SUNSET BEACH, Oahu/Hawaii (Monday, Nov. 5, 2012) - High seeds entered the draw at the HIC Pro presented by Vans today, and solid 8-10 foot Sunset surf guaranteed a heavy workout for all, and hard fought wins for just a few.
Among the standout campaigners today were Jake Davis (Capistrano Beach, CA); Makana Eleogram (Hana, Maui); Kalani Chapman (North Shore); Sunny Garcia (North Shore); and Pancho Sullivan (North Shore). Surprise eliminations included that of former HIC Pro champion Billy Kemper (Maui); Takayuki Wakita (Japan); and New York’s Balaram Stack.
Kalani Chapman rode one of the most memorable waves today – a solid 10-footer that featured two giant backhand snaps and a free-fall into the tube that he successfully exited from. Click here to watch the video.
“I thought, ‘oh my god, I’m in the perfect spot’,” said Chapman. “I dropped in, I was riding the wave and it started to build coming into the inside bowl. I got a couple of turns off and the wave doubled up on the inside and gave me a chance to get barreled, so I took it. It ended up working out. It was a cool ride. It definitely felt critical.
“You can get the waves of your life out here but it can also make you feel like you’re going to die.”
One man who’s hard to ignore this time of year is Sunny Garcia. A six-time Vans Triple Crown champion and a guaranteed powerhouse at Sunset Beach, Garcia’s eyes are always on a win. Now a resident of California, Garcia is using the HIC Pro to sharpen his game heading into the Triple Crown, which begins next week. He found today’s conditions and level of competition to be brutal but advanced with a win, nonetheless.
“Sunset’s a big wave that has a lot of water moving, it’s a wave that will humble the best surfers in the world,” said Garcia. “This is a good event to get ready for Triple Crown, work the bugs out. There are really good kids surfing here… and good surfers always want to win. I want to win. I didn’t come to lose. It’s a good warmup but I’m definitely not here to lose.”
Two days of competition remain before the HIC Pro presented by Vans wraps up. There will be no competition tomorrow – Election Day – and organizers will return Wednesday morning to assess conditions. The event has until the end of Saturday, November 10, to wrap up. With plenty of swell in the forecast, it promises to be a memorable finish.
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).