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1998 Oxbow World Masters Surfing Competition

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The following was posted to the newsgroup alt.surfing on August 18, 1998:



Californian Joey Buran, 37, today completed a full circle of surfing and religion to become the new ASP Oxbow World Masters Champion. From world No.7 ranked professional in 1983, to picking up dirty dishes for Jesus on his road to becoming a pastor, Buran is today number one in the surfing world and thanking God for it.
A father of four children under the age of eight, Buran (Cardiff) surfed into first place against Hawaiian Buzzy Kerbox in the Grand Final of the Oxbow World Masters today, riding the tube to perfection as he has done all week. While Kerbox battled the 6-8 feet close-outs and struggled to get a strong, scoring ride, Buran experienced trouble-free paddle-outs and clean, open tube rides to storm to an unimpeded victory.
The final score-line showed 23 points out of 30 for Buran over his three best rides, to Kerbox's 13.75. Buran's win earned him US$8,000 - $400 of which he donated to the local Puerto Escondido boardriders club, and Kerbox earned US$4,000, donating $200 to the locals.
Two years after winning one of pro surfing's most prestigious events in 1984 - the Pipe Masters in Hawaii, Buran retired from professional surfing and three years later hung up his boardshorts to pursue a future as a church minister. His mission took him from California to the east coast, then on to Vermont, keeping him out of the water for a total of seven years.
"Three years ago I wasn't even surfing, I was picking up dirty dishes for Jesus" explained Buran. "When I heard about this event last year I trained really hard and was really looking forward to it. But I was living with my mother-in-law who was dying of cancer and my wife was pregnant, so after praying long and hard about it, I decided the timing wasn't right.
"But after I got the call from the ASP this year I started training and now here I am. Like I said when I won the Pipe Masters back in 1984, this is a dream come true.
"I felt like I could do well here but it's been years since I rode wave's of this size and power. My heart was pounding when I first pulled up last Sunday and saw these huge, thumping barrels.
"But I couldn't believe how things went today, it had been bread-and-butter lefts for me all the way to the final and then I started to think 'this must be my contest' after I had two really good scoring back-hand tubes on the rights and I looked inside to see Buzzy caught in the washing machine."
Buran reached the Grand Final after working his way past a field of 12 surfers in the 37-40 age group division this week, while Kerbox fended off a field of 12 over-40 years surfers. The two contested a separate final within their own age division before tackling each other head-on in the Grand Final. Runner-up in the 37-40 years final was South African Mark Price, a resident of Laguna, California, and runner-up in the over-40's final was defending Oxbow World Masters champion Terry Richardson (Australia).
Kerbox was in fine form in his over-40's final against Richardson, posting scores of 8.75, 6.50 and 6.50 points, each out of a maximum 10. Richardson was hampered by close-out rides and a snapped surfboard leash which saw him lose valuable time.
"I had a good heat this-morning but unfortunately in the grand final things just didn't really go my way," said Kerbox, 41. "It was a red light heat where I just had bad luck from the start and couldn't seem to find the good ones. But I made it to the final and I was really happy with that.
"Going up against the defending Masters champion in the over-40's final kind of felt like that was the final to me and that was a big victory. I was really happy. Then I had to go right back out. It's hard to psyche up for another big event like that, but I went back out and just tried my best but I couldn't get the waves. That's the way it's been here, you either get the waves or you don't and in the grand final I didn't get them.
Richardson and South African Price placed equal third overall in this year's Oxbow World Masters and were both satisfied with the result. "The final between Buzzy and I was really good," said Richardson, 42, was really content with the effort I put in, I felt I put in 120% but when you're against the elements of nature you're on the losing end of the stick. But I loved every minute of it. I'm quite content. I put in a good effort and I don't mind losing gracefully."
"It was a real honor to be here," said Price, 37. "A lot of these guys I haven't even seen for 18 or 19 years since I was on the tour. So it was an absolute pleasure to be able to share a few waves and good times with them again."

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