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Monday, 17 December 2007

Occy Retires from Pro-Tour

Occhilupo, who at age 41 is the oldest full-time competitor on tour, was 17 when he finished 16th in the world in 1983. The following year, he was rated No. 3 and the year after he would win at Pipeline. However, too much too soon would prove to be near-fatal for Occhilupo who battled demons and dropped off the tour in 1987. A decade of failed attempts to regain his winning form went by before a rejuvenated and focused Occhilupo retook the ASP World Tour by storm in 1997 and finished runner-up to Kelly Slater. In 1999, Occhilupo won three of his 12 World Tour victories to post one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history by winning the ASP World Title at the age of 33.

”I really love competing and I’ll definitely miss that as much as my friends I’ve made on tour,” Occhilupo said. “It’s just been such a good ride, it’s been about 15 years on and off, but the time I took off and then came back and won my World Title, that was probably the best. No regrets, it’s been sensational and just to have all my friends on the beach today, I know they probably had to get up early to make it down here this morning, but they’re all there so that’s something that I’ll treasure and remember forever.”

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