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Curren Beats Carroll, Wins Surfing Meet

September 29, 1986|CHRIS DE LUCA

OCEANSIDE — World champion surfer Tom Curren says he usually knows when he is leading the competition.

But in the Stubbies Pro Surfing tournament final Sunday Curren was having difficulty determining who was ahead because he and Australia's Tommy Carroll were practically even.

Halfway through the hour-long heat, however, Curren saw the light.

Curren's fifth ride was one of the day's best, and it was enough to propel him past Carroll for the meet title.

"I guess that is where I figured I had moved ahead, at that point," said Curren, 22, of Carpinteria.

Carroll, a two-time world champion, has finished second here three straight years.

With the victory, Curren earned $4,000 and 1,000 points on the world tour of the Association of Surfing Professionals. He has regained the ASP lead with 6,460 points this year. Mark Occhilupo of Hawaii, who was the leader before the Stubbies Pro, is in second place with 6,110 points.

In the women's competition, the Michelob Cup of Women's Surfing, Jorga Smith of San Clemente defeated Kim Mearig of Carpinteria to earn $1,950.

Curren's victory at Oceanside Harbor Beach was his 17th as a professional, the most in surfing history. Before Sunday's event, Curren was tied at 16 victories with Mark Richards of Australia who has won four world championships.

"I was able to find the right peaks at the beginning," Curren said. "I built up good momentum and, luckily, was able to carry it all the way through."

Both surfers started quickly, matching each other on their first three rides. Curren then took over, getting off three quick rides, including the important fifth wave, as Carroll waited for a big wave that never came.

Curren finished the hour-long heat with nine successful rides.

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