Sunday 10 February
For a second day in a row, Sunset delivered big powerful surf for the assembled contenders to battle it out for the event crown. Sunset once again called the shots, as the competitors put it all on the line in the maxing conditions, providing more spectacular rides, heavy wipeouts and drama, as we completed Round 1, the repecharge and got half way through Round 3 of the Main event.
Keahi de Aboitiz (JP Austrailia) from Australia put on a strong performance in his Round 1 heat, linking together critical turns and pulling into a couple of heavy barrels. Meanwhile, World #4 Robin Johnston (Mistral) from Hawaii also strung together a couple of high scoring rides to advance directly through to Round 3.
Meanwhile, Kai Lenny (Naish) from Maui is on blistering form, advancing through to Round 3 and then Round 4 respectively in his campaign to regain his event and World Title here at Sunset Beach.
Sunset Beach saw the welcome return of the powerful Frenchman Peyo Lizarazu, displaying his trademark driving backhand turns to advance directly into Round 3. Meanwhile Trialist standout Kekoa Auwae from Oahu, Hawaii continued his blazing form, winning his heat to advance.
Other on form surfers in Round 1 were Starboard Team mates Zane Schweitzer from Maui and Sean Poynter from Florida, but also local dark horse Pomai Hoapili and Na Kama Kai Challenge Champion, the young Tahitian Poenaiki Raioha (Naish). Caio Vaz (Art in Surf) from Brazil also maintained his strong record here at Sunset, advancing through to Round 3 and then 4
The repecharge round by definition is all about having another chance to break back into the runnings. Here at Sunset Beach, it provided some of the most impressive comebacks yet, with Aussies Beau Nixon (Naish) and Justin Holland (Starboard) making every wave count, while the living legend Aaron Napoleon (Rogue) from Oahu, Hawaii started to find form in his heat, posting an impressive 14.25 heat score.
However, perhaps one of the most impressive waves of the day came from the young Mo Freitas (Focus/Body Glove) from Haleiwa, Hawaii, as he linked together critical and high performance turns as well as an incredible barrel through the end bowl
Stand out performances in Round 3 included Beau Nixon (Naish) from Australia, Aaron Napoleon (Rogue) from Oahu, Hawaii and our young Danish representative Casper Steinfath (Naish), who stunned the assembled crowds by dispatching the 2012 Sunset Beach Pro Champion, Bonga Perkins from Oahu, Hawaii.
Kody Kerbox (Naish) from Maui, Hawaii and son of legendary surfer Buzzy Kerbox also put on an impressive display of performance surfing today earning his place in Round 4.
Kala Alexander is no stranger to big surf and was already one of the stand out performers from day 1 of the Sunset Beach Pro. Today he once again showed how local knowledge at Sunset can make the difference, coupled with courage and big wave bravado. Here we see Kala making an impossible drop during his Round 3 heat.
While Santa Barbara is not known for its giant surf, California’s Matt Becker seemed right at home today at Sunset, threading barrels and negotiating challenging sections in today’s full size surf. Matt convincingly won his 3rd round heat and picked off some of the best waves of the day (also see opening barrel shot above). Matt is definitely a name to watch out for in the future.
In a heat that might seem daunting, featuring 2x World Champion Kai Lenny (Naish) from Maui, Hawaii and World #6, Justin Holland (Starboard) from Australia, former Aussie Rules football player ‘Big Wave’ Dave Muir from Australia turned it on for this final heat of the day, coming from behind in the closing minutes of the heat to take the win with one of the most dramatic rides of the day. Also advancing with a spectacular display of precision surfing was Maui’s 2x World Champion Kai Lenny (Naish).
So join us for the final day of competition live from Sunset Beach at sunsetbeachpro.standupworldtour.com/stream.php. The action is intensifying, and with a continued high surf advisory in effect, Sunset Beach will not disappoint as tension mounts and it all comes down to the wire at this spectacular first stop on the 2013 Stand Up World Tour.
Next call will be at 7am and will be posted on www.facebook.com/StandUpWorldTour, and providing the conditions are manageable, we will be getting back into Round 3 of the Main Event by 8am Hawaii Standard time.