Australian Adam Melling, from Lennox Head NSW has won the $250,000 VANS World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, Hawaii – exactly what he needed to retain a position on the ASP World Tour for 2013. Melling, 27, won US$40,000 and moved to equal second on the VANS Triple Crown series ratings. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) finished with an excellent third result, as he remains the leader with overall point total in the Triple Crown series.
Adam Melling (AUS) stands tall with his trophy and $40,000 richer. Photo: Surf Channel/Metzger
“Waking up this morning I was like, this comp is going to be over today and I really want to be on that podium,” said Melling, who surfed a total of four heats today. “Pretty glad that I loaded myself with a lot of breakfast and just hit the vitaminwater after each heat to keep a bit of energy in me.
“I don’t know why it comes to this but on tour it’s definitely hard. It’s only 32 guys and they want it so bad and they all surf so good. Some of the smaller seeds come into play in heats especially man on man. I haven’t had too much luck this year but felt like my surfing’s been the best it’s ever been, so hopefully I don’t put myself in this position ever again.
“I like power surfing and I think that’s definitely one of my strengths. Coming out here you can push as hard as you want because those boards are pretty big so you get out there and push hard. A lot of Aussie surfers can do that stuff so it’s good.
“Pipe’s next. Pressure’s definitely off my shoulders it was a bit of a relief because that wave’s pretty big and scary sometimes.”
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) carving through Sunset Beach. Photo: Surf Channel/Metzger
For Kauai boy Zietz, 24, the moment was still a sweet one despite missing the win. One of only a handful of surfers to ever make back-to-back finals in 30 years of the Vans Triple Crown, Zietz leads the Triple Crown ratings and that gives him a wildcard into the ultimate event: The Billabong Pipe Masters (Dec. 8-20). He is also incredibly close to clinching the $100,000 Triple Crown cash bonus. Melling or Alejo Muniz (BRA), tied for second on the Triple Crown ratings, would need to place third or better at Pipe, with Zietz losing first round, for Zietz to lose the title. In addition to the cash, Zietz could walk away with a $30,000 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a $10,000 custom Nixon watch.
“I saw Melling get that wave and I already knew it was the score,” recounted Zietz. “He blew it up super hard and I knew he only needed a six. But I’m still super happy, Melling is a friend of mine and I’m stoked that he won it. I’m still over the moon. I have two finals in a row and I can’t ask for much more.
“(A wildcard to Pipe) definitely never seemed like a possibility but yeah, it’s happened and I was stoked to hear. I just found out that Andy Irons was the only surfer to ever get three finals in a row (at the VANS Triple Crown), so hopefully I can do that and put my name next to Andy’s and that would be a dream come true.”
Referring to the Harley Davidson by JN Automotive that he has sat on twice now: “I just want to rev it right off the stage brrrr, Terminator style!”
Ace Buchan (AUS) with a mean bottom turn during the final Vans World Cup heat. Photo: Surf Channel/Metzger
Off the top, Buchan comes around during the final heat. Photo: Surf Channel/Metzger
Also awarded today, the JN Automotive Rookie of the VANS Triple Crown, to the top newcomer to this prestigious series. It was awarded to Koa Smith (HAW).
Equal fifth after semi-final losses today were Perth Standlick (AUS) and Jesse Mendes (BRA). Equal seventh after the semi’s were Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Lincoln Taylor (AUS).
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, hydrated by vitaminwater, now moves to the Banzai Pipeline for the third and final stage of the series. The first potential day of competition is Saturday, December 8.
1st – Adam Melling (AUS) 16.16pts, $40,000
2nd – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.67pts, $20,000
3rd – Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 13.70pts, $12,000
4th – Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.26pts, $10,000
H1 : Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 13.00pts ; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.03pts ; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.67pts ; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 7.30pts
H2 : Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.00pts ; Adam Melling (AUS) 10.34pts ; Perth Standlick (AUS) 8.26pts ; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.33pts
H1 : Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.44pts ; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.86pts ; Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.70 ; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.57pts
H2 : Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 15.80pts ; Adrien Buchan (AUS) 14.26pts ; Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 13.86pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.87pts
H3 : Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.54pts ; Perth Standlick (AUS) 10.83pts ; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.33pts ; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 5.47pts
H4 : Adam Melling (AUS) 18.40pts ; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.94pts ; Brett Simpson (USA) 15.70pts ; Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 10.13pts
Round of 32:
H1 : Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.57pts ; Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 11.13pts ; Glenn Hall (IRL) 6.40pts ; Chris Ward (USA) 5.70pts
H2 : Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.03pts ; Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 10.54pts ; Julian Wilson (AUS) 3.93pts ; Travis Logie (ZAF) 2.33pts
H3 : Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.63pts ; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 13.16pts ; Taylor Knox (USA) 11.66pts ; Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.37pts
H4 : Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.60pts ; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.10pts ; Kelly Slater (USA) 9.60pts ; Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.94pts
H5 : Perth Standlick (AUS) 17.23pts ; Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 13.43pts ; John John Florence (HAW) 11.44pts ; Nat Young (USA) 9.67pts
H6 : Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.03pts ; Brett Simpson (USA) 11.17pts ; Billy Kemper (HAW) 8.94pts ; CJ Hobgood (USA) 6.50pts
H7 : Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.97pts ; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.76pts ; Marc Lacomare (FRA) 9.43pts ; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 8.20pts
H8 : Adam Melling (AUS) 14.10pts ; Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.17pts ; Kai Otton (AUS) 10.63pts ; Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.33pts
2. Adam Melling (AUS) 7,200
3. Alejo Muniz (BRZ) 7,200
4. John John Florence (HAW) 6,500
5. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6,500