SUNSET BEACH, HAWAII – OCTOBER 29, 2006 – Day 1 of competition has concluded at Sunset Beach, as the 2006 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear has run through Round 1 and Heat 8 of Round 2. The contest will begin again with Round 2, Heat 9 and is likely to continue tomorrow, as the current north swell continues to build.
Conditions have been challenging from the predicted north swell, consistently shifting the lineup and producing some inside take-offs for riders in Round 1 and 2 heats. Sets are frequent, and Surfline.com forecasts the current swell to pick up over the next few days, which bodes well for later rounds of competition.
“The size (of waves today) is there,” says Johnny Gomes, surfing through both rounds today, who’s been around the Xcel Pro since it began in 1984. “Every year, the Xcel Pro has good luck on its contest days.” Gomes, a popular Sunset Beach local, loves the event held right on his home turf. “Some of the world’s best surfers are here – no doubt.”
Action has been streaming live online thanks to SurfingLive.com’s live Webcast, and will continue to be available at xcelpro.xcelwetsuits.com.
Mason Ho, 18, son of four-time past Xcel Pro champion Michael Ho, went big in his early heat and earned his way into Round 2. “Dad always wants to paddle out with me,” says Ho, an Oahu local who grew up at Sunset Point.
Past Xcel Pro champion Derek Ho, Mason’s uncle – and brother of Michael – paddled out later and placed second in his heat. He will compete again in Round 3 in an all-Hawaiian heat of Ho, Jesse Merle-Jones, Mikey Bruneau, and David Wassel.
Be sure to check www.xcelpro.xcelwetsuits.com for up-to-the-minute results and the live Web cast from the beach.