Hawaiian teen wins Vans World Cup
Hawaiian teenager John John Florence stormed to victory in the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach to take the lead in the Vans Triple Crown.
The 19-year-old beat Tahiti’s Michel Bourez into second, while Australian Adam Melling and fellow Hawaiian Hank Gaskell finished third and fourth respectively in the four-man final.
Florence scored an overwhelming victory in perfect 10-foot surf, racking up a two-wave total of 17 points (out of a possible 20) and picking off a succession of waves offering tube time.
“I’m having fun, I surf for a living and that’s a dream in itself,” said Florence.
“This is my first six star Prime win, it’s at home, it’s one of my home breaks and all my family and friends are here, so its one of the best moments of my life, for sure.
“It means everything. I’ve watched these guys since I was little growing up here and coming to events when I was six years old, getting their autographs.”
Australian Melling, second in the Vans Triple Crown after finishing second in the opening event at Haleiwa, scored the longest tube ride of the final, travelling for more than 100 yards and disappearing for six seconds as he bid to catch Florence in the 30 minute final.
“(The tube ride) wasn’t that great, I didn’t make it (out),” Melling said. “But it would have been good.
“I was coming through it, I raced, and I got through one hard bit and then just into the next and it dropped out on me. I thought I had it there for a little bit, It would have been nice to come out of it.”
“It would have been good to go one better than the last contest but I guess that’s how it is. But if there’s barrels and John John’s around I’m sure he’s in them somewhere.
Defending champion Raoni Monteiro, from Brazil, lost in the semi-finals to Florence and Gaskell and finished equal seventh overall, while 18-year-old Evan Geiselman, from Florida, was named as the JN Automotive Rookie of the Vans Triple Crown.
The Vans Triple Crown concludes at the Billabong Pipe Masters, which gets underway at Banzai Pipeline on December 8.
1st - John John Florence (HAW) 17.00pts, $40,000
2nd - Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.30pts, $20,000
3rd – Adam Melling (AUS) 11.96pts, $12,000
4th - Hank Gaskell (HAW) 11.53pts, $10,000
HEAT 1 : Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.03pts ; Adam Melling (AUS) 8.00 ; Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 7.60pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 4.60pts
HEAT 2 : John John Florence (HAW) 18.40pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 14.50pts ; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.57pts ; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.77pts
HEAT 1 : Adam Melling (AUS) 12.86pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.33pts ; Evan Valiere (HAW) 7.16pts; Nat Young (USA) 7.16pts
HEAT 2 : Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 17.83pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 17.50pts ; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16pts ; Travis Logie (ZAF) 6.16pts
HEAT 3 : Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 14.77pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 11.67pts ; CJ Hobgood (USA) 11.50pts ; Joel Centeio (HAW) 4.87pts
HEAT 4 : Adrien Buchan (AUS) 14.84 ; John John Florence (HAW) 14.23pts ; Ian Walsh (HAW) 13.37pts ; Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.43pts
ROUND OF 36
HEAT 1 : Evan Valiere (HAW) 12.53pts ; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.40pts ; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 6.57 ; Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 6.50pts
HEAT 2 : Adam Melling (AUS) 14.84pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 9.97pts ; Heath Joske (AUS) 6.50pts ; Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.23pts
HEAT 3 : Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 12.90pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.47pts ; Kai Otton (AUS) 7.40pts ; Kieren Perrow (AUS) 5.10pts
HEAT 4 : Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.23pts ; Nat Young (USA) 10.77pts ; Evan Geiselman (USA) 8.30pts ; Taj Burrow (AUS) 6.94pts
HEAT 5 : CJ Hobgood (USA) 12.27pts ; Ian Walsh (HAW) 9.50pts ; Dane Gudauskas (USA) 8.66 ; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 3.10pts
HEAT 6 : Joel Centeio (HAW) 13.54pts ; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.03pts ; Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.50pts ; Tonino Benson (HAW) 7.14pts
HEAT 7 : Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.26pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 10.27pts ; Chris Davidson (AUS) 8.63 ; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 7.96pts
HEAT 8 : John John Florence (HAW) 16.33pts ; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 12.83pts ; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 11.67pts ; Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.83pts