Day One Photo Gallery here.
Day Two Photo Gallery here
Final Day Photo Gallery here
Day One Highlights (Courtesy Of Surf Shooter Hawaii) here
Day Two Highlights here
Day One Wrap here
Day Two Wrap here
Fred Patacchia Sr. Interview
Defending Champion Ian Walsh Interview here
Evan Valiere Wins Xcel Pro
Evan Valiere Wins 2006 Xcel Pro
SUNSET BEACH, HAWAII — November 6, 2006 — Hawaii’s own Evan Valiere has won the 2006 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear, overcoming a 132-man field and three days of intense competition at Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore.
Hailing from Kauai and a familiar face on the North Shore, Valiere triumphed over Sunset local Makuakai Rothman, Tahiti’s Michael Bourez, and past Xcel Pro champion Gavin Beschen.
As the 23rd Xcel Pro champion, Evan has added his name to a long list of world-class surfers, dating back to the first Xcel Pro champion Kerry Terukina (1984) and including Michael Ho; world champions Derek Ho, Sunny Garcia, and Andy Irons; and current WCT surfers Fred Pattachia and Pancho Sullivan.
“I feel incredible right now … The list of past winners is really amazing. Valiere said after the championship ceremony on the beach. “It’s all kind of a blur right now. The only goofy-foot riding in the finals, Valiere stayed focused and poised throughout the entire contest, which he began one week ago with a Round 2 seed.
Beschen finished second, 0.33 points behind Valiere’s total two-wave score of 15.83. Bourez and Rothman, third and fourth respectively, were separated by only one-tenth of a point.
Viewers on the beach and watching the live Webcast online were treated to an exciting finals that was every bit as close as scores indicated. Beschen had set the pace early in the finals, distancing himself from the pack with rides that scored 7.5 and 8.0, showcasing the strength and consistency that led to his own Xcel Pro title in 2001. But Valiere, riding with confidence and patience, scored a solid barrel off Sunset Point that propelled him from fourth to first place with only five minutes left in the heat.
In addition to the current 2006 title, Valiere takes home a $10,000 check and 1,500 points toward his current rating on the ASP WQS.
The top-scored wave of the day was a perfect 10 and belonged to local Hawaiian Myles Padaca in his semifinal heat. Stalling into a deep barrel, Padaca was completely covered up in the tube, drawing cheers and excitement from the Sunset Beach crowds. Third-place rider Michael Bourez barreled a 9.93 in the finals, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Valiere.
“This past week, I’ve felt really incredible, and winning here shows me I’m on the right track, Valiere says. “This win absolutely changes my career.
Full results, photos, and contest highlights are available at the official Xcel Pro Web site, xcelpro.xcelwetsuits.com.
2006 Xcel Pro Presented By No Fear Day One Wrap
SUNSET BEACH, HAWAII – OCTOBER 29, 2006 – Day 1 of competition has concludeed 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.