SUNSET BEACH, Hawaii – (Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011) - Maui surfers Hank Gaskell, 15-year-old Ian Gentil, and big-wave specialist Ian Walsh flew the neighbor island flag high at Sunset Beach today during day two of the HIC Pro, presented by Vans. An increase in swell offered great conditions and organizers expect to crown the 2011 HIC Pro champion tomorrow.
Gaskell, who won this event two years ago, was the in-form surfer of the day, posting a two wave heat total of 18.15 points out of 20. Gaskell logged two of the day’s best tube-rides that were awarded a near-perfect 9.5 and an 8.65.
“It’s all about experience, so I put as much time in as I can out here,” said Gaskell. “Here, Haleiwa and Pipe are the most important places. Hopefully I get into the Triple Crown. I think I’m pretty high in the Hawaii rankings. I just want to keep going and do my best in every event this winter. Hopefully get a Pipe wildcard again.”
Fifteen year-old Ian Gentil posted an impressive win in a heat stacked with young guns to advance to tomorrow’s Round of 32. Gentil led the 25-minute heat from start to finish, capitalizing on the biggest and longest rides. Narrowly eliminated in the same heat was 14-year-old Oahu surfer Kalani David – another future star in the making. While conditions were friendly by Sunset Beach standards today, both of these fearless teenagers were prepared to take on whatever Mother Nature dished up for this event.
“I’m just trying to get better at surfing,” said Gentil. “I want to do a couple of WQS events and Pro Juniors. I’m not looking too much into the distance. I used to do the NSSA and amateur events out here, I have a little experience (at Sunset). I think I won one of my first contests out here.”
Ian Walsh wasted no time in stating that winning is definitely his competitive intention:
“I treat this event the same as a Triple Crown one,” said Walsh. “It’s just as important to me. Any event you can win in Hawaii is just about as high as you can get as far as I’m concerned.”
Haleiwa’s Joel Centeio is always a contender at Sunset and today continued the flawless form he has carried through from round one of this event. Centeio joins Gentil, Gaskell and Walsh through to the Round of 32. Others to advance include defending HIC Pro champion Billy Kemper (Maui), Robert Patterson, and Kauai’s Kamalei Alexander.
Organizers expect to resume competition at 8am Hawaii time tomorrow morning, crowning a champion at around 3pm.
Watch live online at www.vans.com/hicpro or in Hawaii on Oceanic Time Warner Cable Ch. 250/1250 HD.
The HIC PRO is a 4-Star ASP men’s event that will decide the 2011 ASP Hawaii regional champion and reward him with one highly coveted berth into the first two events of the Vans Triple Crown, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, Nov.12-Dec.20. The HIC PRO
requires three full days of competition to crown a champion.
The HIC Pro (Oct. 28-Nov.10) and Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (Nov. 12-Dec. 20) round out the 2011 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, crowning the regional and world champions respectively. The 2011 ASP tour then commences in Hawaii with events in January and February to close out the Hawaiian winter.
ROUND OF 64
Heats 1-14 held today. Heats 15 & 16 tomorrow.
All surfers from Hawaii unless stated otherwise.
Surfers listed in order of 1st through 4th.
H1: Joel Centeio; Makai McNamara; Cheyne Willis; Matt Pagan (USA)
H2: Robert Patterson (USA); Flynn Novak; Jared Thorne (USA); Stephan Figueiredo (Brz)
H3: Kamalei Alexander; Ian Walsh; Britton Galland (USA); Dege O’Connell
H4: Kahea Hart; Alex Smith; Rainos Hayes; Love Hodel
H5: Hank Gaskell; Albee Layer; Eli Olson; Taj Tucker (USA)
H6: Kaimana Jaquias; Jonah Morgan; Dane Anderson (USA); Olamana Eleogram
H7: Jesse Merle-Jones; Taylor Thorne (USA); Sam Orozco (USA); Nelson Sadoy
H8: Billy Kemper; Mikey Bruneau; Liam McNamara; Edrick Baldwin
H9: Ian Gentil; Jack Perry (AUS); Kalani David; Micah Moniz
H10: Eala Stewart; Tyler Newton; Koa Smith; Jason Shibata
H11: Chris Foster; Manuel Selman (Chile); Richie Collins (USA); Ezra Sitt
H12: Pancho Sullivan; Michael O’Shaugnessy (USA); Sean Moody; Keala Naihe
H13: TJ Barron; Danny Fuller; Nils Schweizer (USA); Brad Ettinger (USA)
H14: Makuakai Rothman; Ezekiel Lau; Alexander Gray (USA); Peyton Chidester