John Florence, 19, took another step up the legend ladder on Friday by winning the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach in solid surf. In the final his familiarity with the lineup helped ease him into a several inside bowls. By the end of the heat he had the rest of the field comboed.
Friday’s win, along with his solid showing at the Reef Hawaiian Pro last week, thrust Florence into the lead for this year’s race for the Vans Triple Crown, and odds are now in his favor with the next event taking place in his backyard break of Pipeline.
Florence’s dominance in Hawaii should come as no surprise. He’s been the North Shore’s most famous grommet since the age of 8, when he began surfing Pipeline as a tiny frizzy-haired tow-head.
Now, at age 19, Florence has assumed his role as the most dominant Hawaiian surfer of the day. He owned four of the Top Ten rides at Sunset Beach this week, and his victory is the third prominent one he’s taken on the North Shore in 2011. Back in February he won the Volcom Pipeline Pro and Da Hui Backdoor Shootout at Pipeline.
“This means the world to me,” Florence said afterward. “I’ve grown up here watching this event since I was a little kid…to think I can win the Triple Crown is just incredible. I wouldn’t even know what I’d say if that happened.”
Fact is, there wouldn’t be much to say, but for “The best guy won.”
Results of the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach
1 John Florence – Hawaii
2 Michel Bourez – Tahiti
3 Adam Melling – Australia
4 Hank Gaskell – Hawaii