The Vans World Cup of Surfing kicked off Tuesday as the second jewel of the 30th annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing hydrated by vitaminwater. A new double overhead swell (at mainland standards) hit Sunset Beach, and at this size the waves can be even more challenging than on the giant, life-threatening days. There were several athletes unable to find the back up scores they needed to advance into the next round, including Dane Reynolds (USA), Aritz Aranburu (EUK) and Stu Kennedy (AUS). Those that made it through will continue on to compete for the $1 million at stake in the Triple Crown series. Check out The Surf Channel Heat Highlights episode from Day 1 of Vans World Cup competition:
Footage provided by Vans
The Hawaiian warrior calls on competition at Sunset Beach. Photo: Surf Channel/Metzger
The day was stacked with local knowledge with surfers like Tom Whitaker (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS), Ian Gentil (HAW), Ian Walsh (HAW) and Pancho Sullivan, who had the highest heat score of 15.5 points.
“You’ve got to approach Sunset everyday for what it is,” said Red Bull athlete Ian Walsh. “You can’t really plan too much ahead… even right before your heat you’ve got to make an adjustment, adapt to every little thing; you can’t really premeditate everything.”
“The Triple Crown is obviously one of the goals that are looming up here above me that I’ve been looking at for years… I had kind of a rough start at Haleiwa, but I think it’s still something that I have a lot of respect for. The winner that comes out ahead on all three of these events is someone we all know deserves it.”
Nathan Hedge (AUS) hunted down valuable seed points for 2013 and performed well in the difficult conditions.
“I really love Sunset Beach; it’s always the last event on the (qualifying tour) so it’s a lot of high drama and emotions and rating points at stake, so it always creates for an epic environment,” Hedge stated. “I’ve been coming here for twenty years, so I think that will help. I’ve put a lot of time in out here and I have had heats where I’ve needed to get through to qualify, but I’m not in that sort of situation (now), so I can really relax and enjoy the experience… just go for it.”
Pancho Sullivan has secured five wins in the past at Sunset Beach, but won’t be satisfied until he claims a Vans World Cup title.
“I absolutely love this wave; it’s got so many looks – from 2 feet to 15 feet, it’s so much fun,” said Sullivan. ” It’s a high performance wave. You can really push your surfing and I try to attack it like you would a small wave even in the bigger 8-10 ft surf. It’s home. I grew up, started surfing the little inside wave shores and eventually graduated out to the point… It’s a wave that you just have to put a lot of time into learning the different lineups depending on the direction and size.”
Mason Ho (HAW) tucks into a barrel at Sunset. He always manages to find them. Photo: Surf Channel/Metzger
The round of 96 will begin when competition resumes at Sunset Beach and the competitors will include Tanner and Dane Gudauskas (USA), Jamie O’Brien (HAW), Gabe Kling (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Mark Occhilupo (AUS), Nat Young (USA) and Joan Duru (FRA).
Be sure to watch LIVE from Sunset Beach: www.VansTripleCrownOfSurfing.com
RESULTS – Round of 128
Surfers listed in order of 1st through 4th
H1 : Ian Gentil (HAW) 14.43pts ; Alex Smith (HAW) 11.17pts ; Stu Kennedy (AUS) 10.50pts ; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 8.36pts
H2 : Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.00pts ; Kai Barger (HAW) 12.57pts ; Nic Von Rupp (DEU) 6.83pts ; Derek Ho (HAW) 5.84pts
H3 : Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.97pts ; Jano Belo (BRA) 9.27pts ; Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 6.86pts ; Davey Cathels (AUS) 2.67pts
H4 : Chris Ward (USA) 12.50pts ; Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 8.83pts ; Tanner (HAW) 7.43pts ; Chris Foster (HAW) 3.00pts
H5 : Nathan Hedge (AUS) 12.60pts ; Tim Reyes (USA) 9.70pts ; Eala Stewart (HAW) 6.63pts ; Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 0.97pts
H6 : Ian Walsh (HAW) 10.56pts ; Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.10pts ; Kiron Jabour (HAW) 8.43pts ; Chris Friend (AUS) 4.33pts
H7 : Love Hodel (HAW) 12.40pts ; Cory Arrambide (USA) 10.43pts ; Aritz Aranburu (EUS) 9.67pts ; Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.57pts
H8 : Makai McNamara (HAW) 12.80pts ; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 11.60pts ; Dylan Goodale (HAW) 9.36pts ; Torrey Meister (HAW) 8.33pts
H9 : Billy Kemper (HAW) 11.03pts ; Evan Valiere (HAW) 9.90pts ; Alain Riou (PYF) 9.00pts ; Billy Stairmand (NZL) 8.50pts
H10 : Dale Staples (ZAF) 12.37pts ; Myles Padaca (HAW) 9.83pts ; Cory Lopez (USA) 6.76pts ; Dege O’Connell (HAW) 6.34pts
H11 : Matt Banting (AUS) 14.84pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 14.00pts ; Koa Rothman (HAW) 6.56pts ; Blake Thornton (AUS) 5.04pts
H12 : Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 13.83pts ; Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 11.17pts ; Roy Powers (HAW) 9.80pts ; Michael Dunphy (USA) 6.10pts
H13 : Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 14.50pts ; Gavin Gillette (HAW) 10.60pts ; Joshua Moniz (HAW) 9.60pts ; Thiago Camarao (BRA) 5.90pts
H14 : Garrett Parkes (AUS) 12.57pts ; Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.50pts ; Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 10.10pts ; Flynn Novak (HAW) 4.66pts
H15 : Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 15.50pts ; Heath Joske (AUS) 10.87pts ; Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.67pts ; Adrien Toyon (FRA) 8.03pts
H16 : Koa Smith (HAW) 12.84pts ; Mason Ho (HAW) 12.63pts ; Joel Centeio (HAW) 12.33pts ; Nic Muscroft (AUS) 12.07pts