With World Championships, Triple Crown Titles and countless victories sewn in the strands of Mason Ho’s DNA it was no surprise that sooner or later – in this case sooner, the son of Michael Ho, brother of Coco Ho and nephew of Derek Ho would surf his way to the winner’s circle at Sunset Beach.
There was however excitement as the entire beach erupted in the heated final of this year’s HIC pro at Sunset Beach. There was plenty to cheer about with an all-Hawaii final and two of Sunset’s favorite sons in the water. None cheered louder than Michael Ho, for his son, elated to share an experience he knows after winning the HIC multiple times in the past.
The 25 year old cashed in on $15,000, landed No.1 on the ASP Hawaii regional rankings and earned Mason a wildcard into the Round of 64 of the first two events of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
The Sunset Beach resident surfed brilliantly throughout the entire event displaying flair, aggression, style and superior wave knowledge every heat. With a relatively slow start to the final, Ho fended off a late charge from veteran Pancho Sullivan while Kauaians Evan Valiere and Gavin Gillette were plagued with off rhythm. By the last minutes of the heat it was apparent battle between Ho and Sullivan. The two traded off tube rides and deep carves – posting 16.26 and 13 points respectively, for their top two rides.
With only minutes left Sullivan took the lead with a good cover up on the outside followed by a few vicious carves.
Mason came right back with the highest single wave score of the final – an 8.93 for a tube ride.
Third place was Evan Valiere (Kauai, 29 – 8.6 points). Fourth was Gavin Gillette (Kauai, 27 – 4.57 points).
“It feels great to win in front of all my best friends and all the people that I walk past every day,” said Ho. “It’s always been a goal in my life to win contests, but to do it here at home… I’ve never really won a (world tour contest) before and I’ve been doing it for years, so I’m really happy.
Quarter Finals: (1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=9th; 4th=13th)
QF1: Dusty Payne (HI); Evan Valiere (HI); Ezekiel Lau (HI); Skip McCullough
QF2: Gavin Gillette (HI); Torrey Meister (HI); Gregg Nakamura (HI); Ian Walsh
QF3: Mason Ho (HI); Pancho Sullivan (HI); Nathan Yeomans (USA); Isaiah Moniz
QF4: Joel Centeio (HI); Mitch Coleborn (AUS); Dion Atkinson (AUS); Matt Pagan
Round of 32: (1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=17th; 4th=25th)
H1: Dusty Payne (HI); Gavin Gillette (HI); Thomas Woods (HI); Kaimana Jaquias
H2: Evan Valiere (HI); Ian Walsh (HI); Dylan Goodale (HI); Jay Thompson (AUS)
H3: Torrey Meister (HI); Ezekiel Lau (HI); Jake Davis (USA); Cooper Chapman
H4: Gregg Nakamura (HI); Skip McCullough (USA); Deivid Silva (BRA); Ian Gentil
H5: Isaiah Moniz (HI); Matt Pagan (USA); Liam McNamara (HI); Flynn Novak (HI)
H6: Mason Ho (HI); Mitchel Coleborn (AUS); Garrett Parkes (AUS); Jack Freestone
H7: Dion Atkinson (AUS); Nathan Yeomans; Tanner Hendrickson,Kekoa Bacalso
H8: Joel Centeio (HI); Pancho Sullivan (HI); Steven Pierson (PYF); Kiron Jabour (HI)
Round of 64: Remaining heats held over from last day of competition.
(1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=33rd; 4th=49th)
H14: Nathan Yeomans (USA); Pancho Sullivan (HI); Makuakai Rothman (HI); Jano Belo
H15: Steven Pierson (PYF); Kekoa Bacalso (HI); Tom Dosland (HI); Ian Gouveia (BRA)
H16: Joel Centeio (HI); Dion Atkinson (AUS): Yan Daberkow (BRA); TJ Barron (HI)