Defending '07 Champion Joel Centeio Posts Day's Best Wave
HALEIWA, OAHU, HAWAII – October 29, 2008 – The 2008 Xcel Pro Presented by Honolua has run through Day 2 today, with standout performances turned in by defending champion Joel Centeio and three-time Xcel Pro winner Pancho Sullivan.Joel Centeio
Joel Centeio. Photo: Xcel
The north swell from the first day continued to produce 8' to 10' sets for Day 2, as early-morning rounds looked similar to yesterday's short-period, shifty Sunset peaks. With light offshore tradewinds clearing out Day 1's "vog" from the Kilauea (Big Island) volcano, conditions – and scores – showed consistent improvement into the afternoon.
2007 Xcel Pro champion Joel Centeio advanced one step closer to repeating his win last year, posting the day's best-scored wave, a 9.50 after a big first turn and smart stall into one of today's few and far between barrels. "I was ecstatic," Centeio told beachside interviewer Kaipo Guerrero soon after his Round of 64 heat win. "I just want to stay busy, ride waves, and keep making heats" – a strategy that seems to be working for the defending champion. Watch for Centeio on Day 3 as he competes next in Heat 1 of the Round of 32.
Three-time Xcel Pro winner Pancho Sullivan (1998, 2000, 2003) also advanced into the Round of 32 after easily winning his heat today. A mid-year injury refocused Sullivan – who is on the ASP WCT this year – on his health, family, and North Shore contest season events like the Xcel Pro. "Any opportunity to surf Sunset, my home break – it would be torture not to be here," noted Sullivan, who grew up at Sunset Beach. "I thrive on this wave and these conditions."
Fellow North Shore local Makua Rothman will meet Sullivan in their Round of 32 heat. Rothman has made the final heat in the last 2 years of the Xcel Pro, and in 2007 won the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing right here at Sunset Beach. 2006 Xcel Pro champion Evan Valiere of Kauai will also advance to the Round of 32 after his Day 2 heat win.
Day 3, the third and final day of the event, may run tomorrow (Thursday, October 30) if conditions permit. With a holding period through November 10, still to surf are heat 16 of Round 3, plus Round 4 heats, quarterfinals, semifinals, and the decisive last and final heat.
The winner of the 25th anniversary 4-Star 2008 Xcel Pro takes home $10,000 and valuable late-year ASP WQS points, and will join a long list of distinguished Xcel Pro champions, who include Michael Ho (1990, 1991, 1996), Derek Ho (1994), Andy Irons (1997), and Bruce Irons (1999).
Day 2 recap clips, photos, and results are all available at http://xcelpro.xcelwetsuits.com.
About the Xcel Pro
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the 2008 Xcel Pro Presented by Honolua is a 4-Star ASP WQS event with a $80,000 purse, drawing pros and amateurs alike to world-class Sunset Beach along the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Honolua Surf Co. is the presenting sponsor of the 2008 event. Specializing in surf apparel, Honolua Surf Co. celebrates the lifestyle of watermen and women, and has retail stores throughout Oahu and the Hawaiian islands.
Joining Honolua are associate sponsors Kustom Footwear, VonZipper eyewear and accessories, and Fuel TV. Fuel TV, the only cable network celebrating the lifestyle and culture of action sports, will produce the official Xcel Pro television special airing exclusively on their network (www.fuel.tv) on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:00 PM ET/PT during the Surf Spot.
Surfing Live produces this year's Webcast, streaming live action and results to viewers around the world. Vitamin Water and Surf News Network, Oahu's local surf forecasting service and the official contest hotline at 808-596-SURF, also support the event.
For more, please visit the contest Web site at http://xcelpro.xcelwetsuits.com.
Founded in 1982, Xcel International, Inc. (Xcel) is a global wetsuit brand distributed throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim. Headquartered on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, Xcel's core wetsuit business focuses on the cutting edge of material and design development. Xcel's primary markets include surf, dive, wakeboard, paddle, and sun (UV Performance Gear).
In addition to its North Shore office, Xcel has retail stores on Oahu and Maui, and a warehouse/repair facility in California.
To learn more about Xcel, please visit www.xcelwetsuits.com.