The Hawaiian Pro set the stage for another dramatic day of surfing as top international seeds hit the water in Round 3 at Haleiwa Ali'i Beach. Although it was called off after Heat 8 due to declining surf and onshore winds, World Title Contender and Hawaiian Pro defending event winner Filipe Toledo closed the day with an exciting performance against North Shore teens Barron Mamiya, 18, and Wyatt McHaleWyatt McHale, 17, along with Santiago Muniz.
The Hawaiian Pro is the opening event of the 36th Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) and second-to-last QS competition on the WSL circuit. The top-rated QS 10,000 attracts some of the best athletes from around the globe, including CT surfer Toledo, who is one event away from potentially securing his first World Title. Today, the Brazilian fought his way through the challenging surf at Haleiwa for second place advancement behind Mamiya.
WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Regional Junior Champion, Mamiya put on a clinic in Heat 8 with radical surfing and strategy. His best wave, an excellent 8.23, was for two frontside power turns with a snappy fin release as a closing statement. Ahead of this ride, he scouted an aerial opportunity under priority and split the peak with Toledo, who opted for the right.
"I saw him going right on that wave then I had 3rd or 4th priority and I was like, ‘You know what, the wind is going, I've been doing a bunch of airs lately and I think I got them down,'" Mamiya said post-heat. "So I just kind of went for it. I almost fell, it was rolling up the windows when I landed it, and then I got my back-up."
Mamiya landed a backside tail-high reverse to the applause of beach fans and improved his scoreline. His second-best wave, a 7.73 earlier in the heat, was for a big frontside turn to an inside snap. Meanwhile, Toledo matched Mamiya's power with his own fast style and earned a 7.43 for a variety of frontside maneuvers on the right.
Earlier in the morning, Seth Moniz took the heat win over Miguel Pupo, both who are vying for (and well within reach of) a place on the 2019 CT. Ranked within the Top 5 on the QS, Moniz made his heat count with an excellent 8.00 ride to open his campaign, then backed this up with a 5.93 after boosting a lofty frontside air. The regular-footer has stayed busy this year competing on the QS and earned his best result - a runner-up finish - at the Ichinomiya Chiba Open Men's QS 6,000.
"It's tough, I've been traveling all year doing these QS's and I've been doing pretty well," said Moniz. "To come home with my family and my friends watching, it's a little nerve wracking, but once I get in the water all of that goes out the door. That's what I kind of figured out this year, just to be comfortable in the water in my heats and surf how I do in the freesurfs."
Following Heat 8, WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Tour Manager and contest director, Marty Thomas, called the event off for the day.
"We had some good, contestable conditions this morning that we didn't want to walk away from," said Thomas. "But the last two heats have been a bit slow, the onshore winds have come up and we're expecting it to decrease over the course of the afternoon. There is a new swell forecasted, it's already showing on the far buoys for later tonight. It should be 6-8ft. tomorrow and we can finish the Round of 64, do the Round of 32 and have Quarters, Semi's and the Final hopefully on Saturday. We'll cherry pick the best time on Saturday."