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Cardiff’s Machado Fails to Roll With Bad Breaks at U.S. Open : Surfing: Waves favor Huntington Beach’s Deffenbaugh, who beats Op Pro champion.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Competing on a moving playing field, surfers have to accept what the ocean gives them. And some days, it gives nothing. Ask Rob Machado.

The winner of the Op Pro at Huntington Beach Pier last Sunday, Machado did not catch the waves he needed at the same spot Friday. He lost to Jeff Deffenbaugh in Round 3 of the U.S. Open of Surfing.

Machado, who lives in Cardiff, surfs regularly on the world championship tour and was seeded fourth in the U.S. Open. Deffenbaugh, from Huntington Beach, earned a wild-card berth in the Op Pro.

Paddling out in 3 to 5 foot surf before noon, Deffenbaugh caught the first wave of the heat. He threw a couple cutbacks and worked it almost all the way to the sand, scoring a 5.63. The second, smaller wave was also his.

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Machado took off on a small one and fell. But he showed why he was the heavy favorite on his second effort. A long, left-breaking wave earned Machado a 7.33.

But the advantage may have gone to Deffenbaugh, who knew he had nothing to lose. While Machado waited for bigger, more powerful waves, Deffenbaugh took off on anything that looked fun. With three minutes to go, Machado needed a 5.42 to win.

Deffenbaugh paddled around the priority buoy and moved in close to Machado. They waited.

With a minute left, both surfers paddled into an oncoming wave. Neither took off. But in paddling for it, Deffenbaugh lost his priority and had to hope the clock would run out before Machado caught a wave.

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It didn’t, but the wave was too small for Machado to do much with and the 5.0 he scored was not enough.

“There were no waves. That’s the worst thing that can happen to you in a contest,” Machado said.

Deffenbaugh competes in qualifying-series events, which run four-person heats and do not use the priority buoys.

“I’ve been watching the other heats and the strategy of other competitors,” Deffenbaugh said. The Orange County native also knew the tides and wave directions.

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Deffenbaugh and Richie Collins are the only remaining wild cards. Newport Beach’s Richie Collins defeated Gary Elkerton, of Australia, in the first heat of the day at 6 a.m. Tom Curren lost to Dave Macaulay, the No. 2 surfer in the world. Shane Stoneman, from Capistrano Beach, lost to Kelly Slater, who is No. 1.

Stoneman opened the heat with an exciting, long ride. When Slater heard the announcers call the seven-point score, he got busy. His first was an 8. Speeding through a series of maneuvers on each wave, Slater built his margin of victory with every wave.

“When I heard I was having a good heat, I figured I might as well have a really good heat,” he said. In the end, he scored a total of 31.50, the highest of the day and the highest of the contest.

Longboarder Joel Tudor scored the highest wave of the day, though, when a perfectly stylish barrel-ride earned him a 10 in the quarterfinals.

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Notes

Today’s schedule: 7-11 a.m.--Men’s surfing round 4; 11 a.m.-12 p.m.--Longboarding semifinals; 12-1 p.m. women’s surfing semifinals; 1-1:45 p.m.--Longboarding finals; 1:45-2:30 p.m.--Women’s surfing finals; 3-5 p.m.--In-the-surf jet ski race and elite lifeguard exhibition; 9 a.m.-5 p.m.--U.S. Open Beach Expo.

Results

Men’s Round 3 (winner advances)

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Heat 1--Richie Collins, Newport Beach (22.60); 2. Gary Elkerton, France (21.30). Heat 2--1. Stuart Bedford Brown, Australia (24.04); 2. Jake Spooner, Australia (22.07). Heat 3--1. Sunny Garcia, Waianae, Hawaii (23.04); 2. Vetea David, Brazil (22.79). Heat 4--1. Todd Holland, Cocoa Beach, Fla. (26.36); 2. Renan Rocha, Brazil (22.53). Heat 5--1. Shane Beschen, San Clemente (25.47); 2. Victor Ribas, Brazil (17.70). Heat 6--1. Taylor Knox, Carlsbad (24.83); 2. Chris Brown, Santa Barbara (20.83). Heat 7--1. Kaipo Jaquias, Hanamaulu, Hawaii (25.67); 2. Flavio Padaratz, Brazil (21.06). Heat 8--1. Dave Macaulay, Australia (26.44); 2. Tom Curren, France (23.11). Heat 9--1. Kelly Slater, Cocoa Beach, Fla. (31.51); 2. Shane Stoneman, Capistrano Beach (25.27). Heat 10--1. Rob Bain, Australia (24.20); 2. Fabio Gouveia, Brazil (19.10). Heat 11--1. Ross Williams, Haleiwa, Hawaii (26.37); 2. Jojo de Olivenca, Brazil (22.03). Heat 12--1. Damien Hardman, Australia (22.30); 2. Richard Marsh, Australia (19.50). Heat 13--1. Mark Bannister, Australia (26.33); 2. Derek Ho, Sunset Beach, Hawaii (25.93). Heat 14--1. Michael Barry, Australia (25.27); 2. Jeff Booth, Laguna Beach (25.27), on best three 20.65-19.67. Heat 15--1. Jeff Deffenbaugh, Huntington Beach (23.67); 2. Rob Machado, Cardiff (23.26). Heat 16--1. Matt Hoy, Australia (25.47); 2. Joey Jenkins, North Hollywood (24.43).

Women’s Quarterfinals

Heat 1--1. Nea Post, Huntington Beach (22.99); 2. Kathy Newman, Australia (22.17). Heat 2--1. Lisa Andersen, Ormond Beach, Fla. (27.34); 2. Vanessa Osborne, Australia (11.17). Heat 3--1. Kylie Webb, Australia (23.63); 2. Tricia Gill, Carlsbad (16.70). Heat 4--1. Frieda Zamba, Flagler Beach, Fla. (23.94); 2. Rochelle Ballard, Kuaui, Hawaii (19.54).

Bodyboarding, Quarterfinals (top two advance)

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Heat 1--1. Mike Stewart, Anaheim; 2. Jay Reale, San Clemente; 3. Chris Cunningham, Huntington Beach; 4. Brian Press, Torrance. Heat 2--1. Guilherme Tamega, Brazil; 2. Robert Crawford, Huntington Beach; 3. Chris Burkart, Honolulu, Hawaii; 4. Chris Tennberg, Costa Mesa. Heat 3--1. Brian Wise, San Clemente; 2. Jeremy Olson, Laguna Niguel; 3. Curtis Payan, Laguna Niguel; 4. Keith Sazaki, Honolulu, Hawaii. Heat 4--1. Tim Ross; 2. Jacky Buder, Honolulu, Hawaii; 3. George De Marino, Carlsbad; 4. Joey Vieira, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Longboarding Quarterfinals

Heat 1--1. Jeff Kramer, San Clemente; 2. Joey Hawkins, Huntington Beach; 3. Chris Schlickenmeyer, Torrance; 4. Brad Warrick, Costa Mesa. Heat 2--1. Joel Tudor, San Diego; 2. Ted Robinson, Manhattan Beach; 3. Lance Hookano, Honolulu, Hawaii; 4. Bingo Cosby Jr., Oceanside. Heat 3--1. Israel Paskowitz, San Clemente; 2. Steve Farwell, Costa Mesa; 3. Dale Dobson, Cardiff; 4. Bonga Perkins, Honolulu, Hawaii. Heat 4--1. Colin McPhillips, Capistrano Beach; 2. David Nuuhiwa, Anaheim; 3. Joey Valentine, Aiea, Hawaii; 4. Geoff Moysa, San Clemente.


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