Reef Hawaiian Pro Mens
Kauai Boy Rules at the Reef Hawaiian Pro
With the slowest Northshore Season on record the Men's Hawaiian Pro kicked off on the first day of the waiting period in 2-3 ft surf and ended right before the last day of the period in 10-12 ft maxing Haleiwa. The final 2 days of competition scored our first two days of advisory level surf all season. The Round of 64 got serious with solid 6-10 feet surf in hurrendous conditions. The waves were doubling and tripling up with chop going through them at just about every angle. When I showed up the whole beach was in silence awaing Sunny Garcia who had not yet made it out to the line up for his heat. He had already missed 5 minutes of the heat when he began paddling out. There were several witnesses to verify Sunny's testimony that the roadworks at Waimea had turned the normally 20 minute drive from the Northshore into an hour and a half trip. Sunny still managed to strap a solid first wave in his heat, but couldnt get a second, which cost him advancing to the next round by 2.4 Also just missing that heat in 3rd place was Fred Patacchia who lost a lot of time when he broke his leash and had to swim in after busting through a quadruple up close out set. Maui's young amateur surfer Granger Larson and Milael Pikon from France advanced. That one heat was a good example of the day since surfers were breaking their boards and their leashes and looked like they were just getting beat to death in the froth. Other surfers who stood out that day were young Big Island surfer Tonino Benson and Taj Burrow.
On the final day conditions had cleaned up, but the 8-10 ft surf was growing to near 15 ft by the final. You couldn't find a better anouncer than the Northshore's own Liam McNamara who was schooling the crowd throughout the event and really bringing them into the line up with the contestants. Anyone who has ever surfed Haleiwa knows how horrific the current can be and you could feel the cringe on the beach everytime we had to watch the surfers paddle out over unridable sets. Haleiwa was maxing so much that the waves were at times connecting between Haleiwa and Avalanche (the next surf break over) and these wash through sets were becoming more consistent and more dangerous every heat. When 3rd place finalist Joel Parkinson was asked what his game plan was for the final, he said to simply "survive" Australian Bede Durbidge placed second in the event and was a major upset in the round of 32 after taking down 2005 champion Pancho Sullivan and Hawaii's own Evan Valiere. Fourth place finalist Sean Moody came in on a wildcard and was the crowd favorite all day long. His backside attack was about as good as it gets. The Haleiwa local was catching some of the biggest and best waves throughout the whole competition. He caught one wave which was so big that he actually disappeared on the bottom before going straight up to the top of a12 footer delivering an unbelievable roundhouse snap. The goofy footer defeated current world champion Mick Fanning and former world champion Andy Irons in his quarterfinal round with good friend Roy Powers. Powers dominated the final pulling two nines with two tube rides on set waves that didn't even look makeable. His victory set him up to secure a spot on next years WCT and certainly put him in contention for a Triple Crown Title.
The swells which took so long arrive this year seem to be stacking up on the charts as far as we can see with improving and possibly even perfect conditions up for the near future. The Oneil World Cup and Roxy Pro start at Sunset Beach on Sunday November 5th and the may be able to run the whole event in the first few days.
REEF SHOWS FACE
Hawaiian Girls bring it Home
Megan Abubo dominated the women's final at the Reef Hawaiian Pro in 2-4 ft trying surf. The lumpy bumpy conditions did not seem to be a factor for Abubo who was able to find the best waves in the heat and carve her signature style into each section. Her momentum was evident in earlier rounds when she scored a perfect 10 and backed it up with a 9.3. The Big Island's Leilani Gryde accompanied Megan in her first Hawaii final. Layne Beachly was consistent throughout the competition grabbing the 2nd place seed which puts her into the hot spot for the Roxy Pro at Sunset where she certainly has as much or more experience than anyone. Katrina Petroni took 3rd place which secured her a spot on the WCT next year and was elated to be the first girl representing the East Coast, USA since Lisa Anderson.
The women's event was run in two days at Ali'i Beach Park. It started out with a 6 woman winner takes all Superheat composed of a select few of Hawaii's finest and some international competitors. Keala Kennely (who stepped off the tour this year to play her role in the series John from Cincinnati) showed some solid power surfing ,but was not able to get a highest enough scoring second wave to get through. Carrissa Moore lead the heat until the last few minutes when Alana Blanchard was able to throw some large turns making it clear that she owned the wildcard, she then won her first round heat dipping out just before the quarters. Hawaii's crowd favorite Bethany Hamilton was able to advance to the quarterfinals. Other notables were Kyla Langen and Serena Brook. West Side Hawaii girl, Melanie Bartels made the semi finals along with Australian surfer Amee Donahoe. Though it seems like women have had a strong presence on the Northshore for years now, the guys always seem so impressed that the ladies can hold it down. Butts begone, I guess its a true testament to the growth of the sport when even Reef is starting to show the true face of women's surfing.
Congraduatlations to Meagan for scoring her first perfect 10 and winning her first Hawaiian title on tour!!!!
by Lane Davey
also see these sites for more Triple Crown Info: