Who’s Boss

Gary Kewley
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Friday - September 09, 2005
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Howzit, surfers and beach-goers?

Second week of September finds small south and solid trade swells. The North Shore is still sleeping (and surfers dreaming), but you know that’ll change very soon ... she always ends up proving who’s boss.

Winner Andy Irons (right) and runner-up Kelly
Slater celebrating one event in Japan plus nearly
a decade of world titles between them

Speaking of who’s boss ... Andy Irons showed Kelly Slater in Chiba, Japan, last Monday. The current and three-time world champ narrowly beat the six-time world champ in the dying minutes of a nail-biting final - showing again “Iron Will” under pressure! There’s never been a pair of pros like ‘em ... never. This rivalry is already of historic proportions. Back in 2002, we didn’t know who’d be No. 1 until the last minutes of the final tour event at Pipeline. 2002 was simply the best race ever - between the best two surfers of the last 15 years. Now it seems as if these two monster competitors have more up their wet sleeves. Slater (Florida) leads Irons (Kauai) by a good point lead of 600 ... The next in line are No. 3 Trent Munro and No. 4 Mick Fanning (both Australians) ... The Aussies are always there to keep the fire lit under the surfboards of our Yankee competitors. It’s spooky if you look at the top 20 pros ... over half (13) are from down under. Right “down under” Slater and Irons we have three Aussies chomping at their bits for a world title. There have been only two Aussies to win the crown in the last 15 years! In 1999: Mark Occhilupo - the first “elder” to do so; he was in his 30s - and Damien Hardman in 1991. These awesome and proud watermen aren’t happy with these stats. They want a title and badly - and eventually they’re gonna get one. But not if Kelly and Andy have any say.

Next up is event No. 8 of 11 on the Fosters ASP World Tour ... It’s coming up fast - Sept. 13 - in San Clemente, Calif. I’ll keep you in the loop daily on surfnewsnetwork.com and 596surf and right here where you are next weekend - stoked!

Hey, howzabout our “future stars” of the sea and surf? Yep, the Billabong Junior Pro has come and gone with the surf. Talk about scoring. We had a “blackout” of surf for over a month and then ... right when the contest is in prime time - waa-laa! We had some of the best waves of the summer! Oh yeah, Mother Nature can do that.

Granger Larsen, the new Billabong Junior Pro
champion, shows his winning form at Kewalos Lefts

Kewalos went off and so did the surfing level. In fact, my friend Bernie Baker (photog/judge/Triple Crown codirector/world traveler) said that judges agree they’d never seen this level of surfing at this age. It’s up significantly from just two years ago! The young teens just keep getting better and better. Winning the Junior Men’s is Hawaii’s Granger Larsen, and winning it for the girls is none other than Carissa Moore. These two had to overcome the best field ever. So, the best congrats to each of you, Granger and Carissa ... and to all the talented youths who entered this prestigious event in memory of Ronnie Burns - you’re all winners! Keep surfing!

I’m going to shoot for an interview with Carissa Moore, so stay tuned ... stay wet ... and stay here for your next MidWeek surf update! I’m GQ Dropping in 4 U!

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