Banting opened his victory strike with a 7.00 in the all-Australian Final that pit him against Dion Atkinson, 28. And while Atkinson fought hard, he was unable to find the scores needed to top Banting, who built momentum throughout the heat.
"We had great conditions and it's a great system with the new priority, it's a lot more surfing," Banting said. "If you told me I was going to make the Final hopping on the plane, I wouldn't have expected it. To take the 25 grand and be here in Cabo for one last night, it's amazing!"
Banting's win at the Los Cabos Open of Surf marks his second ASP 6-Star win this season, placing him in excellent position to qualify for the 2015 World Championship Tour (WCT). While the regular-footer was elated with the victory, he remains focused on the road ahead.
"It's a long year to go, but to get two 6-Star wins feels amazing," Banting said. "I just hope I can stay consistent and get a few strong results in the upcoming Primes."
Atkinson, currently a rookie on the WCT, put together an impressive display of power-surfing at Zippers, consistently posting standout scores in each round. Atkinson made a strong effort in the Final, but was unable to replace a 6.23 when Banting scored an 8.00 late in the heat.
"It feels great to make the Final," Atkinson said. "If someone told me I was going to finish second when I was getting on the plane, I probably would have to pinch myself because it didn't treat me too well last year. We had amazing waves and I've had some fun heats. Congrats to Matt (Banting); he's been ripping the whole event. Hopefully we both have a good year and it'd be great to have him on Tour."
Ho, top seed at the Los Cabos Open of Surf, was a standout throughout the event and maintained her form on the final day of competition. The Hawaiian topped Australian and fellow WCT competitor Dimity Stoyle (AUS), 22, and Kauai's Brianna Cope (HAW), 19, to claim the win at Zippers.
"I was definitely on the harder side of the draw, but it was great to surf against Silvana (Lima) and Dimity (Stoyle) after her cracker of a heat," Ho said. "The waves are so fun. It's like a toned-down Lowers (Trestles, in Southern California), and it's non-stop waves."
Ho, current No. 10 on the Women's WCT, has had a series of highs and lows throughout her 2014 campaign and hopes to carry the momentum from her win in Los Cabos through the second half of the season.
"I've had an equal amount of ups and downs this year and it's hard," she said. "You've got to keep your head up and my Dad told me at the start of the year that it's a marathon, not a sprint. This is definitely a nice feeling."
Cope walks away with a second-place finish, after a breakthrough performance in which she took down some of surfing's biggest names. Cope defeated ASP WCT surfers Lakey Peterson (USA), 19, in the Quarterfinals and Laura Enever (AUS), 22, in the Semifinals, but was unable to top Ho for the win.
"I'm really happy with this result," Cope said following the QS Final, the first of her career. "This is been an amazing week. Thanks to everyone for putting this event together, and my sponsors for the support."
For highlights from the Los Cabos Open of Surf check out www.aspworldtour.com.
LOS CABOS OPEN OF SURF MEN'S FINAL RESULT:
1 â€“ Matt Banting (AUS) 15.30
2 - Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.20
LOS CABOS OPEN OF SURF MEN'S SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Matt Banting (AUS) 14.43 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.00
SF 2: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 15.94 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.80
LOS CABOS OPEN OF SURF MEN'S QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.63 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.60
QF 2: Matt Banting (AUS) 15.33 def. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 14.80
QF 3: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.60 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.33
QF 4: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 16.20 def. Medi Veminardi (REU) 15.50
LOS CABOS OPEN OF SURF WOMEN'S FINAL RESULT:
1 â€“ Coco Ho (HAW) 17.10
2 â€“ Brianna Cope (HAW) 11.60
LOS CABOS OPEN OF SURF WOMEN'S SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Coco Ho (HAW) 18.13 def. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 8.77
SF 2: Brianna Cope (HAW) 12.60 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 10.10