2005 O’Neill World Cup Of Surfing / Triple Crown Event # 2: Day 5 at Sunset Beach – Jake Paterson Wins

SURF: 4 to 6 feet and on life support
EVENTS HELD: Men's Quarters to the chair up the beach
NATURE'S CALL: {{{100}}}-plus qualifiers enter, one man leaves
PREDICTED: Another Aussie pissing match

"Dj vu, f—k you!" yells Andy Irons. His red heat jersey's flapping in the brisk northeasterlies and, sitting out the back with seconds remaining in a final that should have been all his, he's still looking for an 8.3.

Deja f—king vu.

It was an unpleasant reminder of another white-hot final he surfed at Sunset two years ago, one where he nailed a perfect 10, a solid 7 and still landed the runner-up trophy.

And what kind of sinister animal could manage to ace an in-form Andy not once, but twice, at the same, damn spot?

Listen to the Aussies make the call in the bleachers: "Sssssssssssssssss. Snakebit!"

Jake "Snake" Paterson, one of the most consistent, relentless North Shore competitors in recent years, has a habit of disappointing the Irons family. He did it in '98 against brother Bruce at the Pipe Masters, when he found a last-second Backdoor gem to regain the lead and the win. And now his record against Andy in Sunset finals stands at 2-0. "I know what kind of competitor Andy is," said Paterson, who dedicated his win to Malik Joyeux and the Joyeux family. "So I couldn't let up a bit."

And he didn't. In chunky, trade-tattered surf in the 4- to 6-foot range, Snake struck first with a wave far up the point, released two, spray-chucking tail-whips on his Glen Pang 6'9" and racked up an 8.1.

Andy followed with a 7, which set up the pivotal exchange of the contest. Snake up first off the North Peak, two tight snaps in the pocket and a third hit off the closeout. Impressive. Andy on the one right behind it, a longer, full-rail carve off the first section, straight-vert hit on the next and a good-night float. Wow. The scores? Jake: 8.9, Andy: 8.7.

Liam McNamara was about the only guy in the competitors' area arguing with the scores, as the Aussies' hoots and hollers were so loud, they even overpowered PT's play-by-play.

The celebrating didn't stop for the Lucky Country as the charming Manly shredder Jarrad Howse achieved the impossible this morning. Telling a kid he can make the CT if he advances out of a heat at Sunset with Pancho, Andy and Sunny is like telling a little leaguer he can play for the Giants if he strikes out Barry Bonds. But that's what "Clouse" did. Sure, it wasn't real Sunset. Sure, Sunny hit some mysto voodoo bump on his last wave when he only needed a 5 to advance. And sure, Panch had a shocker of General Electric proportions. But he did it, finished third in the semi and is now officially a 2006 WCT member (as long as Paulo Moura doesn't drop six slots in the final 'CT). "I kinda paddled around Sunny on my first one," said Jarrad, and he just glared at me. "So I sort of found my own little spot after that. The last thing I'd want to do is piss Sunny off in a heat."

Jarrad called his girlfriend back home first and, as Snake made it a double, started making plans for tonight's festivities.

Just don't forget to invite Pat "I Still Got It" O'Connell, who made his first Hawaiian final after after he called it quits. "See what happens when you retire?" asked McNamara. "You surf better."

But before they all bolted to tie one on, Jake, Andy, Bede and Pat had to accept their awards. "And in second place, Kauai's own Andy Irons!" Andy then proceeded to engage in a long, passionate kiss with the hottie handing out the trophies (who also happened to be his girlfriend, Lyndie). "Don't worry," he told the shocked crowd. "I know her."

Jake may have won the contest, but Andy definitely got the girl.