It’s just after noon on a sunny San Clemente Saturday, 5 days of grueling competition have come down to this. The men’s final consists of Brazilian Miguel Pupo and locally grown Tanner Gudauskas. The event standout thus far, Kolohe Andino, has fallen in the quarterfinals to Jesse Mendes.
The wind has picked up just enough to put some coping on the lip lines of the chest high wedges marching through the lineup. Tanner gets off to an early start, securing a 5.83 with a series of backhand top turns. Both surfers struggle to find quality waves for much of the heat, but Pupo is able to find a big left with 5 minutes remaining. Two snaps, a big blowtail reverse, and a flurry of fist pumps for an 8.5. Still needing a 5 to catch Tanner, Pupo begins roaming the lineup for a small left with under 2 minutes to go. Two small airs followed by one of the most passionate claims ever seen in competitive surfing, and Pupo is awarded a 5.3 and the victory. The Brazilians have won.
Just before the men’s final hit the water, the four-man Oakley Pro Jr Final put on quite the show. Kolohe Andino was the favorite, but the whole heat was stacked with young talent. Current Jr ratings leader Jack Freestone of Australia, Nat Young from Santa Cruz, and Keanu Asing from Hawaii. It came down to the final minute with all 4 surfers needing mid range scores for victory. All surfers would get a final opportunity, but it was Asing who found a lined up inside left and smashed it to the beach to claim the win.
1- 13.63 Miguel Pupo (Brazil)
2- 13.57 Tannner Gudauskas (USA)