Occhilupo Beats Curren, Wins Title in Pro Surfing Event at Huntington Beach
Mark Occhilupo of Australia defeated Tom Curren of Santa Barbara on Sunday to win the men’s title of the Ocean Pacific Pro Surfing Championships at the Huntington Beach Pier.
The 19-year-old Occhilupo, in only his second year on the professional tour, edged Curren in the third and deciding heat. He won $6,500 and a new truck. Curren, who had his two-year winning streak in the event ended, won $3,200.
The victory moved Occhilupo from fifth to second place in the world rankings, behind Australian Barton Lynch, who Curren had beaten in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Occhilupo defeated Michael Ho of Hawaii in his semifinal match earlier on Sunday, while Curren beat Australian Tom Carroll, the world champion the last two years. Curren moved from 14th to 10th place in the rankings as a result of his finish.
In the women’s championship, Jodie Cooper of Australia defeated Jorja Smith of San Clemente, taking two of their three heats. Cooper, who finished fourth in the world last year, won $4,000 and a new car, while Smith won $2,000.