Occy's great comeback
THEY say a souffle doesn't rise twice - that is unless you're Mark Occhilupo.
The Raging Bull of surfing is on yet another mighty comeback mission since Occy demonstrated at this year's Prime rated ASP events at Margaret River and Trestles, California.
A third at Margs and equal ninth at Trestles has the 45-year-old back in the hunt in requalifying for next year's ASP World Tour.
Occy was rated 39th after Western Australia and with his impressive form continuing at Trestles narrowly losing to California's Pat Gudauskas in the round before the quarters, the Ockster has rocketed into 23rd on the world rankings.
While it is still early days and the WT events will exclude Occy, he has a fighting chance to return to the World surfing stage as the top 32 at the end of year qualify for the 2013 ASP Dream Tour.
"I think I am surfing better than ever, "said Occy beaming with confidence and the reality of requalifying on the World Tour is sinking in.
"I will consider competing at the Prime Rated US Open at Huntington Beach to keep my chances alive," said the oldest man on tour who has never lost the most explosive backhand style in the world and one that continues to inspire all professional surfers let alone the aging talented free surfers.
"Guys my age keep telling me that I inspire them to keep surfing."
Occy said, from California, he didn't have enough time to beat himself up over almost making the quarters at the Nike Pro as "Powder keg on legs" is much in demand as a presenter of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards and then onto to Brazil to commentate at this week's ASP World title event, the Billabong Rio Pro at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If Occy doesn't make the cut for next year's ASP World Title tour, he can count on Hawaii at the end of the year and the prestigious Hawaiian Triple Crown.
"My results at Margaret's and Trestles' inspired me to do a few more events, for sure," Occhilupo said.
"I couldn't be in the Triple Crown last year and now I'm on my way. You've got to be in the top 96 to get in and I'm on my way now. Hopefully I'll be able to get there.
"I've always missed competing since I've left the tour and I feel like I'm still surfing good, so I figure, 'why not?' In a few years' time it will be all over, so I'm just making hay while the sun shines."
Go for it Occy! Keep on blasting those legendary power turns!