Workable Walls and World Champions; Day 1 of the Katin Pro/Am Team Challenge at HB Pier

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Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
Kllian Garland, slayer of defenseless lip-lines.
See the slideshow of Day 1 action.

Surfers don't much concern themselves with the weather, as long as there aren't the wave-ruining on-shore or side-shore winds. Anything else--be it rain, snow or sleet--can be managed. Which is why when the swell forecast for day 1 of the Katin Pro/Am Team Challenge said 3- to 4-foot faces with an increasing swell, the fact that rain was also predicted was a non-issue. Waves are waves; everything else is secondary.

The big names came out (less Sunny Garcia, who had a capable replacement in Hans Haggen), and most every one of the biggies advanced to Round 2. 

Tom Curren played it cool, avoiding paddle battles and picking off the corners to advance, as did brothers Tanner and Dane Gudauskas. Tanner just barely outpointed 12-year-old Pat Curren, son of Tom, for second position in Heat 10. 

Tanner shared with the Weekly that he intends to make a go at re-qualifying for the World Tour after failing to make the cut this year.

Though the conditions were a bit wonky with the high tide and a bit of morning sickness in the wave shape, there were still enough guts for the talented bunch of surfers to make due. 

Chris Waring, last year's champ, easily advanced through two heats today. Only two heats of Round 2 were run before calling it a day. 

With this event categorized as an ASP Specialty event, all the bells and whistles that come with such involvement were present, including a live webcast and Peter "PT" Townend working the Internet commentary.

Crowds were sparse, but for a Friday workday, that was to be expected. The weather certainly didn't help; locals and tourists alike prefer warm, sunny skies.

Tomorrow (Saturday) will be the final day of competition, with an 8 a.m. start time to Round 2, Heat 3, with former World Tour surfer Nathanial Curran, Taylor Brothers, Michael Dunphy and TJ Barron.

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