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Boost Mobile Pro surfing contest on hold

September 7, 2008 | 10:39 am

Sunn1

The competition window for the Boost Mobile Pro at Lower Trestles near San Clemente opened today, but contest director Mike Parsons lighted the red light because of inconsistent surf. So the Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour competition will almost certainly commence Monday and run through at least Friday.

The wild cards add an intriguing dynamic to this year’s competition. All are capable of advancing deep if they can survive the early going.

Huntington Beach surfer Brett Simpson, trying to qualify for the World Tour via the World Qualifying Series tour, is in a Round 1 heat against Australia's Bede Durbidge and Ben Dunn. Durbidge is ranked No. 3 in the world and won this event two years ago.

Cardiff's Rob Machado, who longer competes much but is capable of winning any heat against any surfer, is pitted against Australia's Mick Fanning and Tom Whitaker. Fanning is the reigning world champion.

Hawaii's Sunny Garcia, a former world champion who is trying to get back on the World Tour via the WQS, is up against Chris Ward and Australia's Taj Burrow. Burrow is ranked No. 4 in the world. Ward lives nearby and has surfed Trestles thousands of times. Garcia, who now lives in Orange County, is on a mission.

Lastly, there’s Shane Beschen -- like Ward, a San Clemente native. Beschen, a former World Tour star, was allowed in after Brazil’s Leonardo Neves couldn’t get here because of visa issues. Beschen goes up against eight-time world champion Kelly Slater and Australian Dayyan Neve.

Fortunately for the wild cards, those finishing second or third in Round 1 go to Round 2 for another chance, while heat winners go straight to Round 3.

A modest south swell is due to arrive beginning this afternoon and build through much of the week, according to Surfline. The event will air via webcast beginning at about 7:30 each morning on Boostmobilepro.com.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Sunny Garcia, pictured during the 2006 U.S. Open at Huntington Beach, is trying to qualify again for the World Tour and is among the promising wild cards in the Boost Mobile Pro at Lower Trestles near San Clemente. Credit: Robert Lachman /Los Angeles Times

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