Bud Tour Winner Comes From School of Hard Knox

Rockin' Fig is Rick Fignetti, a Huntington Beach surfer/shop owner. Times staff writer David Reyes has reported on U.S. surf teams competing in Bali and Brazil.

Oh, man! We've the Trestles contest, Vietnam and women all in one column.

Rockin' Fig was just back from the U.S. Bud Tour at Trestles, south of the Orange County line, and had plenty to say about it.

Fig, who was hot?

We had the No. 2 man in the world there, Shane Beschen of San Clemente. He was looking good in the early heats but got bumped in the semis. Taylor Knox of Carlsbad was on fire, though, and won the contest.

Where's he been, Fig?

It's been quite a while since Taylor has made the finals of a Bud Surf contest. His surfing has been a little off. In fact, when he picked up his check he admitted he was in a slump. Hopefully the victory will give him more confidence and allow him to power out for the rest of the season.

Who gave him competition?

John Shimooka of Hawaii, a dark horse. Shimooka only got four waves in the final, barely the minimum, but he got two set waves and placed second.

Current world champion Derek Ho of Hawaii took third. Actually, Derek scored big-time with the five judges, scoring three 10s on a wave in the semis. He just blasted the lip like five times on that one wave!

Everyone was wondering how Ho, at age 29, was gonna do against the younger, quicker guys but he looked pretty solid down at Trestles.

I hear Jeff Deffenbaugh took fourth.

Yup. He's on a roll. Deffenbaugh won at Virginia Beach (Aug. 25) and made the finals at Trestles. That makes him rated No. 1 on the Bud Surf Tour.

Isn't he a local from Huntington Beach?

Yeah. We haven't had someone from Huntington Beach holding the No. 1 spot on the Bud Tour for about 10 years. I remember that in 1988 we had John Parmenter and Noah Budroe who were in the Top 5 in 1988.

How did Kelly Slater, Mister No. 1 rated surfer in the world do?

Kelly was a no-show. He was listed on the contest sheets but never showed up. He might have surfed in Portugal instead.

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Canceled: News from the offices of the Huntington Beach-based Assn. of Surfing Professionals is that the China Beach contest in Vietnam, a popular event last year, was canceled because of a lack of financial support. It was scheduled to start Wednesday.

Fig, how does this affect things?

This is gonna create a big scramble on the World Qualifying Series circuit and will attract a bunch of surfers for the Bud Surf Tour's San Francisco contest. Oct. 5 through 9.

Let's see, there are two divisions, right? The World Championship Tour (WCT), the WQS, which includes Bud Surf Tour. Help me explain this to the folks, Fig.

The guys who are in the Top 28 from the Championship Tour will be coming back next year. But the tour also adds the Top 16 surfers from the Qualifying Series. So with Vietnam out, the guys are trying to get into that Top 16 and the only WQS event that weekend is the Bud contest in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the world tour is headed for Brazil for the Alternativa contest Oct. 19 through 23. Slater is still rated No. 1 on the WCT, but the Fig said there's a California contingent burning it up.

We got a lot of California guys, probably the best group ever in the WCT's Top 16, and include, Beschen in second place, Rob Machado of Cardiff, 12th; Jeff Booth of Laguna Beach, 13th, and Knox, 14th.

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Women's Exhibit: On Oct. 15, the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum will open a women's surfing exhibit. Ann Beasley, museum director, said it will feature photos, memorabilia, and trophies from Joyce Hoffman, Jericho Poppler-Bartlow, Linda Benson, Linda Merrill, Rell Sunn, and Mary Ann Hawkins.

Photographs and a small biography on other female surfers are being accepted and are needed for a collage. Those interested should mail the information by Oct. 10, to the museum, P.O. Box 782, Huntington Beach, CA 92648. The museum's chili cook-off, also is Oct. 15 and will be held across the street from the museum, 411 Olive St.

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Who Paid?: No one yet has been able to get a figure on paid attendance at the Op Pro and U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach put on by Prime Ticket. Don Meek, Prime Ticket's vice president for marketing, is oddly silent.

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