PIPELINE SERVES UP A DIFFICULT DAY OF BIG WAVES FOR MONSTER ENERGY PRO
Honolulu, HAWAII – (Thursday, February 17, 2005) — The opening two rounds of competition of the $75,000 Monster Energy Pro, presented by Billabong, were staged in grueling at the Banzai Pipeline today, in surf that climbed from wave face heights of six feet in the morning to 15 feet by early afternoon.
It was a tough swell to master. From shore, the swell lines were stacked up to the horizon like a venetian blind. The swell direction was varied and the swell period was relatively short, meaning that the waves crashed through with little space between during the sets. Competitors who found themselves caught inside the impact zone by crushing white-water had barely enough time to bail off their surfboards, dive under the wave, and surface to catch a breath before the next wave closed out on them. With up to eight waves in a set, just making it out the back was the biggest challenge of the afternoon heats.
Twenty-one year-old Pipeline local Flynn Novak experienced the transition in conditions during his first round heat today, as the waves made a shift from dangerous and critical 6-feet, to slamming 8-12 feet. With more water barreling through the break with the rising swell, wave selection became more difficult and more critical – accounting for the half-dozen surfboards that were obliterated during today’s rounds.
“You’re going to get smashed no matter what if you wipe out,” said Novak, “but it’s actually most dangerous when it’s in the 4-6 foot range. Now that it’s breaking from second reef, there’s a lot more water moving around, which also means more water between you and everything hard and sharp on the reef you can smash yourself against.
“It’s definitely an advantage to be a local surfer out here today, compared to all the international guys that have come for this event.” Twelve nations are represented in this event.
“You need to know the lineup and what the waves are going to do in these conditions. I was lucky, I got one that wasn’t such a long wall. It was a nice peak and I only had to head-butt my way through one white-water ball to make it out of the barrel.”
One ride was sometimes all it took today, with surfers being scored on their best two waves in each 25-minute heat. That one ride was enough to secure Novak a ticket to the second round.
Like Novak, Haleiwa local Kaupena Miranda had the golden touch of local knowledge. He topped today’s scores with the only perfect 10 score of round one, earned on a long, rare barrel ride on the right-hander known as Backdoor, that looked impossible to complete.
“I almost ate it three different times in that barrel,” said Miranda. “That’s my first perfect 10. Good timing. I went from sixth to first with that.”
But Pipeline has no memory, and in spite of the favor it dished out to Miranda in round one, he had no such luck in the second round, being eliminated.
San Clemente’s Greg Long, who yesterday survived a tiger shark attack here on the North Shore while practicing for competition, was still shaking on the inside today and was one of the early eliminations, unable to find the mere 2.9-point score he required to advance from round one.
“I’m still a little shaky on the inside,” said Long, “but mostly I just had a bad heat.”
Speaking of yesterday’s encounter: “The attack came from out of nowhere. It came straight up from underneath and sent me flying. I saw the fin and started swimming away from it, kicking my feet, and kind of grazed it with my feet. Then I just scratched for the beach. When I got to shore I saw the damage it had done to my board. I patted myself down, no injuries, and just counted my blessings.”
The highest-ranked surfer in today’s competition actually started out in round one. Local Fred Pattachia, a member of surfing’s elite Top 45 World Championship Tour (W.C.T.) surfers, got a start as an alternate today. Pattachia was unable to formallyy enter the event as he is set to fly to Australia for the first W.C.T. competition later this month. Pattachia advanced through two rounds today.
The Monster Energy Pro will be broadcast live on the web on days of competition. The event will be held on the four biggest and best days of surf during the period of February 15 to 28, 2005.
Surfline is the Official Forecast Service of the Monster Energy Pro — go to surfline.com
To watch it unfold live, tune into either of the following sites on contest day:
All of today’s heats were 6-man heats.
Results shown list surfers from 1st place through 6th place. 1st, 2nd & 3rd advance.
For complete scores, see the websites above.
R1H1: Brad Ettinger (Huntington Beach, CA); Tory Barron (Haleiwa, HI); Fred Pattachia (Haleiwa, HI); M. Faulkner (USA); K. Ellison (USA); K. Ponce (Haw)
R1H2: Kaupena Miranda (Haleiwa, HI); Kalani Chapman (Haleiwa, HI); Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, Ca); D. Muschett (USA); P. Mendia (USA); M. Murguia (Haw)
R1H3: Jun Jo (Kaneohe, HI); Mark Healey (Haleiwa, HI); Randall Paulson (Waipahu, HI); I. Rotgans (USA); S. Hayes (USA); G. Long (USA)
R1H4: Rainos Hayes (Haleiwa, HI); Macy Mullen (Haleiwa, HI); Wesley Larson (Lahaina, Maui); T. Khasshoggi (USA); N. Velez (PRico)
R1H5: Kahea Hart (Haleiwa, HI); Dusty Payne (Lahaina, Maui); Ben McBrien (Manahawkin, NJ); K. Garland (CA); F. Chenault (CA); K. Ellison (CA)
R1H6: Flynn Novak (Haleiwa, HI); Braden Dias (Kalaheo, Kauai); Strider Wasilewski (Haleiwa, HI); T. Wakita, (Jpn); J. McBride (USA); G. Escudero (USA)
R1H7: Reef McIntosh (Waipahu, HI); Jason Frederico (Haleiwa, HI); Carlos Cabrero; E. Geiselman (FL); Y. Ogawa (Jpn); T. Mori (Jpn)
R1H8: Mikey Mitchell (Ewa, HI); Sai Smiley (Paia, Maui); Rique Smith (AUS); B. Burdick (CA); A. Dowling (HI); Y. Tako (Jpn)
R1H9: Magnum Martinez (Venezuela); Rocky Cannon (Haleiwa, HI); Kolea Fukumitsu (Kaneohe, HI); K. Yamada (Jpn); J. Magallenes (HI); M. Lee (Aus)
R1H10: Dede Suryana (Indo); Torrey Meister (Haleiwa, HI); Ezra Sitt (Haleiwa, HI); C. Rodriguez (HI); L. Walsh (Maui); K. Brown (Aus)
R1H11: David Wassell (Haleiwa, HI); Danny Fuller (Haleiwa, HI); Clint Kimmins (Aus); J. Hassett (HI); K. Alexander (HI); S. Koehne (HI)
R1H12: Aamion Goodwin (Hanalei, Kauai); Jonah Morgan (Haleiwa, HI); Cheyne Magnussen; G. Depesa (CA); J. Tudor (CA); D. Tresher (FL)
Round 2: (First 7 of 10 heats run to completion.)
R2H1; Kalani Chapman (Haleiwa, HI); Bradley Ettinger (Huntington Beach, CA); Dylan Graves (USA); R. Paulson (HI); H. Gaskell (HI); A. Gold (HI)
R2H2: Jun Jo (Kaneohe, HI); Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA); Rainos Hayes (Haleiwa, HI); T. Barron (HI); S. Marchand (Fra); A. Virs (USA)
R2H3: Fred Pattachia (Haleiwa, HI); Mark Healey (Haleiwa, HI); Darren Turner (Aus); M. Mullen (HI); H. Savalli (Reunion); K. Miranda (HI)