Just like the name says, the G-Shock Hawai‘ian Pro didn’t let anyone down and featured three prominent Hawai‘ian pros in the final. Won by Conan Hayes, second went to Kalani Robb, third to Shane Dorian, and fourth to Australian Richie Lovett (who won the event in 1995).
How often do you get the chance to surf against your best friend in one of the most prominent contests in the world, in front of your family and friends? Hayes did and pocketed 8,000 dollars in six- to eight-foot Haleiwa. I got a chance to rap with Conan for a few minutes on the North Shore, so here’s what the man said:
How does it feel to win your first Triple Crown event?
It feels pretty good. Everybody was surfing real good, so it felt good for everything to come together. It was good surfing with my friends. The waves were kind of tricky. I got a couple that actually held open for me, so I got lucky.
How important is it for you to win the Triple Crown?
It’s pretty important. Besides winning the title, it’s the next most prestigious thing. It’s definitely on everybody’s mind, for sure.
It wasn’t such a good year for you competitively, was it a good ending?
Actually, I had a real good year. I just traveled and cruised–checked everything out. I wasn’t super into the whole contest thing, but I got to see everything around me, which was really good.
Were you especially proud because the event was in Hawai‘i?
Yeah, I had my family, friends, and I was surfing against my friends. So it was super cool. With Shane Dorian in the final, you could tell he was genuinely happy for me and not just, “congratualtions.” He actually meant it. That was good.
Was there any kind of weird strategy or anything you had to use?
Nah, I just went out and surfed. Luckily, everything came together–I was stoked.