Tuesday 29 November
Honoli’i provides the goods for an epic final showdown
The day dawned glassy, with clean 4 – 5ft surf at Honoli’i providing ideal conditions for start of the prestigious Main event of the Hawaii Island Finals. With 32 of the very best athletes in the world now battling it out for the event title and to improve on their overall standings on the 2011 Stand Up World Tour, the pressure is on to make the most of the beautiful conditions on offer at Honoli’i.
Kai Lenny starts as he means to continue with a dominant performance right out of the gate
Kai Lenny once again asserts his presence on Tour in the first few rounds of competition, convincingly winning his heat amidst fierce competition from the Tahitians and Brazilian. He makes it clear that securing the World Title is not enough for this season, he wants to finish on a high here on the Big Island, and relive his 2010 glory.
Leco Salazar is on form and clearly looking for another win
After an impressive win in Brazil, Leco Salazar put on a masterclass of performance surfing today, linking together fast powerful turns in the beautiful surf that Honoli’i provided. He is looking dangerous here and is obviously aiming to secure another event win before the 2011 season is over.
Zane Schweitzer comes out of the gate strong in Honoli’i
The showman Zane Schweitzer is also showing great form here in Honoli’i, scoring the single highest wave score of the day, combining an impressive collection of performance maneuvers on a single wave: starting with a short nose-ride, he then laid into a power turn, roundhouse back into the powerzone then set up for a legitimate aerial only to punctuate it all with a board 360: an impressive show of complete surfing from the young Mauian.
Robin Johnston starts off great, but doesn’t find enough
Robin Johnston opened his event with a great performance against formidable opponents inclusive of Trials winner and standout from yesterday, Bullet Obra. However, in round 3, he fails to find the waves he needs to advance and consolidate on his 2011 World Ranking. Despite a disappointing finish, Robin has had a great year in 2011 and put on a display of performance surfing throughout the World Tour stops.
Antoine Delpero survives an interference call and steps up
After a great start in heat one, HB winner and current world number 3 Antoine has to pass through the repechage to advance through to Round 3 after an interference call in his first heat. However, the frenchman wastes no time in stepping up his game to qualify his quest for the event title here in Honoli’i.
Bullet Obra continues to impress with his power surfing
Big Island standout Bullet Obra once again proves his worth in the early rounds, advancing through to the QuarterFinals and turning heads in the process. There is no doubt that this young gun from the Big Island will be a real threat here at Honoli’i on the final rounds of competition.
The Brazilians step up on the Stand Up World Tour
The Brazilian talent and performance on Tour is only intensifying. Beyond Leco’s phenomenal performance, Trials Finalist Caio Vaz makes it through to the Final 16, as does his brother Ian, Semifinalist at the last event in Brazil. Also advancing with a solid performance is Finalist from Brazil, Luis Saraiva, showing that he is clearly a force to be reckoned with.
Big Island talent pool runs deep and steps up at Honoli’i
Ikaika Kalama makes it back to his home on the Big Island to put on a stellar performance in round 1, narrowly missing out on advancement into the quarterfinals, while local wildcard Kainoa Hauanio steps up to the challenge, dominating his heats to advance into the Quarters.
The youth rule supreme, as an unprecedented number reach the quarterfinals
The number of U18’s advancing through to the quarters is mind blowing, showing incredible talent and putting on masterful performances for athletes that are just so young. Stand outs that advanced through to the Quarters include Noah Yap, Kody Kerbox, Noa Ginella, Ian and Caio Vaz and Mo Freitas.
Aaron Napoleon shows that it is not only about the kids
Showing that it is not exclusively the domain of the young guns, Aaron Napoelon continues to solidify his his strong presence on the Stand Up World Tour, in the process, showing why he is so universally respected for his incredible surfing skill.
Like great friend Arsene Harehoe from Tahiti, they continue to demonstrate that they are serious forces to be reckoned with.
Next up: the Quarterfinals of the Hawaii Island Finals
Still to come here at the Hawaii Island Finals is the Quarterfinals through Finals of the Main event, but also the women’s exhibition event and the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge.
WIth an ideal NE swell still pumping over here on the Big Island, competition will resume bright and early this morning, with a 7am call and 8am first possible start. So stay tuned to www.standupworldtour.com and the Stand Up World Tour facebook page for live updates from the climactic Hawaii Island Finals.