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OP WINTERSURF PRO : Surfer Elkerton’s Time in French Alps Pays Dividends

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It wasn’t exactly the Bo Jackson method of cross-training, but Gary Elkerton sure is glad he spent the last month snowboarding in the French Alps instead of surfing in his native Australia.

After easily winning the surfing competition Saturday, Elkerton came back with a less-than-spectacular-but-good-enough 19th-place finish in the snowboarding competition to clinch the Op Wintersurf Pro overall championship Sunday at Bear Mountain Ski Resort.

“I didn’t do as well as I thought I would in the snowboarding,” Elkerton said. “I’m more used to freestyle riding instead of going down a slalom course like we did.”

Elkerton, of Mooloolaba, Australia, took home $3,900 for winning the two-day event, which featured 32 of the nation’s top snowboarders and surfers.

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Results from Saturday’s surfing and Sunday’s snowboarding were added to determine the overall winner.

Elkerton scored 1,390 points, edging snowboarder Kris Jamieson of Bend, Ore., by 30 points.

Jamieson earned $800 for winning the snowboarding championship. He was the only competitor to turn in times under 30 seconds (29.41 and 29.55).

Elkerton’s top times were 36.86 and 36.67. He was slowed throughout the competition by a bad case of jet lag, having flown from France to Los Angeles the day before the event.

“Winning this was very nice,” Elkerton said. “I kind of had a bummer trip over here, with jet lag and then the airline lost my luggage. But it was worth it to come over.”

Elkerton beat Noah Budroe of Huntington Beach in the surfing competition Saturday at the Huntington Beach Pier. Budroe placed third in the overall standings with 1,290 points.

“It was good to get out and surf again,” Elkerton said. “But I needed a break from it. I had just spent the last 10 months on the tour, and it was too much.”

After the snowboarding contest, Elkerton watched as several of the snowboarders showed off with some aerial maneuvers off a three-foot jump.

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Someone asked Elkerton if he wanted to give it a try.

“Are you kidding?” he said. “I’m not going to try anything like that.”

Overall standings

(Surfing and snowboarding)

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1. Gary Elkerton (Mooloolaba, Australia), 1,390; 2. Kris Jamieson (Bend, Ore.), 1,360; 3. Noah Budroe (Huntington Beach), 1,290; 4. Dan Donnley (Mt. Vernon, Wash.), 1,260; 5. (tie) Scott Daley (Redondo Beach) and Craig Kelly (Mt. Vernon, Wash.), 1,130.

Results

Snowboarding

(Top two times combined)

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Finals--1. Jamieson, 58.96 seconds; 2. Donnley, 61.70; 3. Kelly, 62.04; 4. Tom Burt (King’s Beach), 63.05; 5. Greg Tominson, 63.47.


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