SUNSET BEACH, Oahu/ Hawaii (Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012) – The Hawaiian winter pro surf season officially began today with the $95,000 HIC Pro presented by Vans. The event enjoyed excellent 8-12 foot surf at Sunset Beach, setting the stage for a major season that will run from today through February 2013.
The HIC Pro is a 4-star men’s ASP rated event, and the final star-rated event of the year. It is a local qualifier for the $1M Vans Triple Crown of Surfing that commences next week Monday, November 12, running through December 20. The opening rounds of the HIC Pro were held today and competition will resume at 8am tomorrow morning in continued good conditions.
Sunset Beach has a tendency to favor the more experienced, seasoned competitor and today was no different. Sunset locals Myles Padaca, 41, and Pancho Sullivan, 39, both former champions of this event, surfed text book heats today to advance. Padaca advanced alongside Kauai’s Kamalei Alexander, 34, who has also been a finalist here before.
“Sunset takes five, six, maybe 10 years to get your feet in place and get on the right boards,” said Padaca. “Age and experience are definitely to your advantage out here.
“I wish I started in the trials today, to tell you the truth. The waves are so epic. It’s so clean, there’s very little wind on the face, and some big drops, so it was just an all-time session out there.”
Kamalei Alexander reveled in the fact that Sunset is a place to demonstrate power and critical carving turns, not the trick maneuvers that smaller, weaker waves can limit you to.
“You’re not going to win doing aerials out there,” said Alexander. “Like Myles said, the more you surf here the more you understand how it breaks.
“You’re just so close to drowning or having the ride of your life here, so to make that first heat of the season is like a monkey off your back. I’m just going to try and have a blast. One of the benefits of not being one of the (highest rated) surfers is that you get to surf more through the earlier rounds.”
Other standouts today included Charlie Carroll (Waianae), who posted the highest single wave score of the day for a near-flawless tube ride (9.27 points); Makana Eleogram (20, younger brother of Ola, from Maui) who posted the highest two-wave heat score of 15.57 points; and 16-year-old La Jolla, California surfer Skip McCullough.
This is the first of four days of competition for the event and the holding period runs through November 10. (Tuesday, November 6 – Election Day – is a holiday and therefore there will be no competition on that day.)
For morning status of the event, please log on to www.vans.com/hicpro, or call the official Surf News Network Hotline: (808) 586-7873 (596-SURF).