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OP WINTERSURF PRO : Jet Lag Doesn’t Slow Down Elkerton

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gary Elkerton fought off a bad case of jet lag to easily win the surfing portion of the Op Wintersurf Pro on Saturday at the Huntington Beach Pier.

The two-day surfing-snowboarding competition continues at 10 a.m. today with the snowboarding at Bear Mountain.

Scores from Saturday’s surfing will be added to the snowboarding results to determine the overall winner among the 32 pro surfers and snowboarders competing.

Elkerton, who finished second to Tom Curren on the Assn. of Surfing Professionals tour last season, earned 1,000 points for defeating Noah Budroe of Huntington Beach in the finals. Elkerton placed first on all five judges’ ballots.

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The competition was the first time Elkerton has surfed in more than a month. He flew to Los Angeles on Friday from France, where he was snowboarding in the French Alps.

“I’m pretty tired,” Elkerton said. “It’s amazing that someone hasn’t invented some kind of healthy drug you can take where you’re not tired after flying for 24 straight hours.”

Nonetheless, Elkerton, of Mooloolaba, Australia, cruised through his heats, winning all but the second round. None of the 16 snowboarders advanced past the first round of the surfing competition.

Elkerton made $800 for winning the surfing competition. The overall winner will receive $3,000.

“I felt OK out there,” Elkerton said. “We’re on a two-month break from the (ASP) tour and I’ve been doing nothing but snowboarding. Tomorrow, we (surfers) get to try to keep up with the snowboarders.”

Overall standings

1. Gary Elkerton (Mooloolaba, Australia) 1,000; 2. Noah Budroe (Huntington Beach) 860; 3. Mike Parsons (San Clemente) and Scott Daly (Redondo Beach) 730.

Surfing results

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Finals--Elkerton d. Budroe, 5-0

Semifinals--Elkerton d. Daly; Budroe d. Parsons.

Third round (top two advance from four-man heat): Heat 1--1. Parsons, 2. Budroe; Heat 2--1. Elkerton, 2. Daly.

Second round: Heat 1--1. Budroe, 2. Parsons; Heat 2--1. Chris Menzie (Ocean Beach), 2. David Downing; Heat 3--1. Chuy Reyna (Oceanside), 2. Gary Clisby (Huntington Beach).

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First round: Heat 1--1. Parsons, 2. Greg Tomison; Heat 2--1. Reyna, 2. Kaipo Guerrero (Laguna Niguel); Heat 3--1. Willie Morris (Agoura), 2. Menzie (Ocean Beach); Heat 4--1. Daly, 2. Christian Fletcher (San Clemente); Heat 5--1. Elkerton, 2. Larry Beard; Heat 6--1. Clisby, 2. Chris Burke (San Clemente); Heat 7--1. Ted Robinson (Manhattan Beach), 2. Pat Allen (Green Valley); Heat 8--1. Budroe, 2. Downing.


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