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Deffenbaugh Shows He Can Surf With Best

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Surfing in his first world championship tour event, Huntington Beach’s Jeff Deffenbaugh proved he belongs.

One of three men to qualify for the U.S. Open of Surfing through the Op Pro, Deffenbaugh faced Australia’s Shane Powell, the third-highest-rated surfer, and Fabio Gouveia, a national hero in Brazil, on Wednesday.

On the strength of eight waves, Deffenbaugh, 21, defeated them both and advanced to the third round of competition. Powell and Gouveia move to the second round, which begins the one-on-one, single-elimination format today.

“I’ve got nothing to lose and all to gain here,” Deffenbaugh said. “They’re fighting for points and their spot in the world (ratings).”

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A regular competitor on the world qualifying series, Deffenbaugh was in 13th place after the Op Pro. The year’s top 16 finishers qualify for the world championship tour.

“This event may turn on the lights and motivate him to work hard enough in the next six months to earn a spot on the world tour,” contest director Ian Cairns said. “It’s an opportunity for Jeff to set himself up professionally.”

Tom Curren, another wild-card entry, brought out a 5-foot-7 squash-tail board hoping to rekindle the excitement he caused in France last year when he won on a 1960s model. He finished third in the tightest heat of the day and will use a standard surfboard for the rest of the Open.

Although Curren won four Op Pros and three world titles in the 1980s, he has not competed in the United States in three years. “I was a bit nervous,” he said after his heat.

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Even in third position and with a case of nerves, fans still flocked for Curren’s autograph and photographers set up to shoot him.

Early in the morning before a crowd formed on the beach, Derek Ho and Sunny Garcia showed the Hawaiian touch for surfing barrels. Both won their heats and will surf again Friday.

“I need a strong result right now,” Ho said. Ho, the 1993 world champion, started the world tour 12 years ago.

“I’ve been Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, 11 . . . It took me 10 or 12 years to combine everything I know,” he said. “This year I have a ninth and two 17ths, so it’s important I get a strong result right now heading into France.”

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After the U.S. Open, the world tour stops in Lacanau, Hossegor and Biarritz, France.

Of 48 women entrants, only 16 remain. Eight women advanced Wednesday from the first round of the main event into the second, where they will face the top eight seeded surfers.

U.S. Open of Surfing Results

Longboarding, main event Round 2

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Heat 1--1. Joey Hawkins, Huntington Beach; 2. Chris Schleckenmeyer, Torrance; 3. Mark Cobb, Huntington Beach; 4. Pat Lynch, Oceanside; Heat 2--1. Jeff Kramer, San Clemente; 2. Brad Warrick, Costa Mesa; 3. Evert Lee, Granada Hills; 4. Jesse Fernandez, Kitty Hawk, NC; Heat 3--1. Joel Tudor, San Diego; 2. Lance Hookano, Hawaii; 3. Tim Hogan, San Clemente; 4. Kenji Webb, Santa Barbara; Heat 4--1. Ted Robinson, Manhattan Beach; 2. Bingo Cosby, Jr., Oceanside; 3. Rick Hazzard, San Clemente; Heat 5--1. Israel Paskowitz, San Clemente; 2. Bonga Perkins, Hawaii; 3. Dino Miranda, Hawaii; 4. Kevin Connelly, San Diego; Heat 6--1. Steve Farwell, Costa Mesa; 2. Dale Dobson, Cardiff; 3. Bill Stewart, San Clemente; 4. Clint Carroll, San Clemente; Heat 7--1.Geoff Moysa, San Clemente; 2. David Nuhiwa, Anaheim; 3. Reese Patterson, Redondo Beach; 4. Josh Baxter, San Clemente; Heat 8--1. Joey Valentine, Hawaii; 2. Colin McPhillips, Capistrano Beach; 3. Mike Mattison, Huntington Beach; 4. Stu Kenson, Chula Vista.

Women’s surfing main event, Round 1

Top two advance

Heat 1--1. Nea Post, Huntington Beach; 2. Kim Woolridge, Australia; 3. Heather Clarke, South Africa; 4. Connie Clark, Huntington Beach; Heat 2--1. Tricia Gill, Carlsbad; 2. Megan Abubo, Hawaii; 3. Belinda Godfrey, Australia; 4. Patricia Lopes, Portugal; Heat 3--1. Miyuko Onozato, Japan; 2. Alisa Schwartzstein, Laguna Beach; 3. Julie Whitegon, Carlsbad; 4. Narumi Kitagawa, Japan; Heat 4--1. Frieda Zamba, Flagler Beach, Fla. 2. Trudi Todd, Australia; Falina Spires, Daytona Beach, Fla.; 4. Andrea Lopes, Brazil.

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Men’s surfing main event, Round 1

Winner to Round 3, second and third to Round 2

Heat 1--1. Jake Spooner, Australia; 2. Jojo De Olivencia, Brazil; 3. Mark Bannister, Australia; Heat 2--1. Vetea David, Tahiti; 2. Barton Lynch, Australia; 3. Matt Hoy, Australia; Heat 3--1. Derek Ho; Hawaii; 2. Nick Wood, Australia; 3. Mike Rommelse, Australia; Heat 4--1. Sunny Garcia, Hawaii; 2. Luke Egan, Australia; 3. Tinguinha Lima, Brazil; Heat 5--1. Gary Elkerton, Australia; 2. Marty Thomas, Hawaii; 3. Bob Bain, Australia; Heat 6--1. Rob Machado, Cardiff; 2. Flavio Padaratz, Brazil; 3. Tadeu Pereira, Brazil; Heat 7--1. Kaipo Jaquias, Hawaii; 2. Richie Collins, Newport Beach; 3. Martin Potter, Great Britain; Heat 8--1. Dave Macaulay, Australia; 2. Peterson Rosa, Brazil; 3. Tom Curren, France; Heat 9--1. Kelly Slater, Cocoa Beach, Fla.; 2. Joey Jenkins, North Hollywood; 3. Shane Stoneman, San Juan Capistrano; Heat 10--1. Jeff Deffenbaugh, Huntington Beach; 2. Shane Powell, Australia; 3. Fabio Gouveia, Brazil; Heat 11--1. Renan Rocha, Brazil; 2. Shane Beschen, San Clemente; 3. Dino Andino, San Clemente; Heat 12--1. Taylor Knox, Carlsbad; 2. Michael Barry, Australia; 3. Tony Ray, Australia; Heat 13--1. Richard Marsh, Australia; 2. Mike Parsons, San Clemente; 3. Damien Hardman, Australia; Heat 14--1. Chris Brown, Santa Barbara; 2. Jeff Booth, Laguna Beach; 3. Simon Law, Australia; Heat 15--1. Todd Holland, Cocoa Beach, Fla.; 2. Ross Williams, Hawaii; 3. Shane Dorian, Hawaii; Heat 16--1. Stuart Bedford-Brown, Australia; 2. Shane Herring, Australia; 3. Victor Ribas, Brazil.

Women’s trials Round 2

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Top two advance

Heat 1--1. Tricia Gill, Carlsbad; 2. Narumi Kitagawa, Japan; 3. Yasuko Kamitaki, Japan; 4. Kim Hamrock, Huntington Beach; Heat 2--1. Frieda Zamba, Flagler Beach, Fla.; 2. Connie Clark, Huntington Beach; 3. Kim Hall, Santa Cruz; 4. Jayme Lee, San Clemente; Heat 3--1. Heather Clarke, South Africa; 2. Julie Whiteson, Carlsbad; 3. Cori Schumacher, Oceanside; 4. Satomi Tagai, Japan; Heat 4--1. Megan Abubo, Hawaii; 2. Falina Spires, Daytona Beach, Fla.; 3. Melanie Redman, Australia; 4. Melissa Proud, Hawaii.


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