HALEIWA, Oahu/Hawaii – (Thursday, November 2, 2017) — Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau hammered out his second victory at the HIC Pro today after taking on a beast heat that included Australia’s Wade Carmichael, Maui’s Tanner Hendrickson and North Shore’s Mason Ho at Sunset Beach. This win grants Lau 3,000 points and moves him up three spots on the Qualifying Series (QS) ranking to the No. 9 position, after coming off of a massive win at the EDP Billabong Pro Cascais QS10,000 in October.
“I was coming into this event with the goal to win and get that 3,000 points and put me that much closer to requalification,” commented Lau. “I had a little bit of a rough year on tour, I’ve had moments where I had good performances but a lot of it was just a learning curve for me and getting used to everything, so I really want to be there next year to get a better grasp of it and hopefully take some bigger guys down.”
L to R: Mason Ho (4th place), Ezekiel Lau (1st), Tanner Hendrickson (3rd) and Wade Carmichael (2nd). Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
The 112-man field at the HIC Pro narrowed down to the four most in-form surfers of the competition, including Ho who has won the event in 2016 and 2013. The Final kicked off with Hendrickson putting the first score on the board, but Lau quickly pulled into the lead with a 4.83 for a few strong turns. Carmichael’s power style was well-suited at Sunset and he scored a 5.77 on his first ride and followed up with an 8.00 to pull ahead of Lau.
The Australian seemed to unload every ounce of power into his surfing and looked nearly unbeatable, but Lau unleashed an aerial 360 no-grab maneuver for a 9.33 – the best wave of the day and second highest score of the event – and landed the win.
“I was kind of roaming a little bit in the beginning just trying to make something happen and then once he (Wade Carmichael) got his big score I was like alright, it’s time to go big, so I started launching,” said Lau. “I was super pumped, I kind of just Hail Mary-ied it and threw it up. I knew the wind was good for it. I’ve never done an air on this board, this is the first day I’m even riding it so for everything to just come together like that I was super stoked, I was pretty pumped paddling back out.”
Lau eyes the landing and sticks it for a 9.33 and the win. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Keoki
Carmichael was a true standout throughout the three days of competition and will now head into the Hawaiian Pro QS10,000 rated No. 8 – just one spot above Lau – on the QS.
“I’m feeling pretty good, would have felt better to get number one but it’s a good start to my season here and hopefully I can take some momentum into Haleiwa,” said Carmichael of his runner up finish at Sunset. “Just a bit of extra confidence is always good. The more heats you get the more used to your boards and more comfortable you get.”
Carmichael matches power with power at Sunset Beach. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Keoki
A World Surf League (WSL) QS3,000 event, the HIC Pro is the official local qualifier into the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and saw nine surfers from Hawaii earn a spot into the coveted surfing series, one of which was Maui’s Cody Young. At just 18 years old, he was the youngest athlete to advance in the competition and narrowly missed out after a buzzer-beater heat by Hendrickson in the Semifinals. A bittersweet ending for Young, the junior will take his momentum into the Hawaiian Pro, which has a holding period from November 12 – 24.
Cody Young pulls into a meaty barrel and finds a 5th place finish and berth into the Vans Triple Crown. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
Surfers shown in order of 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted
1st – Ezekiel Lau (HAW), 14.16 pts
2nd – Wade Carmichael (AUS), 13.93 pts
3rd – Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), 5.63 pts
4th – Mason Ho (HAW), 2.03 pts
Semifinals (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place)
SF1: Mason Ho, Tanner Hendrickson, Cody Young, Ricardo Christie (NZL)
SF2: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Ezekiel Lau, Jack Robinson (AUS), Kiron Jabour
Quarterfinals (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place)
QF1: Mason Ho, Tanner Hendrickson, Joshua Moniz, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA)
QF2: Cody Young, Ricardo Christie (NZL), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Barron Mamiya
QF3: Ezekiel Lau, Jack Robinson (AUS), Kade Matson (USA), Billy Kemper
QF4: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Kiron Jabour, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), Carlos Munoz (CRI)
Round of 32 (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17th place, 4th = 25th place)
H1: Tanner Hendrickson, Barron Mamiya, Kalani Ball (AUS), David do Carmo (BRA)
H2: Joshua Moniz, Cody Young, Seth Moniz, Keanu Asing
H3: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Mason Ho, Liam Mortensen (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
H4: Ricardo Christie (NZL), Jeronimo Vargas (BRA), Kalani David, Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI)
H5: Jack Robinson (AUS), Kiron Jabour, Cooper Chapman (AUS), Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
H6: Ezekiel Lau, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), Taumata Puhetini (PYF), Benji Brand
H7: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Kade Matson (USA), Koa Smith, Ryan Slattery (AUS)
H8: Carlos Munoz (CRI), Billy Kemper, Dusty Payne, Marco Giorgi (URY)
Round of 64 (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 33rd place, 4th = 49th place)
H14: Koa Smith, Carlos Munoz, Gatien Delahaye (FRA), O’Neill Massin (PYF)
H15: Marco Giorgi (URY), Kade Matson (USA), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF), Logan Bediamol
H16: Billy Kemper, Ryan Slattery (AUS), Fraser Dovell (AUS), Kilian Garland (USA)
About HIC – Hawaiian Island Creations
Hawaii’s biggest and best selection of surf gear! Since 1971, HIC has provided Hawaii with quality surfboards, skateboards, clothing and accessories – by surfers, for surfers. Locally owned and operated, the HIC retail chain includes sixteen stores across Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island, along with two stores in Japan. Through a commitment to quality, service and aloha spirit, the brand has built a reputation as an icon of Hawaiian surfing recognized throughout the world. Enjoy the ride!
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in more than 75 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates nearly 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, the House of Vans.