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Surfing at Wild Rivers : Santa Barbara’s Brown Twists Way to Top Prize

Chris Brown of Santa Barbara overcame two falls with a series of flashy, twisting rides to win a $17,000 Professional Surfing Assn. of America tournament Sunday at Wild Rivers theme park in Irvine.

Brown, who finished fourth in an April association surfing event at the same site, edged Kelly Slater of Cocoa Beach, Fla. for the $4,000 first prize.

Sean Mattison of Jackson Beach, Fla. finished third; defending U.S. champion and current points leader Mike Lambresi of Carlsbad finished fourth.

Brown and Slater, who each had two falls, made up for their mishaps with a series of sharp, turning rides through waves created by fans underneath the Wild Rivers wave pool, with Brown emerging on top with his consistency.

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“It wasn’t one particular wave but good performances on a series of rides that won it for me,” Brown said.

Lambresi and Brown moved on to the surfing finals earlier Sunday by defeating Craig Cottle of Malibu and Richie Rudolph of Cocoa Beach in their semifinal heats. Slater, who won the April surfing association event at Wild Rivers, and Mattison won their final berths over Dino Andino of San Clemente and Noah Budroe of Huntington Beach in the other semifinal heat.

Meanwhile, in the bodyboarding finals, Danny Kim of Waianae, Hawaii, used a quick series of four 360-degree spins in one ride to win the $1,200 first prize.

Defending U.S. champion Mike Stewart of Kona, Hawaii, finished second, and Cameron Steele of San Clemente came in third.

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Ben Severson of Honolulu, who was second to Stewart in the surfing association’s overall points standings with 9,460 going into Sunday’s finals, wound up fourth. Stewart had 10,230 points before the Wild Rivers competition.

Stewart earned $610 for finishing second; Steele got $300 for coming in third. Severson picked up $200.


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