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.