Mark Occhilupo had a longtime rivalry with Tom Curren 

The rivalry between Australian wunderkind Mark Occhilupo and California soul champion Tom Curren produced the most exciting competitive clashes in the history of surfing.  For the first decade of surfing’s ASP pro circuit Occy and Tommy dominated the world stage with their dueling performances.

In a major coup for surf fans world wide, this year at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay spectators can watch a LIVE webcast of these two superstars as they re-ignite their intense rivalry in the world’s best right hand point wave, going head to head for the first time in over two decades.

Each has won eight of their 16 previous encounters and the Clash of the Icons will provide yet another chapter in their 26 year rivalry.

During the 1980’s no rivalry was more heralded than the Tom Curren/Mark Occhilupo challenge. Whenever the two surfers came up against each other in heats, sparks flew, temperatures rose and onlookers gathered to witness unmatched and historic wave-riding duels.

“I saw Occy before he became a household name, when he was first breaking out, it was at Jeffreys,” said Curren.  “He had so much energy, just pushing every turn with so much speed and power.”

“I watched his footage over and over and seeing him for the first time I remember thinking his anticipation going into every turn was something great; something amazing.”

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2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro

Challenging three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) waves pulsed through the main site at Praia Vila today as the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro completed Round 3 of competition, narrowing the remaining field down to the final 16 surfers.

Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro saw the ASP’s top seeds take command during Round 3, with seven of the current ASP Top 10 advancing through to Round 4.

Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, former ASP World Junior Champion (2004) and current ASP World No. 5, was in sensational form this morning, navigating the pulsing lefthanders with ease to net the highest heat total of the day, a 16.20 out of a possible 20.

“The surf is still pretty difficult but there are good lefts coming through and I was able to find two high-scoring ones,” De Souza said. “Greg (Emslie) is such a dangerous competitor and is capable of getting really good scores. I knew I would have to surf at my highest level. My equipment feels good and I am feeling much more confident after getting through that last round.”

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2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro

Following three consecutive lay days, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro is back on with Round 3 hitting the water at 8am in clean three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) waves at the main site of Praia Vila.

Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro will feature the remaining 32 surfers in Round 3 as they vie for advancement through to the final day of competition.

“We’ve got some pretty rippable surf coming through today so we’ll be getting underway at 8am with Round 3,” Perry Hatchett, ASP Head Judge, said. “There’s a good lefthander coming off the rock at about three-to-four feet, and we’ll be looking to complete Round 3 by the end of the day.”

When Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro competition s, first up will be defending event champ Bede Durbidge (AUS), 26, up against ASP Dream Tour rookie Michel Bourez (PYF), 23.

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