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BEST BET / SURFING TOURNAMENT : Oceanside Back in the Swim


After a two-year hiatus, international surfing competition will return to Oceanside with the opening of the Life's A Beach Surf "Klassik" on Monday.

Life's A Beach will feature double-A-rated men's, women's and long-board events. The combined purse will be $112,500, making it the largest tournament in the Assn. of Surfing Professionals' nine-event summer leg.

Most of the world's leading surfers will be on hand for the tournament, including all of last year's top 30 men's competitors. A number of surfers from San Diego and the North County area are also expected to participate in the event.

Carlsbad-based Life's A Beach Surfgear is the tournament's primary backer and will sponsor the men's competition. Jose Cuervo will sponsor the long-board event--the first ASP long-board competition ever held in the United States--and Take Cover will sponsor the women's event.

Life's A Beach replaces the popular Stubbies International Pro Surfing Tournament, which was held in Oceanside from 1984 to 1988. Life's A Beach began to consider sponsoring an international surfing event in Oceanside last summer, after Stubbies announced that it could not afford to sponsor a 1989 tournament alone. Attempts to sign on additional sponsors were unsuccessful and the event was canceled.

The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce estimates that as many as 5,000 people attended Stubbies' weekday events, and between 10,000 and 15,000 people attended the tournament's weekend events, tourism director Ken Kefauver said.

The Klassik will begin with four days of trial heats starting Monday. Sixteen men and eight women will advance from these heats to the competition's main events, beginning Friday, where they will meet the world's top 30 men and top eight women surfers in one-on-one challenges.

The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will on Sunday. Each day's events begin at 7 a.m.

Event sponsors were disappointed last week when Tom Curren, considered by many to be unbeatable in his quest for this year's world men's title, confirmed that he would not attend Life's A Beach.

The reclusive surfing master from Santa Barbara, who won three of ASP's first four World Tour events this year, sat out most of last year's tour to spend time with his family and has said that he would limit his participation in this year's tour for the same reason.

What: Life's a Beach Surf Klassik

Where: Oceanside Municipal Pier

When: July 9-15. Each day's events begin at 7:00 a.m.

Cost: Free

Calls: 931-9550

Notes: Metered and lot parking in the area of the pier will be available.

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