The HIC Pro is the local’s qualifying surf event that grants surfers the chance to enter the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of surfing on the North Shore of Oahu in the coming weeks. The competition is always tight as so many top surfers surf the waves in this area daily, but last week’s winner, Mason Ho, had a very special connection. His father, Michael Ho, was the original Triple Crown champion back in 1983–30 years ago, and won the Vans World Cup of Surfing 3 times from 1983-85.
Mason Ho fended off a late challenge in the final from veteran Pancho Sullivan (Sunset Beach, 40), as the two traded off tube rides and deep carves – posting 16.26 and 13 points respectively, for their top two rides. Ho had the highest single wave score of the final – an 8.93 for his 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.
“I already was in but I didn’t have a top seed and I’ve always wanted that going into the Triple Crown. Momentum’s always nice.”
The island of Oahu was under a deluge of rain and flood warnings, yet an eery break in the clouds over Sunset Beach kept the crowd dry for the duration of the final. 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 so well.
Equal fifth after semi-final losses were Maui’s Dusty Payne, and Haleiwa’s Joel Centeio. Equal 7th in the event were Torrey Meister (Haleiwa), and lone Australian Mitch Coleborn (Queensland).
The HIC Pro was a local qualifier for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Nine regional surfers will qualify once final seedings and ratings have been calculated.
All eyes now turn to the Vans Triple Crown, which potentially starts Tuesday, November 12, at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach – home of the REEF Hawaiian Pro.
RESULTS FINAL: 1st. ($15,000) – Mason Ho, 25, Sunset Beach, Oahu – (points) 2nd. ($7,500) – Pancho Sullivan, 40, Sunset Beach, Oahu 3rd. ($5,000) – Evan Valiere, 29, Kilauea, Kauai 4th. ($3,500) – Gavin Gillette, 27, Kilauea, Kauai
Stay tuned for more stories and images from the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii from Label Networks in the next few weeks.