Tom Curren (USA) vs. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Date: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Conditions: Flawless eight-foot J-Bay
The first heat of the inaugural Heritage Series saw two of the world's most iconic surfers take on the classic walls of J-Bay: American Tom Curren's effortless forehand approach was up against Australian Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo's historic backhand attack.
The double-overhead surf on offer at J-Bay provided the perfect canvas for two legends of the sport to do battle. With both Curren and Occy regarded by many current WCT elite as J-Bay's best of all-time, all eyes were on the duo, who between them share four ASP World Titles.
Curren found his feet first in the 40-minute affair, posting a small warmup score to get his feet in the wax while Occy did the same.
The California stylemaster and now touring musician earned the first score of merit, flying down the J-Bay wall with a series of seemingly effortless turns for a 5.83.
The "Raging Bull" answered back, etching a 4.0 and eventually a 6.83 when he used his powerful frame to unload his trademark aggressive, top-to-bottom backhand combos, getting back in the heat.
The regular-footer responded in Jedi-like fashion, catching a flawless J-Bay bomb. With Curren's perfect style on display, two seamless carves and two barrels garnered an excellent 8.80, solidifying a healthy lead over the Australian at the 25-minute mark.
Ten minutes after his excellent score, Curren's work was far from over. The three-time ASP World Champion surgically dissected a J-Bay wall, slicing three massive carves and a deep barrel for a Perfect 10-point ride.
While Curren held a stranglehold on the heat, exchanges continued. Occy took off late on a bomb, riding the set the length of the point. Curren carved up the wave behind, with neither score affecting the heat's outcome.
Curren made an early exit from the water, solidifying a convincing victory over Occhilupo.