Quiksilver Pro Fiji 2003

Official Results of the 2003 Quiksilver Pro

  • 1st Andy Irons (Haw) 19.0 – US$30,000
  • 2nd Cory Lopez (USA) 13.83 – US$16,000

June 3, 2003 (Tavarua & Namotu Islands, Fiji) Reigning world champion Andy Irons (Kauai, Haw) today claimed his second event title this year by defeating Cory Lopez (FL, USA) in the final of the Quiksilver Pro. The US$250,000 World Championship Tournament (WCT) commenced with quarterfinals this morning, ran right through semifinals and then climaxed with the grand finale.

Perfect 6-8 ft (2-2.5m) waves were on offer at Cloudbreak. Boat loads of spectators came out to watch from the lineup, while thousands more logged onto www.quiksilver.com for the live audio and video broadcast.

WCT Top 10 (after Fiji)

  • 1. Andy Irons (Haw) 3,600-points
  • 2. Mick Fanning (Aus) 2,964
  • 3. Kieren Perrow (Aus) 2,940
  • =4. Joel Parkinson (Aus); Taj Burrow (Aus); Cory Lopez (USA) 2,724
  • 7. Kelly Slater (USA) 2,688
  • 8. CJ Hobgood (USA) 2,676
  • 9. Dean Morrison (Aus) 2,640
  • 10. Shea Lopez (USA) 2,424

Irons flew into Fiji equal first on the ratings following his earlier win at Bells Beach Australia, and remained the clear favorite throughout the Quiksilver Pro. Having posted the first perfect 10-point ride during round three, the 24-year-old continued his devastating backhand attack to reach the final day. Despite creasing his favorite surfboard and being plagued by sea lice this morning, he shook it off like a true champion, collecting another perfect 10 first ride of his quarterfinal clash.

Once in the 35-minute final, the Kauaian set an early pace with another deep tube and 9.0 score. Soon after he posted his and the event’s third perfect 10, creating the highest combined total of the tournament (19 out of a possible 20-points) and a daunting score for Lopez to try to match. He ultimately couldn’t, and Irons earned an 8th WCT career win, extended his lead on this year’s ratings and pocketed US$30,000 prizemoney.

“It feels amazing,” began Irons, after being showered in beer by fellow contestants on the marshalling boat. “It hasn’t all sunk in yet, but I’m super happy and it was really cool to be in the final with one of my best friends. I travel with Cory all year. He and I were just laughing at each other out there. I’ve surfed against him my whole life, so it’s just amazing. We’ll be talking about this when we’re old.

“I’ve never done well here before,” he continued, “It was a big goal of mine just to make a few rounds. Every heat I was getting more momentum, and before I knew it I was in the final and got two huge scores before Cory had his first. I’m really stoked and it worked out perfectly. Dream come true for sure.

“Last year was amazing,” he added. “It’s another season and this is definitely a good start. I’ve had two ninths and two firsts now, but we’ve got so many events left still. I’m not counting any chickens before they hatch. I’ll be going to Japan (next WCT – Niijima Quiksilver Pro, June 18-28) psyched and will be going for it. I’m just enjoying my world title year, and it’s been a good one so far.”

Lopez – who finished equal third last year in the Quiksilver Pro – went one better by making the final against his roommate on Tavarua Island. Having eliminated Irons in round four of the previous event in Tahiti, the Floridian wasn’t able to do likewise at Cloudbreak today. His best score in the final was a 7.5 and he ultimately required a combination of rides worth 11.5-points. Rated 11th prior to Fiji, the 26-year-old moved into equal 4th position on the current standings.

“It was just the luck of the waves,” reasoned Lopez afterwards. “I’d go the first wave and it would look like a sick one, but then the second wave would end up being way better. He’s a great surfer and any wave he gets he’s going to turn it into an excellent score. Congratulations to him. He’s probably the best backside surfer around and he definitely smoked me out there (laughs). I wish I could have gotten out of a combination situation to keep a little pride, but the waves went flat there at the end.

“I’m stoked with second though,” he added. “It’s great and I’ll definitely take it any day. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year. I love Tavarua and this is a great wave. Stoked on Quiksilver for having an event here.”