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Parties Really Roll During Op Pro, U.S. Open Contests

August 18, 1994|Rockin' Fig & Dave | 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


After two weeks of back-to-back major surfing contests, Orange County is nearly normal again, and Rockin' Fig and I are glad.

Well, things are almost normal except for this major heat wave, Fig said.

Besides plenty of surfing, the Op Professional Surfing Championships and the U.S. Open of Surfing had some hot social evenings. Fig, who locked up an announcing job after filling the shoes of a co-anchor who failed to show, also got wrapped up in the social whirl.

So Fig, did you go to the Surfrider Foundation's benefit that first week at the Hard Rock Cafe in Newport Beach?

Yup. It was like a $100-per-person dinner, but all I saw were hors d'oeuvres. Everybody was all suits and ties and it was kinda funny going from the beach contest to this thing. But I checked out Chris Isaak for a few songs.

How was he?

He was kinda rockabilly. P. T. (Peter Townend), who announces surfing events on Prime Ticket, was there, too, auctioning stuff. I was trying to get a signature model surfboard and a few other things, especially a trip to Fiji--but I had to give up after the bill got up to $500.

I can't believe you backed out.

Yeah, it just got too expensive. I jammed over to the other party at Old World in Huntington Beach. They had the beach bands--Penny Wise, Sprung Monkey. Tom Curren's band played and fellow pro surfer Donovan Frankenreiter's band, Sun Child, was also playing there.

So how did that go?

It was totally the opposite. A much younger crowd and people slammin' in the pit on stage. All the pro surfers were hangin' in the bar at this party.

Did you hang with the pros?

Naw. I had to pack it in because of an early curfew. The next morning I was at the contest at 5:30, and it was quite painful for the first couple of hours. I also went to the Waterfront Hilton for the U.S. Open party after that contest ended.

Did the winner, Shane Beschen of San Clemente, show?

Naw. He's Mr. Shy, but Kelly Slater was there and guess who he was hanging out with?

Dunno. I heard he broke up with his friend from Florida. Who?

Pamela Anderson, that actress from "Baywatch"! They were on the same TV show together.

Fig, what was the best part of the U.S. Open?

I just wanna say it was like one of the hottest finals ever between Beschen and Slater. Beschen was leading the heat. Slater needed a high score and with two minutes to go, he got this right. Well, somehow he found a barrel right there and pulled himself in it. Then, somehow came out of it, through a big air, and then hit a front - side re - entry.

The judges gave him two 10s, two 9.5s and a 9, but that wave, it had 60,000 people standing!

Did you get over working with Nuno Jonet, the World Tour's main announcer? I know that a big part of your announcing style is pumping up the crowd, getting them amped on the contest.

It was great. I was stoked to work with him. I learned a few things off him. Yet I think he learned a few things off me, too. But I think that I can hang in with the big boys. The only thing is, after that party at the Hilton, the Fig blew his voice out and couldn't talk for a week.


Joker: During the installation of the Huntington Beach Walk of Fame, filmmaker Bruce Brown introduced Georgia Zachariah, the young girlfriend of his friend Robert August, as August's daughter. Both Brown and August, who go way back, were installed in the sidewalk on Main Street near PCH. Luckily, they're friends. For the record, Zachariah is 23. August 49.

South County: It seems that Bill (Bulldog) Barnes, ace waterman and Blue Water Task Force director for the Doheny Longboard Assn., is riding a much heavier board these days. Barnes recently spent a day riding jet skis, the mechanical nemesis of Doho members. What's next, Bill? Becoming a consultant for an upstream polluter?

Pier Paddle: Saturday, National Clean Water Day, surfers and other friends of the ocean will paddle around Aliso Pier to bring attention to chronic sewage problems at Aliso Creek. The paddle out is at 10 a.m.

Luau: Mike Emery, Doheny Longboard Assn. board member, reported that more than 500 people attended last weekend's luau. In addition to carving a huge pig cooked Hawaiian-style, they ate 400 chicken breasts and 100 pounds of mako shark. The Eliminators played tunes on the beach. Emery said the event raised about $2,000: $1,000 for the Doheny Interpretive Society, which coordinates Doheny's aquarium, and another $1,000 for the Surfrider Foundation.

Save a Wave: During August, the Southern California Shore Shops, Hennessey's Taverns and Coors Pure Water 2000 will team up with the Surfrider Foundation for a campaign to help save California's coastline. The public can buy $1 "waves" at the Shore Shops or Hennessey's Taverns, with the money going to Surfrider. The wave tickets will be entered in a drawing for an airplane ticket for two to Cabo San Lucas.

Save a Pizza: As the U.S. Open of Surfing was winding down, director Ian Cairns didn't waste time celebrating a successful contest. He ordered a mid-size pizza piled high with the works. Did he share? Nawwww. He offered but quickly scarfed half while Beschen and Slater were battling during the finals. After witnesses gathered, Cairns closed the box and marched off . . . with his pizza.

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