The Golden Dream

Gary Kewley
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Friday - May 19, 2006
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Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and runner up Fred Pattachia Jr. (Hawaii) celebrate their first ASP WCT final together
Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Bobby Martinez (Santa
Barbara, Calif.) and runner up Fred Pattachia Jr.
(Hawaii) celebrate their first ASP WCT final together

Howzit, surfers and beachgoers?!

Well, well, well ... the surf keeps on chuggin’ in the country. Remember now, it’s past the middle of May, and Mother Nature could’ve pulled the surf-plug by now. Yet we’ve seen plenty 3- to 5-foot NNE swells, which started on Monday! Plus, we are getting ready for a dose of south swell action again on Monday! Yeah!

What a week last week! We finished up three major competitions in the world of surf. First, the Women’s Billabong Pro in Fiji completed on Friday. Second, it was the Men’s Billabong Pro in Tahiti which was pau the next day, Saturday, and third, was the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Championships in Brazil, which finished Sunday. Wow, our surf stars have been busy. But I don’t want to hear them complain ... they got to surf a ton of great waves.

All the girls did great in Fiji, but the one who’s blowing everyone’s mind is an Australian named Melanie Redmann-Carr. She’s won the first three events of the season, and there are only eight events for women vs. 12 for men. If she nabs one more event, “Mel” will have won half the contests. There’s never been a male counterpart to do that except ... guess who? Kelly Slater. In 1996 he won an astonishing seven events that year - good grief.


Redmann-Carr is obviously positioned to be the next world champion. She has almost 1,000 points over six-time world champ Layne Beachley. Our very own Rochelle Ballard is currently ranked No. 5. With five more events to go, anything could happen, but it is a good probability that Mel will grab her first world title at the end of this year. This talented lady knows how to win events, too. She’s been on tour nine years and has amassed 12 victories.

Bruce Irons ranked seventh and was eliminated in the Quarters by Kelly Slater — Bruce is still happy to be barrelled for a living
Bruce Irons ranked seventh and was eliminated in the
Quarters by Kelly Slater — Bruce is still happy to be
barrelled for a living

Now over to the men’s ... and we see some new faces. The most notable right now is Bobby Martinez from Santa Barbara, Calif. This 5-foot-8-inch goofy footer took out the entire field to win the Billabong Pro in Tahiti last Saturday. Tahiti is like Pipe ... if you win there you are now on the map of surf stars. You have the respect of your fellow competitors, too. Bobby did this and he’s only a rookie! So he’s well-positioned for “Rookie of the Year.” This can only be done your first year out, of course. Hawaii’s Fred Pattachia Jr. won it last year. Athletes who start out so strong have great promise within the elite. Fred P. finished 14th in his maiden year - that’s out of 48 of the world’s best surfers! That’s huge!

It just so happens that Fred and Bobby are best of friends. Fred had been urging Bobby to hurry up and get on the “dream tour” so they could do it together. Bobby was paying his dues on the World Qualifying Series, which is much more grueling and has much poorer surf. The WCT or World Championship Tour has the big bucks and goes to all the most exotic and perfect surf spots on the planet. Now it’s happening for these surfing “bros.” Oh, did I mention that Freddy P. came in second place in Tahiti? Check the photo. This is the stuff dreams are made of.


OK ... now it’s time for some reality as opposed to dreams. Not that either one is bad in and of itself ... you need both to maximize life. The Hawaii Team had to give up the gold (the dream) at the Junior World Championships Sunday, Mother’s Day. Australia is now numero uno. Let me say that, though we came in fourth behind Australia, France and Brazil, our Juniors ripped in Brazil. They helped to elevate the entire field. Some are saying it was the highest level of surfing ever seen by Juniors. Hawaii is a big part of that! It’s time to practice harder and smarter to recapture next year’s title. The pain of reality can often be the best motivator. But keep on dreaming ... Can you see that gold in your hands?

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

P.S. Remember the Local Motion Surf Into Summer entry deadline is Saturday, May 20. The event is to be held at Sandy Beach over the three-day Memorial Day weekend May 27, 28 and 29! Click SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM or call 638-RUSH for da scoops! Stoked!

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