Il 2005 sarà l’ultimo anno di Mark Occhilupo nel circuito ASP WCT. Occy ha infatti annunciato che questo sarà l’ultimo anno che lo vedrà attivo a tempo pieno nel circuito professionistico.
Dopo 22 anni, 21 vittorie e un titolo mondiale nel 1999, vinto dopo 16 anni dal suo esordio nell’ASP, iniziato all’età di 15 anni, Occy detto anche “Raging Bull” ha deciso di andare in “pensione.”
“I have had a great career. I’ve done all the things from when I was a grommet that I’ve wanted to do that’s why I’m calling 2005 my last year. I want to leave on a high note. I feel like I could probably keep on going for a few more years but I want to finish my career surfing as good as I can, and I feel as I am at that stage right now. I don’t want to be going
at about 50% and just making up the numbers.”
“I want to show that you shouldn’t drag it out – you should go out with a bang, and my surfing is good enough at the moment to do that. I will be 40 next year so I just feel like it is a good time.”
INTERVISTA A MARK OCCHILUPO
Q. What do you hope to achieve in your final year on tour?
A. “Well anything is possible you know, I have been training really hard and we have had a great run of surf here on the Gold Coast over the last month and I am feeling really fit. I don’t want to make any wild claims but anything is possible and a want to finish with a good strong year.”
Q. What will you miss most about life on tour?
A. “I will miss a lot about life on tour, just looking at the results and the waves that they were in, and just thinking, jeeze I could have done well there I will really miss going to Hawaii and getting to compete in the Triple Crown, it’s a big thing, and I never even got to win a Triple Crown, but I have still got one year left, so hopefully I’ll get one.”
Q. What will you miss least about life on tour? A.”Well, I won’t be missing home, and I wont miss traveling on airplanes
and living out of a suitcase. I certainly won’t miss packing up the show each week to get to the next spot.”
Q. Who would you like to thank, who has really influenced your surfing career?
A. “I really like to thank Gordon Merchant, he started my career off and we used to travel together and put a lot of smart information in my head. Gordon sponsored me obviously and bought me a ticket on tour when I didn’t have a lot of good results or anything. He gave me the start up and then really helped me along the way.”
Q. Who do you like for the next couple of years?
A. “A little inside tip would be Joel, but I think that Andy is going to be really hard to beat to. I think that Taj could give it a good go.
Q. So what do you think about Jay, do you think he’s got potential?
A. “He’s got potential for sure, and he will tell you too. I’m not going to push Jay though, he is nearly two now and he loves the water. But we are only just teaching him to swim. We take him in the water and he gets dumped, but he hasn’t been dumped too bad yet.”
“He has already worked out that I surf, because every time he sees me on the telly he says ” daddy daddy”, and when we pull up to the surf he say’s daddy daddy. In Hawaii this year, one morning was completely massive and he was like ” daddy daddy, your out there” and I was like “hang on mate, hang on “. So he knows what I do and I’m sure he will want to be a surfer but I don’t
want to push him into it too quick.”
Q. So is he a Goofy or a Natural?
A. “I think he could be a natural, but I don’t want to say yet”