YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Reilly Pleased to Advance to Next Round

Surfing: Huntington Beach surfer considers himself lucky to have missed flying on ill-fated TWA flight to France.


HUNTINGTON BEACH — Mike Reilly is ecstatic to be surfing in the AirTouch Pro. Reilley, a Huntington Beach teenager who advanced to the second round of the men's main event Thursday, considers himself lucky to be alive.

Reilly was on his way to France to compete in an amateur surfing contest and flew to Paris July 17 from New York's Kennedy Airport, where the ill-fated TWA Flight 800 departed.

"My flight left 20 minutes before [Flight 800] took off," said Reilly, 18. "When my mom called me in France, I didn't know anything about the crash. When she told me, it shook me up."

Reilly said that after the crash was reported there were about 100 phone calls to his mom's house.

"Everybody was calling asking my mom if I was on that flight or whether I was safe," Reilly said. "You just don't think about those things happening to you. I could have just as easily been on that flight."

On Thursday, Reilly won his heat with a score of 13.17. But he will have a tougher time today when he faces Australian Peter Mel.

In other first-round heats, Chris Ward of San Clemente advanced by finishing second behind North Carolina's Ben Bourgeois. Ward will also be surfing on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the junior division.

"This is by far the biggest event for me," Ward, 17, said. "It's going to get tough [today], but we'll see what will happen."

Bourgeois, also 17, is considered one of the future stars of surfing.

Bourgeois, who plans to turn pro in November, said this contest is his biggest event this year. Like many competing, Bourgeois is hoping to advance far in this contest so he can get a wild-card berth for next week's U.S. Open.

The AirTouch Pro is the biggest contest of the Bud Tour and is the qualifying event for the U.S. Open. The event will qualify the top-four unseeded surfers into the Open.

Also advancing was Gavin Beschen, younger brother of Shane Beschen, who is ranked second on the world tour.

"Shane has been a big influence on my live," said Gavin Beschen, 20. "I feel pretty good now. My first heat is usually my worse, but I won, so maybe I'll be able to build on it."

Defending champion Sunny Garcia will join other top Hawaiians, Kalani Robb, John Shimooka, Conan Hayes, Kaipo Jaquias and Derek Ho, in today's competition. Also competing in Round 2 are Laguna Beach's Jeff Booth and Taylor Knox of Carlsbad.


Longboarding began Thursday and with it the best waves of the contest. Brian McNulty of San Clemente had one of the best heats with some nice floaters and nose rides. He advanced to the main event today. . . . Top longboarders Joel Tudor, Colin McPhillips, Michael Gee and Brendan White start competition today.




Men's Main Event

(Top two advance)

HEAT--1. Eric Viscosi (Temecula); 2. Keith Malloy (Ventura); 3. Pete Rocky (Carpinteria); 4. Mark Moreno (Huntington Beach). HEAT 2--1. Banning Capps (Carlsbad); 2. Greg Browning (El Segundo); 3. Kaden Alasantro (Cardiff); 4. Nate Acker (Santa Cruz). HEAT 3--1. Cordell Miller (Newport Beach); 2. Matt Coleman (La Costa); 3. Dan Malloy (Ventura); 4. Benji Severson (San Clemente). HEAT 4--1. Tim Frisk (Leucadia); 2. Omar Etcheverry (Santa Cruz); 3. Homer Hernard (Santa Cruz); 4. Josh Loya (Santa Cruz). HEAT 5--1. C.T. Taylor (Melbourne, Australia); 2. Jason Bogle (Kailua, Hawaii); 3. Jason Starr (Laguna Niguel); 4. Anthony Ruffo (Santa Cruz).

HEAT 6--1. Carlos Cabero (Santurce, P.R.); 2. Troy Eckert (Newport Beach); 3. Craig Bechtloff (Huntington Beach); 4. Bobby Martines. HEAT 7--1. Andy Irons (Hanalai, Hawaii); 2. Trevor Christ (Encinitas); 3. Jason Bennett (Oceanside); 4. Hans Hagen (Laguna Beach). HEAT 8--1. Bryan Hewitson (Satellite Beach, Fla.); 2. David Post (Orange); 3. Jim Hogan (San Clemente); 4. Jason Senn (San Clemente). HEAT 9--1. Ben Bourgeios (Wilmington, N.C.); 2. Chris Ward (San Clemente); 3. Bryan Jennings (Point Loma); 4. Akila Aipa (Haleiwa, Hawaii). HEAT 10--1. Mike Reilly (Huntington Beach); 2. Kieran Horn (Soquel, Calif.); 3. Jon Rose (Laguna Beach); 4. Christian Vaccaro (Carlsbad).

HEAT 11--1. John Logan (Ormond Beach, Fla.); 2. Saxon Boucher (La Jolla); 3. William Sue-A-Quan (San Juan, P.R.); 4. Masa Tokuda (Japan). HEAT 12--1. Jeremy Sommerville (Solana Beach); 2. Matt Keenan (Oceanside); 3. Keoni Cuccia (Ojai); 4. Ryan Turner (Huntington Beach). HEAT 13--1. Baron Knowlton (Lake Worth, Fla.); 2. Scott Finn (Dana Point); 3. Jim O'Brien (Playa del Rey); 4. Bryan Pottger (Fountain Valley). HEAT 14--1. David Giddings (Newport Beach); 2. Vince Perry (Carpinteria); 3. Andre Cohen (Huntington Beach); 4. Brian Labbe (Ewa Beach, Hawaii). HEAT 15--1. Gavin Beschen (San Clemente); 2. Rick Massie (Venice); 3. Josh Bradbury (Santa Barbara); 4. Mark Caffey (Newport Beach).

Longboarding Trials

Second round

(Top two advance)

HEAT 1--1. Mike Emerson; 2. Wes Holdeman. HEAT 2--1. Josh Mohr; 2. Phil Castagnola; 3. Tom Daniels; 4. Kelly Logan. HEAT 3--1. Michel Demont; 2. Geoff Moysa; 3. Scott Bass; 4. Brenden Lee. HEAT 4--1. Cody Craig; 2. Kevin Crondin; 3. Jason Acuna. HEAT 5--1. Brian McNulty; 2. Steven Slater; 3. Bob Kaleikau. HEAT 6--1. Joey Valentin; 2. David Boehne; 3. Chris Schroder; 4. Darren Leddingham. HEAT 7--1. Derek Erickson; 2. Mike Gillard; 3. Reese Patterson; 4. Brian Anderson. HEAT 8--1. Aaron Garrett; 2. Michael Mullen; 3. Dennis Bourg; 4. Russell Tucker.

First round

(Top qualifier advances)

HEAT--1. Holdeman. HEAT 2--1. Bass. HEAT 3--1. McNulty. HEAT 4--1. Anderson.

Los Angeles Times Articles