SUNSET BEACH, Oahu/HAW – (Friday, November 1, 2013) - Defending HIC Pro champion Sunny Garcia, 43, suffered a bitter-sweet loss in his opening appearance today, eliminated in the top-seeded Round of 64 by his best friend’s 20-year-old son, Kaimana Jaquias. This event is in Kaimana’s blood. His father, Kaipo, won it twice during his career, including 1993 – the year Kaimana was born.
“I was so busy scrambling around trying to find a wave in that heat that I didn’t get to enjoy watching Kaimana surf,” said Garcia. “His father has been my best friend for such a long time and we toured together during the best years of our careers. I’ve literally watched Kaimana from diapers to today, and he’s just like his dad… surfs every bit as well as he did. It’s great to see… it just makes me feel old!”
Young guns continued to crack the whip today, accounting for five of the day’s top heat scores. Maui’s Tanner Hendrickson, 21, posted a two-wave total of 18.4 points out of 20 – matching fellow Maui surfer Ian Walsh’s performance on day one for the highest heat score of the competition so far. Other standouts included Isaiah Moniz, 19 – (Oahu – 15.84 points out of 20); Mason Ho, 25 – (Oahu – 15.17 points); Thomas Woods, 20 (Australia – 14.77); and Kiron Jabour, 22 (Oahu – 14.24).
Experience still contributed to a few solid wins, including that of Sunset’s own Pancho Sullivan, 40, and Honolulu engineer Gregg Nakamura, 32, who placed third overall here last year.
Nakamura isn’t a traveling pro surfer, just a family man with a couple of days off work who understands what it means to make the most of every opportunity to go surfing.
“It’s just fun to get out there and put a jersey on,” said Nakamura. “Win or lose it’s a good time for me.
“Last year gave me a big boost of confidence. I had to start from the bottom and get through all the toughest guys on the island. Third’s good but I’d love to get a win. I competed a lot when I was in high school and younger but I just went the college route. Now I’ve got a job, pretty stable, family life and everything. But my dream was always to make the Triple Crown, so if I get a shot at that, it’s icing on the cake.”
The HIC Pro, presented by Vans, is a local qualifier for the upcoming Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (November 12-December 20). Nakamura is hoping for a strong finish to earn himself a start.
One day of competition remains before the 2013 HIC Pro champion can be crowned. Organizers will assess conditions tomorrow morning for a possible 8am start.
The HIC PRO will be webcast live at www.vans.com/hicpro, and broadcast on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawaii. Final day action will be shown on delayed basis on TWC SoCal local channels in Los Angeles (ch.101), San Diego (ch.411), and the Desert Cities (ch.111), as well as nationally in the US on delayed basis on TWC SportsNet and its affiliates DirecTV, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, AT&T U-Verse, and Verizon FiOS. Viewers should check their local listings for regional channel numbers, dates, and times.
(Surfers are from Hawaii unless noted otherwise)
Round of 64: (1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=33rd; 4th=49th)
H1: Kaimana Jaquias; Jay Thompson (AUS); Alex Smith; Sunny Garcia
H2: Thomas Woods (AUS); Ian Walsh; Austin Ortiz; Kalani Chapman
H3: Dylan Goodale; Gavin Gillette; Perth Standlick (AUS); Jonah Morgan
H4: Evan Valiere; Dusty Payne; Thiago Camarao (BRZ); Breyden Taylor (USA)
H5: Cooper Chapman (AUS); Deivid Silva (BRZ); Keoni Yan (PYF); Mitchell James (AUS)
H6: Ezekiel Lau; Skip McCullough (USA); Kevin Sullivan; Olamana Eleogram
H7: Ian Gentil; Torrey Meister; Taylor Clark (USA); Charlie Herr
H8: Gregg Nakamura; Jake Davis; Fred Patacchia JR; Dylan Kowalski
H9: Isaiah Moniz; Mitch Coleborn (AUS); Austin Ware (USA); Trevor Thornton (USA)
H10: Liam McNamara; Jack Freestone (AUS); Kahea Hart; Kaito Ohashi (JPN)
H11: Mason Ho; Matt Pagan (USA); Leandro Usana (ARG); Sean Moody
H12: Garrett Parkes (AUS); Flynn Novak; Connor O’Leary (AUS); Kaito Kino
H13: Tanner Hendrickson; Kiron Jabour; Kalani David
Heats 14-16 of this round held over to the final day of competition.
Round of 96: (remaining heats held over from yesterday)
H11: Matt Pagan (USA); Flynn Novak; Kelly Norris (AUS); Michael O’Shaughnessy
H12: Kaito Kino; Sean Moody; Kaoliopuuwai Kahokuloa; Vaj Lederer
H13: Kai Barger; Makuakai Rothman; Ryan Bignold (AUS); Noa Mizuno
H14: Pancho Sullivan; Kalani David; Kilian Garland (USA); Myles Laine-Toner (USA)
H15: Kekoa Bacalso; TJ Barron; Parker Coffin (USA); Teppei Tajima (JPN)
H16: Yan Daberkow (BRZ); Tom Dosland; Shun Murakami (JPN); Tai Vandyke