San Clemente, Calif. -, Former world #2 wildcard entrant Shane Beschen (USA) eliminated Hanalei’s Andy Irons in round three of the Boost Mobile Pro at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, Calif.
The $286,275 World Championship Tournament (WCT) – the richest in professional history – attracted the biggest crowd ever seen at Lower Trestles for the 14 heats surfed.
While Irons was going, neighbor Sunny Garcia was staying. Garcia beat Fabio Gouveia of Brazil to move on.
Irons, who won back-to-back WCT’s earlier this year in Australia and then Tahiti, has suffered three consecutive third round losses since. Despite surfing incredibly, posting the heat’s highest single score of 9.25 points and also winning the Oakley Over-The-Top Bonus for a huge aerial he landed, only one surfer could advance.
“Yeah, there’s got to be a winner and loser and I lost,” said Irons. “He surfed really good and real explosive. Just more critical than I did and I heard my waves were a little bit shorter. He’s a local and did the job. Of course I wish I could have made it, but that’s the way it goes.”
2000 world champ Sunny Garcia (Kaua’i) commanded his match with Fabio Gouveia (Brz). The Hawaiian opened with an 8.5, and destroyed sections whenever given the chance to lay down his trademark power snaps. He’s now against Danny Wills (Aus) in round four, after the Australian eliminated a fired-up Russell Winter (UK).
In other major bouts: Kelly Slater (USA) overcame Kieren Perrow (Aus). Joel Parkinson dominated another heat over fellow Australian Beau Emerton. Luke Egan (Aus) beat Renan Rocha (Brz). Darren O’Rafferty upset Michael Lowe. Guilherme Herdy (Brz) topped Mark Occhilupo (Aus). Paul Canning (SAfr) upset world #7 Cory Lopez (USA). An in-form Phil MacDonald (Aus) ousted CJ Hobgood (USA).
The final two heats of round three will be completed this morning, with current #3 Shea Lopez (USA) against Mick Campbell (Aus), and then last WCT winner Mick Fanning meets fellow Australian Nathan Webster.