Surfing: Potter in taming of the tube

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MARTIN POTTER, Britain's 1989 world champion, finished a disappointing year in fine Hawaiian style yesterday by winning the World Cup of Surfing at Oahu's Sunset Beach. His fearless, radical style tamed the world's biggest waves and gave his 11-year career a much-needed lift.

The 27-year-old - who was born in Northumberland, raised in South Africa, turned professional in Newquay and now lives near Sydney - experienced a dive in fortunes since becoming Britain's first world champion. His victory in Hawaii yesterday, over several indigenous big-wave specialists, came as a welcome relief.

'This is a very special win,' Potter said. 'The importance of winning a contest in Hawaii is everything because this is the Mecca of surfing. This is where you prove yourself as a great surfer.'

The final was held in six to eight-foot surf in windless conditions which created almost perfect wave formation.

The World Cup event was the final contest in the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing. The Triple Crown trophy went to Hawaii's Sunny Garcia, who won the Hawaiian Pro contest, placed second in the Pipeline Masters and finished 13th in the World Cup yesterday.