When you consider the history between Mark Occhilupo and Tom Curren, it was almost inevitable that the much-hyped "Clash of the Icons" event would end in a draw – which is precisely what happened when Occ took down Tom in clean, but inconsistent surf at Supertubes.
After Curren won the first heat in marginal surf yesterday morning, Occy was desperate to level the score and was successful, thanks in large part to an 8.67 he received for linking his trademark top-to-bottom combinations down the point. Tom surfed well, but a tactical blunder left him chasing 7 points in the dying seconds.
"You can make one or two mistakes and sometimes get away with it," said Tom after the heat, "but you can't make three."
Occy was visibly relieved to walk away from J-Bay with a heat win. His victory means that out of 18 heats these surfers have had against each other throughout their careers, both surfers are level at 9 victories apiece.
Both surfers are already talking about possibly taking the show on the road – with Mundaka sounding like the next possible arena for the match-up to take place. In J-Bay however, the icons clashed, but they neither of them gave an inch.