Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Greatest 1980's Rivalry Re-Ignited

Throughout the late 80's this was the greatest rivalry in professional surfing. They met 16 times, and have won 8 each. And for the first time in about 15 years it's on- tomorrow at 5.15am GMT- and you can watch it live on www.billabongpro.com.

Their most memorable clashes were the Rip Curl Bells Pro semi that clinched Tommy's first World Title in 1985/86 and the two Op Pro Finals in front of 100,000 people at Huntington Beach won by Occy later that year.

"I beat him at the OP Pro in Huntington twice in a row and the rivalry probably started there and then went to Bells and various heats around the world tour,- said Occhilupo. "There were literally thousands of people on the pier and they were all shouting for Tom, I had to come out and upset the motion.-

"I only remember being in the zone,- said Curren. "Occy was pulling out every trick, he had that little extra.-

"Both of us were pushing as hard as we could, but he won that one with a wave at the end, I just remember it was very tense and very tiring as well.-

Curren went on to win 353 heats, 33 events and three World Titles while Occy won 380 heats, 12 events and one World Title. Both featured in spectacular comebacks - Tom returning from a two year hiatus to clinch his third crown from the trials in 1990 while Occy's well documented rise to the 1999 crown after a decade in the wilderness is one of the greatest feats in sporting history.

Carn Occy...

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