Since his arrival on the North Shore in 2017, World No. 8 Kolohe Andino has repeatedly stated his end-of-year intentions -- capture his first Triple Crown title and end the Championship Tour season ranked inside the top 10. The Californian took one step closer to both of those goals at Pipeline today. Andino opened the heat with an 8.50, going gangbusters on a zippy right under priority. Then he backed it up later with a nearly duplicate version of his first excellent score, bettering his first ride with an 8.60. Andino's 17.10 total heat score was by far the highest of the round.
Freestone did not go down without a fight against Andino, however, scoring the highest single wave of the day so far -- earning a 9.53 from a deep, grinding Backdoor tube. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to top Andino's pocket 8s and it'll be the last we see of Freestone this year. But with his unique talent and experience, he'll be a favorite on the Qualifying Series at any event he chooses to enter in 2018.
If Freestone was less than laser-focused on his Triple Crown hunt for the past few weeks, it's to be expected. The Aussie, along with his partner Alana Blanchard, spent most of the North Shore season over on Kauai preparing for the arrival of their first child, Banks Harvey Freestone.