take off on the inside of me was just uncalled for. But I guess that's the only way he's going to beat me. Whatever!"

There were no Qualifying Series points or Triple Crown standings on the line for the Clash of the Legends, but competition was still fierce. It got real heavy when Curren and Sunny Garcia got into a paddle battle with Garcia receiving an interference call. Garcia was winning the heat until the triangle, which resulted in his highest ride being divided in half when totaled. The 2000 ASP World Champ and six-time Triple Crown Champion from Hawaii earned a two-wave total of 13.69. Needless to say, Garcia was livid at the end of the heat.

"I wasn't really trying to hassle. I saw that I was in position for the wave and I needed the wave so I went for it," said Curren. "Sunny wanted the wave as well. That was the last thing I wanted to do was to get an interference with Sunny."

Yesterday was the first of three rounds for the four icons of pro surfing -- their top two scores from each heat (six wave total) will be tallied to determine the Ultimate Legend at the end of the event. Curren laid down some of the most beautiful lines of the contest, gently caressing the wave's face on bottom turns and perfectly stalling for two different tube rides.

"It's as good as I've ever seen it in a really long time," said three-time ASP World Champion Tom Curren, 46, of the conditions at Haleiwa yesterday. Wave face heights at Alii Beach Park loomed in the 12-to 20-foot range and were nicely groomed by offshore winds.

"I knew the barrels were really high scoring and if you could get in there for a little bit it's one of the funnest things to do," said Curren who won this event in 1991 on a sticker-less board. "If you're watching the event it's also a lot of fun and it gets a good score."

Curren was one of the few surfers that knew how to find the tube yesterday. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native won the first round and posted the highest two-wave total of the event a 17.06 out of a possible 20 points. Mark Occhilupo finished runner-up with a 16.53. Sunny Garcia earned third for a 13.69, and Tom Carroll was in fourth place with a 13.40.

Garcia, 40, is the youngest surfer in the Clash of Legends exhibition and the only one competing in the main event of the Reef Hawaiian Pro. It will be interesting to see what goes down next round when Garcia, Curren, Occy and Tom Carroll meet again. No matter what size the waves are, it's going to be gnarly.

In the early rounds of the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the story was all locals, as it often is with the tricky line-up at Haliewa. The top performers of the day, including Tory Miester, John John Florence, and Sean Moody, Hank Gaskell, and Makuakai Rothman, are Hawaiian.

Some Hawaiians fell, however, including Ola Eleogram, Clay Marzo, and Derek Ho (who spent most of his career battling the aforementioned legends.)
The swell is expected to last right into today and action should resume at 8 a.m., Hawaiian time. Catch the live webcast here.

Reef Hawaiian Pro Results

Round of 136 Results:
H1: Ian Walsh (HAW) 14.76; Sean Moody (HAW) 11.17; Daniel Jones (USA) 10.34; Kekoa Cazimero (HAW) 7.13
H2: Charlie Carroll (HAW) 11.10; Kamalei Alexander (HAW) 10.40; Love Hodel (HAW) 9.56; Makai McNamara (HAW) 7.33
H3: Jack Perry (AUS) 11.83; Albee Layer (HAW) 10.17; Landon McNamara (HAW) 3.23; Cheyne Willis (HAW) 2.43
H4: Evan Valiere (HAW) 11.34; Flynn Novak (HAW) 10.40; Ezra Sitt (HAW) 8.43; Jonah Morgan (HAW) 6.36

Round of 128
H1: Torrey Meister (HAW) 16.73; Dege O'Connell (HAW) 16.67; Brad Ettinger (USA) 10.53; Paulo Moura (BRA) 7.87
H2: Messias Felix (BRA) 13.16; Ian Walsh (HAW) 12.90; Kai Barger (HAW) 12.43; Danny Fuller (HAW) 10.74
H3: John John Florence (HAW) 16.10; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 12.36; Tyler Newton (HAW) 5.93; Ruda Carvalho (BRA) 5.60
H4: Sean Moody (HAW) 16.33; Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 14.10; Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 13.00; TJ Barron (HAW) 6.94
H5: Heath Joske (AUS) 12.80; Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 12.17; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 11.37; Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 9.00
H6: Hank Gaskell (HAW) 15.97; Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 15.07; Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.16; Charlie Carroll (HAW) 12.00
H7: Rhys Bombaci (AUS) 9.63; Chris Ward (USA) 9.57; Billy Stairmand (NZL) 8.73; Liam McNamara (HAW) 6.13
H8: Yuri Sodre (BRA) 13.67; Kamalei Alexander (HAW) 12.27; Clay Marzo (HAW) 10.84; Junior Faria (BRA) 6.77
H9: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 15.50; Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 13.40; Dayyan Neve (AUS) 12.43; Ricardo Santos (BRA) 1.33
H10: Jack Perry (AUS) 14.50; Marco Giorgi (URY) 11.30; Andre Silva (BRA) 10.50; Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 10.47
H11: Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 13.50; Solomon Ortiz (HAW) 12.00; Adam Robertson (AUS) 11.60; Romain Cloitre (FRA) 7.03
H12: Albee Layer (HAW) 13.10; Nathan Hedge (AUS) 11.30; Chris Waring (USA) 10.14; Casey Brown (HAW) 9.76
H13: Thiago Camarao (BRA) 12.70; Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 10.40; Kiron Jabour (HAW) 10.16; Derek Ho (HAW) 4.54

Clash of the Legends, Heat One Results
H1: Tom Curren (USA) 17.06; Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 16.53; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 13.69; Tom Carroll (AUS) 13.40