Kaua‘i Surfers Representing Well
Two of Kaua’i’s top surfers have been making strong showings during the winter contest season on Oahu’s North Shore.
Roy Powers found great rides throughout the Reef Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa, reaching the semifinals and coming away with a seventh-place performance. Powers won his loaded Round of 32 heat, which included Michel Bourez (Tahiti), Jadson Andre (Brazil) and Marc Lacomare (France). He continued to rip in the quarters, nabbing his heat’s top two waves totaling 15.00 points for first place against the likes of Adam Melling (Australia), Brett Simpson (USA) and Granger Larsen (Hawaii). His run ended in the semifinals as he and Oahu’s Kekoa Bacalso each grabbed equal seventh-place points and prize money.
“I feel like the people’s champ … thanks everybody 4 the support! I needed that!!” Powers tweeted after the event.
Kaua’i’s Evan Valiere then cracked the top 10 at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, hauling in ninth place with a quarterfinal run after beginning in the Round of 128.
His very first heat was three-quarters Kaua’i, with Valiere, Sebastien Zietz and Tyler Newton all involved, but Valiere was the only one to advance.
He followed up with three straight heat victories, including a Round of 32 win in a heat that included South Africa’s Jordy Smith, who advanced in second.
The Valiere family is well known on Kaua’i for surfing, art and environmental activism, and Evan is also an event coordinator for the annual Na Pali Race for stand-up and prone paddleboards. His great run at Sunset ended in the quarterfinals, as he finished behind Bourez and Melling, each of whom went on to make the final.
Dominant 2011 women’s world champion Carissa Moore, who surprised many by gaining wild-card entry into the two men’s events, was unable to advance beyond her opening heat in either. She paddled out with Powers in the Reef Hawaiian Pro’s Round of 96, but finished fourth in the tough heat. At the World Cup, her first heat featured fellow Oahu native Sunny Garcia.
Moore placed third, ending her event.
Next up is the newly renamed “Billabong Pipe Masters in Honor of Andy Irons” (Dec. 8-21). Entrants will be hoping to add their name to the historic list of previous winners. Andy won four Pipe Masters in a five-year span from 2002 to 2006. Bruce Irons was the first of the Kaua’i brothers to win the title, placing first in 2001. Kelly Slater, who was spotted recently grabbing some grinds in Hanalei, has six Pipeline titles to his credit, winning his first in 1992 before ending an eight-year drought for his sixth in 2008.
Kaua’i surfers have represented well and still have one more shot as the season comes to a close.