Billabong Pro Mundaka – Final Day Update

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SURF: Head high to not head high any more at all.

EVENTS RUN: Quarters through Finals, finally

NATURE’S CALL: Hasta Luego

PREDICTED: Sunny and mild, just as soon as everyone leaves.

They’ve just thrown Luke Egan off the dock at Mundaka, symbolizing the end of the competition. And if you were expecting some sort of WCT apocalypse, well, keep watching the sky. Meanwhile, a parade of umbrellas is marching off to cars, to bars, to anywhere but the galestorm waterfront of Mundaka (except, of course, for the local surfers busy reclaiming their lineup).

“Who’s up on it?” says Mick Lowe, cracking open three Fosters in a single swipe. A room full of Aussies turns and looks – Troy Brooks, Tom Whitaker and Joel Parkinson among them – and doesn’t really say anything. Hardly the post contest reaction you’d expect from a crew of Australian roustabouts who just endured two weeks of slow-n-go contest drudgery to make it to this point. So, why the long faces? It usually takes more than a wee flood to keep these boys off the piss. Well, let’s look back at what’s happened here:

Anyone paying attention these last couple days probably wouldn’t have hesitated to bet the farm on a Parko vs. Andy final here at Mundaka. In the big, chunky conditions of the previous couple days, both appeared untouchable, comboing their opponents straight out of the gates and making burly, funkburger conditions seem absolutely rippable. And today looked set for more of the same – “Looks like the best conditions yet,” stated Taj Burrow over his morning coffee. A short time later Joel Parkinson put the screws to him by threading a long, double-chocolate barrel straight through to the semis. Andy also won his quarterfinal heat over Damien Hobgood with relative ease, but after that, things started to fall apart. The power went out. The banners blew off the cliff. The rain fell double-time. The tide got too low. And the surf (what little good was left in it) shut down.

But the show must go on.

“How long was that last 15 minutes,” says Phil MacDonald immediately following his semi-final against Andy. “Longest 15 of my life, mate.”

For Andy, the guy this morning’s local papers dubbed “El Domedor de los Olas”, it was not quite long enough. The three-time, ooops, still two-time champ only needed a 7 to regain the lead (this from a guy who gets 8’s in his siestas) and hammer the final nail on this year’s world title, but it was not to be. Andy was a long-time in the water before making that unhappy plow through the sea of cameras wondering how he felt about his heat. How do you think he felt? Duh. But this champ’s come a long way since his tempermental past, and Andy maintained a courteous professional front and even stuck around for his teammate/rival’s heat (well, there was a lot riding on it, now, wasn’t there?).

Parko entered his heat with high hopes, as well – perhaps, like Andy, his sights were set a bit too far down the line. With no more choco-barrels to be found in the deteriorating Mundaka conditions, it was down to who could best bash the grovel. ‘CT veteran Luke Egan’s been a silent threat throughout this entire competition: speaking little, focusing constantly on the fickle conditions, presiding over the whole event like the determined ol’ battler that he is. With all the hype surrounding the Billabong superstars squabbling over the World Title, his steadfast route to the Final went almost unnoticed (sorry Louie).

The Final sucked. But hey, that’s contest surfing. And that’s exactly why an experienced legend like Egan is now pulling himself out of the Mundaka boat channel to receive a second dousing of cheap champagne with a comfortable smile of a big ol’hound dog.

And as for world titles, little has changed for Parko and Andy; Joel still needs a couple of miracles, and Andy still has to show up for work. So put down that remote control, ’cause it ain’t over just yet.

And, oh, about those Aussies that almost passed up a round of beers, they’re down at the bar right now. Who were they kidding? –Nathan Myers

(The author would like to apologize for a mistake in the previous contest report: Tom Whitaker actually beat Dean Morrison in Round Four.)


Billabong Pro Mundaka Results

1st Luke Egan (AUS) 13.9 - US$30,000
2nd Phil MacDonald (AUS) 11.23 - US$16,000

Semifinals (1st>Final; 2nd=3rd receives US$10,000)
SF1: Phil MacDonald (AUS) 13.6 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 12.6
SF2: Luke Egan (AUS) 13.77 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.0

Quarterfinals (1st>Semifinals; 2nd=5th receives US$8,000)
QF1: Phil MacDonald (AUS) 14.37 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 7.24
QF2: Andy Irons (HAW) 14.33 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.43
QF3: Luke Egan (AUS) 15.4 def. Peterson Rosa (BRA) 13.5
QF4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.24 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.9

Official ASP Ratings after WCT #9 of 11
1. Andy Irons (HAW) 7,824-points
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 6,396
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 6,192
4. {{{CJ}}} Hobgood (USA) 6,048
5. Luke Egan (AUS) 5,700
6. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 5,436
7. Damien Hobgood (USA) 5,124
8. Taj Burrow (AUS) 5,004
9. Jake Paterson (AUS) 4,776
10. Daniel Wills (AUS) 4,704

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