READY TO RETIRE?: Mark Occhilupo might not be prepared to hang up his surfboard just yet.
READY TO RETIRE?: Mark Occhilupo might not be prepared to hang up his surfboard just yet.

Should Occy hang up surfboard?

Should Occy reconsider his retirement?

Gold Coast Mail columnist Andrew McKinnon says that Occy is still charging and should reconsider retiring and he's asking the readers what they think and vote accordingly in a public poll.

Andrew MacKinnon states his case: In February, this year Mark Occhilupo surprised everyone with his announcement of retirement from full time competition on the ASP World Tour, citing family reasons to hang up his boots.

After 22 years on the tour, the most explosive surfer on the planet has decided it's time but is it?

Occy kicked off his 2005 campaign in exhilarating fashion with a super impressive fifth at the Quiksilver Pro.

So we're asking you the public what do you think?

Should Occy retire or keep charging on like the Raging Bull?

Question: Should Occy keep charging on? Yes or No?

Email your choice to Sports Editor, Adam Wratten, at email address:

WILL Occy change his mind on retirement?

The Raging Bull of surfing Mark Occhilupo might not be prepared to hang up his surfboard just yet, despite a high profile announcement of retirement according to his devoted wife and training partner Mae Occhilupo.

Two weeks ago during the Billabong Pro Teens, at Burleigh Heads, Occy made the surprise announcement which caught everybody off guard - especially his peers like three times world champion Andy Irons and former WC Sunny Garcia.

The Hawaiian world champions have been trying to talk Occy out of it and they might not have to try to hard.

The word out was that the Powder Keg on Legs was fitter than ever and has been training the house down.

So what was behind the Occy "new look" Rocky?

His wife Mae gave me the inside scoop while watching the Ockstar from the Rainbow Bay surf club giving fellow goofyfooter Nathan "Hedge Hog" a backhand lesson at Snapper during round four of the Quikkie Pro.

"Mark, Jay (their two-year-old son) and I moved into our Coolan- gatta unit two months prior to the first WCT event of the year and Mark would jog from the unit out to the take-off Rocks at Snapper and then surf his way back to the unit at least three times a day. "After that he would go swimming for a couple of hours and that combination of jog, surf and swim really worked well, " said a proud Mae, as the crowd roared with delight as Occy did another one of those famous "Off the Lipoes ala Occhilupo" during the heat with the Hog.

"He also did a lot of stretching and yoga and using a mini gym to get really cut," added Mae with a competitive smile, "then I came up with this special exercise to tighten the tummy.

"Mark threw down a challenge with me to compete for the best six-pack stomach.

"I thought I would be able to beat him - seeing I came up with the magic exercise.

"But the bugger won that as well," Mae said with a big laugh as the cheers went up as Cocky was announced the winner of the round four heat against Hedgy.

So I asked Mrs Occhilupho: "Will he change his mind on re- tirement?" AFTER all Occy sighted family reasons to stop travelling and competing but I got the sneaky feeling that Mae didn't mind at all.

"I don't know - maybe - who knows with Mark, he might decide to come back again!" she said with a wry smile.

Talking of comebacks - how about Occy's nemesis of the 1980s, three-times world champ Tom Curren who has been given a wildcard to compete in the second WCT event on the ASP World Tour the Rip Curl Easter Pro based at Bells Beach, Victoria.

Only last month, the enigmatic Californian from Santa Barbara - just missed out on making the finals of the Monster Energy Pro, presented by Billabong, at Hawaii's Pipeline, placing equal fifth and at 40 years of age, (he's got a couple on Mark,) Curren has stated that he is on yet another comeback to qualify for the ASP World Tour!

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