Australian Adrian 'Ace' Buchan and Portugal's Tiago Pires were the feature performers in a dramatic day at the Hawaiian Pro that also included major upsets. Round 2 and the first four heats of Round 3 were held today in clean 4-to-6 foot waves and light ESE off shore trade winds. Pires and Buchan advanced from Round 3 in the same heat, posting the highest individual wave and highest heat score of the day between them.
Pires' 9.60 came from a late charge that saw him advance a mere 0.07 of a point ahead of Adam Melling (AUS), while Buchan's 17.00 heat total came from flawless wave selection, positioning and execution of maneuvers.
"That was a great start," commented Buchan. "The Triple Crown for me is something I have pretty high up on my list and have come close [to winning] a couple times. Just a chance to surf in these events, they're so prestigious and to have a shot at putting your name on that trophy is a big opportunity. It's something that I would really like to give it everything. I just like coming and surfing against the best guys in these waves."
Kai Otton (AUS) was calculated and confident in his backhand attack to claim first in the heat, while Stuart Kennedy (AUS) displayed equal assurance to edge out competitors Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) and Jordy Smith (ZAF).
"I know Stu was in good form," said Otton. "He started that heat a bit slow but then he really got it together with that good wave, so that was good for him. I fell off my first wave, which would have been a really good score...that was me just a bit stale I think, first time putting the jersey on this winter. But yeah, good heat for me."
Conner Coffin (USA) posted the second highest wave score of the day, a 9.40, to secure a place in the next round. The 22-year-old currently sits 13th on the Qualifying Series (QS) and stands a chance to jump up the ranks for a seat in the 2016 WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.
"I knew once I had the nine I just didn't want to sit out there and end up with priority and not having anything," said Coffin. "Sometimes when you need a three that's the hardest score to get. I just wanted to get something on the board because I knew if I had over 10 points, that's a pretty decent total right now...Just stoked that that one set came and I had priority."
Former Hawaiian Pro champion Joel Centeio (HAW) made it seamlessly through the heat with only two waves under his belt, an 8.00 and a 6.83, to secure the win. Comfortable at his homebreak, Centeio knows the wave well in all conditions.
"This is Haleiwa, I live across the street. I surf out here every time when it's one foot, two foot, four foot, eight foot. I just love surfing this wave and I'm just stoked to make it through heats."
"Watching the two heats previous, waves are looking like they're slowing down," said Lau. "The word is the swell is turning North and there's going to be less waves coming through so I really wanted to stay busy and anything I thought I could get a six on I was pretty much going."
The Honolulu native secured his position to move forward in the contest, along with David, who surfed with style and a tactical approach.
Brazil's Deivid Silva (BRA) surfed with impeccable poise on his backhand. Two big turns on a 4-foot wall landed the 20-year-old with an 8.23 score, backed up by a 7.77 for a 16.00, one of the highest heat totals of the day.