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SURFING / Rockin' Fig & Dave

Competition Gets Gnarlier in '94

January 20, 1994|Rick Fignetti and David Reyes | Rockin' Fig is Rick Fignetti, a Huntington Beach surfer/shop owner. Times staff writer David Reyes has reported on U.S. surf teams competing in Bali and Brazil.

So Fig, before we talk about the new competitive year for the U.S. Bud Surf Tour, where were you during Monday's quake?

Standing in the doorway with both kids under my arms. I was feeling it and wondering when it was going to stop. We live in a three-story building, and I was hoping we weren't going to get the pancake effect.

Any damage at the surf shop?

Ah, a few used surfboards got rattled out of place and some trophies I kept on a glass counter were displaced, but no major damage.

Now that we're moving back to the topic at hand, what's new for the '94 tour?

Well, we had 10 events last year, and we have 12 events this year. Even though we're in a recession, things are looking up.

I hear the tour added two competitions in Hawaii and one in Puerto Rico, but the latter was dropped. It looks like Ian Cairns, the tour's competition director, has been busy.

Yup, that means the tour has more travel money, but that also means fiercer competition in the water.

According to the tour's '94 schedule, the first contest is in the chilly waters off Santa Cruz on Feb. 9. Fig, you announced last year's tour; how was Santa Cruz?

It's sponsored by Billabong of Australia. Since it's smack in the middle of winter, Steamer Lane can be going off big time. Last year, it was very windy, with some 40-knot onshore winds. But the final days were just perfect, with sunny skies and good surf, four- to six-foot.

I remember it rained so bad the first few days that I was announcing with (former pro surfer Wayne) "Rabbit" Bartholomew in the cab of a truck. I had my PA system in the truck, the windshield wipers on and a football playoff game on the radio. I was giving updates on the game during the contest.

Who are some surfers we should watch for in '94?

Rob Machado of Cardiff is the returning champion, although he'll surf on the world tour this year and I don't know how many Bud Surf tour events he'll enter. But you also have Mister Speed and Power, Taylor Knox of Carlsbad; Chris Brown of Santa Barbara and a lot of younger, up-and-coming guys such as Adam Replogle of Santa Cruz.

For spectators eager to view a pro contest, after Santa Cruz the tour will visit Seaside in North San Diego County, March 2-6, Pismo Beach, April 20-24; Huntington Beach, May 11-15; Oceanside, June 8-12; Ala Moana, Hawaii, June 21-26; Malibu, July 6-10; Lower Trestles, Sept. 12-18; San Francisco, Oct. 5-9, and Makaha, Hawaii, for the tour's championships, Oct. 24-29.

On Aug. 25 through 28, the tour visits Virginia Beach, Va., for the East Coast Surfing Championships. Also, a contest will be held in California July 6-10 at a site to be announced later.


Surfari: Jim Hogan, National Scholastic Surfing Assn. coach, recently returned with a group of young Orange County surfers who visited Morocco, on Africa's northwestern coast. Sponsored in part by Bruce Hopping of Laguna Beach and the Kalos Kagathos Foundation, the group had consistent six-foot and bigger surf. Best part of the trip, said Rick Fish, 16, of Newport Beach, was big, though stormy, surf conditions. Worst part was the congested Marrakesh marketplace and exotic cuisine, which included "hideous" beef and sheep guts. "It was pretty nasty," Fish said.

Forecast: The swell's dropping, but a new storm off Siberia can give us a new northwest swell by early next week if it holds together, says Surfline/Wavetrak.

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