Adam Melling Wins at Sunset

Melling takes the World Cup trophy and requalifies for the 2013 Tour

| posted on December 04, 2012

Short term, Melling wins a trophy and some cash. Long term, he's got job security for 2013. Photo: Ellis

On a day at Sunset that saw clean but fading 6- to 8-foot swell, the Vans World Cup of Surfing charged from the Round of 32 through to the Final, culminating in an epic finale between Ace Buchan, Gabriel Medina, Sebastian “Seabass” Zietz, and Adam Melling.

Fresh off a win at the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa (which qualified him for the 2013 World Tour), Zietz screamed through the early rounds at Sunset into his second Triple Crown Final in a row. No surfer has won back-to-back Triple Crown events since Sunny Garcia did it in 2000, a record that for another year will remain intact. With his third-place finish, Seabass solidified his spot on top of the Triple Crown standings and earned himself a wildcard into the Pipe Masters come Dec. 8.

Melling needed a second or better in the contest to requalify for the 2013 World Tour. Sitting in third place with only 3:00 left in the Final, Melling stroked into a trademark Sunset right, linking four turns through to the inside bowl for a 9.33. “I was just focusing on the cramps I had in my arm, I was so tired,” said Melling. “I knew if one would come through from out the point it’d run across, and I got the wave, I can’t believe it.”

When Melling says he got the wave, this is the one he's referring to. A 9.33 for the win. Photo: Lowe-White

As he kicked out, he looked out to the channel to see Medina trim through an outside barrel and finish with a couple backhand hacks. The wave was good for an 8.17, but only good enough for a second-place finish. “I was paddling back out and I looked over and saw him come out of the pit,” said Melling. “I was like, ‘Oh, what’s he done here?’ But it went my way, so stoked.”

With the win, Melling guaranteed himself a spot on the 2013 World Tour and put himself in some good company at Sunset. “All the guys with their names on this World Cup of Surfing trophy, they’re some of the best surfers in the world,” he said. “I can’t believe I’ve added my name to it. It’s surreal right now.”

Watch all the heats from the Vans World Cup of Surfing with the Triple Crown Heat Analyzer.

The classic contest scene at Sunset Beach. Photo: Ellis

Medina challenged late in the Final with his barrel, but it wasn't enough for the win. Photo: Ellis

Ace Buchan was consistent all day at Sunset, from the Round of 32 through to the Final. Photo: Ellis

Seabass was on a heater through to the Final, where his third-place finish keeps him atop the Triple Crown rankings. Photo: Ellis

With a wildcard into Pipe, Seabass is a frontrunner for the Triple Crown. If he finishes strong, this Harley is his. Photo: Ellis

  • Nathan

    Congrats to Melling. Stoked he squeaked it out for a 2013 run.

  • turvyjj

    For me, second time I see Gabriel Medina’s being the best performance but getting a second place. His last wave should have been a 9 at least. Surfing world doesn’t fully recognize what this kid does.

  • Jason

    Wow! No one is screaming how Medina got robbed!!!!… Crazy. I’m really starting to think there is something to this whole Mayan Apocalypse stuff!

  • a.a.

    Congratulation Mello
    and this time judgement were completely
    fair,normal and collected

  • Jimmy the Saint

    I thought Medina’s last wave was underscored, I was sure he won it…. Not sure who got lost their place on the WCT next year because of this result, but it must be a bitter pill. I like Melling, seems like a good guy.

    “No surfer has won back-to-back Triple Crown events since Sunny Garcia did it in 2000, a record that for another year will remain intact.” – if Melling wins in Pipe it won’t have to wait another year

  • Tim

    Medina’s tube was one of the better ones of the contest for sure, but it was scored correctly relative to the other ones caught. Look at the ones Seabass and Melling caught during the heat (both mid 7s) then compare. Medina was scored higher than those which was correct —- highest scoring barrell of the contest I think — but it was no 9+ ride. Melling won fair and square. Those turns were flawless and the wave choice was perfect. Good on him and all the competitors in the final.

  • Whamo

    I thought Medina won, but Melling and Seabass also ripped. I thought that one of the locals would win at Sunset because they clearly surf it the best. I’ll never understand why turns are scored higher than tubes. Tube riding is the essence of surfing.

  • YD

    @Jason, if you want to start that sort of discussion and lower the level, there are plenty of sites where you can do that. No one is screaming cause there is no reason for that this time. I’m brazilian and think Melling won fair and square.

  • Thiago

    I don’t think Medina got robbed, some are complaining about the result but they don’t know shit about surfing.

    It was a pretty close heat, it could’ve gone either way.
    I think Medina’s 8.17 could’ve gone as high as an 8.5 and he still wouldn’t win. And maybe his first wave was a bit overscored.

    I don’t know why people love Sunset so much, the wave is awful when it’s not massive.


    JASON……Medina got robbed for suuuuuureeee, even though Melling and Seabass ripped as well…..But, what is happening now, there is no one claiming about that, couse the Wt is a Buuuull Shiiiit, where the judgement criteria changes with wich surfer ….
    all of you guys know that the tube riding is much more dificult than turns, even huge big turns done by melling as we saw…..i think the medina’s last wave score should be at least similar than a 9 scored be Melling and therefore Medina should won the Contest……
    Medina is used to get robbed…..brazilians used to it as well…..but things change… can bet it…..

  • Sherrie

    Congrats Melling! <3 it! 🙂

  • Jason

    @YD GOOD on you sir and Good on Medina for standing next to his fellow competitor with a smile on his face as Adam hoisted the trophy. RESPECT.

  • Will

    I’d rather watch Melling hack a wave than Medina arm-flap an air any day.

  • Tim

    @DGCOVA — Medina’s used to getting robbed? Take your over-the-top patriotic victim BS elsewhere. Seriously, enough of that, it is exhausting to hear the complaints at this point and that page has been turned. Even Medina got over it as he was respectful on the podium and with his own comments. Now why don’t you?

  • http://surfer Kimbo

    Agree with Tim , how anyone could take away a negative mind set after what was seen today …………….maybe try another sport .

  • ZJ

    Great final, congrats to Melling return 2013 WT . I think , the last wave of Medina was underscored. The barrel was the best wave of final. If necessary change the head judges of ASP.

  • bert

    Yeah, Portugal was a joke, but Sunset wasn’t! Even though discussion is always open, Melling wasn’t overscored, and Medina wasn’t grossly underscored, if underscored at all. Surfing was great, and the two top guys were good, one win, the other loose, but this is not a controversial heat!
    Medina and his fans could be proud about a second place finish at Sunset! Most of the pro surfers won’t be able to reach such a level in their whole career!
    Melling requalified, with just one good result in the year, when some guys barely qualify (or not) while having good results on the whole season, that’s more annoying. The ASP is giving too much points for a single win in a prime, while a guys winning a 6 stars event or below will have half the points or less…Considering the level you find in a 4 stars event, it’s not fair for the QS warriors…
    Guys like Melling, Pires, Perrow, are benefiting from a system that block numerous young talents. I don’t want to see some Melling/Perrow/Pires/Hall heats in small waves next year, or even in a huge Bells by the way!

  • YD

    I just hope Medina is not listening to some of this BS from some of his compatriots about being robbed . If the kid starts believing he is getting screwd on his scores, he might start overthinking stuff, and he will lose one of his biggest strengths: his mindset and concentration. As a brazilian, I am proud of how he took the result, as there is no reason for not being proud after a 2nd at Sunset, surfing the way he did, showing once and for all that he is the full package, not just an air guy. Peace and bring on Pipe!


    I think Melling surfed amazing through out the contest. Just his 9.23 was a bit too high. It could have gonne either way. Congrats to both surfers!!!
    sorry its 4;20 got go.

  • Jimmy the Saint

    Jamie O’Brien can borrow my watch for Pipeline….

  • turvyjj

    It’s not only about Medina. I see three guys routinely underscored in the last three or four contests: Medina, Slater, and JJ Florence. It’s just details, but enough to keep them out of the contest at some point. And it’s not that Melling surfed bad at all. In a way, I can guess: these are the three best guys in competitive surfing right now, and the show needs more variety. Or is just my imagination? True or not, I think judges need some change. The more contests are shown live, the more obvious will be.