Fallen Heroes


Upsets and weird weather dominate Day Two at the historic 2009 Hurley Pro

By Alex Ryden

Overflow parking, triple-decker judging booths, and 250 lb security guards: with a Hurley Pro title on the line, there's really no fucking around. As if the event needed any more prestige, Hurley has raised the first place prize to $105,000. That puts total event dish-out at $405,000: a WCT purse on steroids. Between this and the US Open (boasted an ASP record $400,000 purse), it looks like Hurley has raised the bar for all industry corpos permanently. It's no surprise that there's a whole new level of competition on the shores of Lower Trestles, 'cause the big boys are playing for keeps.

Setting the stage for the showdown, a combo swell made a strong appearance throughout the day. Lines sweeping in from the North could be seen from Uppers down to Church and although the coming of fall means we can say goodbye to the raw southwest energy of summer, there was still plenty of southern hemi coursing through the water. And Trestle's infamous summertime peak continued to show life, with A-frames consistently bringing in lefts and rights throughout the day. Chest high and somewhat orderly was the call, though the afternoon wind turned as Adriano de Souza and the rest of the Brazilians say "marau" — or dead onshore.

So with the stakes at an all-time high you would think it would be the regular WCT powerhouses in hot pursuit of the prize, right? Think again: results were less predictable than the afternoon weather, as many top seeds seemed to be gone with the wind. As tour giants were slain, unlikely names claimed victory: Bobby Martinez lost to the currently ranked 45th Luke Stedman; Taj Burrow was ousted by the wildcard appearance of Rob Machado; and Jordy Smith couldn't answer the surfing of Tiago Perez, as the European posted a solid last minute score. Even local favorite Chris Ward couldn't hold it down for his hometown, losing out to Australian Jay Thompson.

One of the few ASP Top 20 to survive through Round 3, Bede Durbidge, was surprised by the outcomes. "A lot of the guys are bummed. It's just not ideal Lowers; everything is coming in at weird angle and nothing is really lining up," he said. "Luckily, I made it through the day, but I hope the conditions get better." For a stop at the Tour's most predicable wave, the results of Day 2 were anything but.

As Day 2 of the 2009 Hurley Pro comes to a close, everyone has questions. Will the David and Goliath theme continue? Can US Open champion Brett Simpson topple the great Kelly Slater? Will the swell on tap make it in time for the Finals? Stay tuned — the Mainland's biggest show of the year has only just started.