Seabass Claims Win at the Reef Hawaiian Pro

Zietz Bests Florence, Patacchia, and Muniz to take Triple Crown Lead

| posted on November 24, 2012

With his win at the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, Kauai's Sebastian Zietz takes the Triple Crown Ratings Lead. Photo: ASP/Cestari

Amid a very contestable 4-foot swell, the Reef Hawaiian Pro crowned a champion today in the form of Kauai’s Sebastian Zietz. Heading into the four-man final, the field was stacked with Hawaiians John John Florence, Fred Patacchia, Seabass, and Brazil’s Alejo Muniz, all of whom were gunning for the $40,000 win. In the opening exchanges of the final, Zietz drew first blood by posting a 6- and an 8-point ride to take the early lead. For the majority of the final, the ocean would go quiet, but with only five minutes left, a flurry of sets filled into the lineup. John John would counter, posting a 9.2 and a 5.5 to briefly take control of the lead. But in the dying moments, with his Kauaian counterparts ferociously cheering on the shoreline, Zietz would recapture the lead from Florence and seal the win by posting a 9.43. Florence would go on to take second with Patacchia in third and Muniz in fourth.

“I feel amazing. I’m so stoked. I’ve been taking it easy lately, haven’t really been partying, but it’s gonna get loose tonight,” said Zietz. “After posting that 8, I just tried to hold off John because he’s been ripping so hard. I love everybody. This is amazing.”

From his opening heat all the way to the final, Zietz’s surfing was polished, diverse, and razor sharp. Quick and stylish, it’s easy for Zietz’s approach to be compared to the likes of Mick Fanning and Adam Melling. Sitting on the qualification bubble for next year’s World Tour, with his win today, Seabass moved into the 21st position on the One World Ranking and has officially secured himself a spot in the Big Leagues. “I’ve been looking up to my friends on Kauai forever and it feels so good to follow in everyone’s else’s footsteps and get this win.”

One of the most in-form surfers of the event, with his showing today at Haleiwa, the North Shore’s own John John Florence is looking strong to double down on his 2011 Triple Crown title as the series moves to Sunset, where he’s also the reigning champ. Additionally, with his third-place finish today, Fred Patacchia also greatly improved his hopes of requalifying for the World Tour as he moved into the 26th position on the One World Rankings. With two events left in the season, the rankings will continue to adjust, making it difficult to finalize a concrete qualification scenario until the Pipe Masters gets well underway.

With punts like this, Seabass elevated himself above the competition in the final to take the win over John Florence, Freddy Patacchia, and Alejo Muniz. Photo: ASP/Kirstin

Other notable moments of the contest came as Sunny Garcia, Kaipo Jaquias, Occy, and Tom Curren renewed their infamous rivalries of the 1980s in the Clash of the Legends specialty two-heat series. Despite the power of Kaipo and Occy and Curren’s flow, a fit and focused Sunny would dominate the series and take the win.

In addition to claiming the Clash of the Legends event, Sunny also progressed all the way to the semifinals of the main event, eventually bowing out in a drama-filled paddle battle against Fred Patacchia. On the qualifying bubble for next year’s World Tour, Patacchia wasn’t about to roll over for anyone as he and Garcia paddled arm-in-arm for a solid set in the dying moments of the heat. As the wave stood up, Patacchia would shoulder out Garcia and edge himself into position, securing a solid score and moving himself into the final. Renowned for his fire, when Patacchia made his way back out to the lineup, he was met with a less-than-pleased Garcia and what appeared to be a verbal lashing. Following the drama, the pair—who by all accounts are close friends—exchanged some heated words on the beach before parting ways. Thankfully, just a few minutes after the exchange, a calmed Garcia appeared to have already put the incident behind him.

“It’s competition and of course it gets heated. But I’m just happy to have made it as far as I did. I didn’t want to lose that way in a paddle battle to a good friend, but I wish Fred all the best,” said Garcia. “We’re really good friends and I want to see him do well. That’s just competition and I want to see all the Hawaii guys continue to do well and hopefully we can keep the Triple Crown title here in Hawaii.”

At 42 years old, and having recently secured a win at the HIC Pro at Sunset in October, Sunny’s semifinal finish at this event proves that he’s still a very viable threat whenever he puts on a jersey.

As the 30th anniversary of the Triple Crown, the fabled series is offering up an additional $100,000 prize purse to the overall Triple Crown winner. Perhaps more importantly, as the final leg of the qualifying series, the surfers positioned on the bubble are fighting for every heat win in hopes of securing a place on the the 2013 World Tour.

The first day of the holding period for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Vans World Cup at Sunset, is set to begin tomorrow. The forecast is calling for a decent-sized swell to hold until Tuesday, when a new 10-foot swell is projected to fill in.

  • North Shore

    Brett Simpson interfered with Kelly Slater. Weak.

  • aloha_emma

    FP simply out-smarted Sunny which is never a big ask.

  • Julian

    it’s always like that, before Hawaii and the last couple events of the WT the qualification spots are filed with amazing-new generation surfers and the old boring names are out, then comes that horrible Santa Cruz event and names like Travis Logie are back (how sad is that?).
    Now the Hawaiian leg, were Sebastian, Fred P, Bede Durbidge, Jadson Andre and many others surfers that gonna re qualified next year just to be the “punching bag” for the big names in the round 1 and 2…

    ps: I did not mentioned Raoni Monteiro as well because after that bomb in Fiji doest matter how boring his surf is in rippable waves, he is a hero!

  • Whamo

    Dusty beat JJ, and he got robbed!

  • ASP fan

    Brett burned, dropped in, interefered Kelly on the wave, they took off shoulder to shoulder, Brett looked back and said FU. Medina would have cried again along with all of Brazil, and his dad might have tried to knock over the judging tower, imagine that scenario… Speaking of Medina WTF are you (your dad) thinking going left??? Get a professional coach boy. On the other hand Champ, you shouldn’t need a triangle to advance, how about getting busy in a 4man heat. Watch the replay and count how many waves went unridden…
    Great event! Congrats Seabass! Haven’t heard “the next Slater” in a few years but JJ is a candidate.

  • Dede

    Glad too see freddy p stepping up to freaking garcia. Too bad he didn’t smash his moron face in the process

  • bruno

    Good thing Fred P. stood up to Sunny, that was so cool to watch, they almost went to each other on the beach ah ah, but that only shows Garcia has serious issues.

  • Rob

    judges burnig kelly again, normal shit…
    Alejo is the best brazo.
    John John is WAY better than medina

  • ASP fan

    Funny thing, just before the contest we were thinking how cool it would be if before a heat the guys said to each other “lets put on a helluva show, best man wins” (Slater does, but to himself) and start talking shit, slapping each other in the water, paddling circles around each other, screaming, and ripping the f out of the waves at the same time… (like the Sunny/FP heat) instead of the constant boring ass bro-down love feast that makes even us hardcore webcast addicts want to vomit, save that for the awards banquet. Keep it real for us guys, wear it on your sleeves, its COMPETITION (just pleeeez don’t cry Gabriella). If you don’t like Sunny you must love Alex Knost, should Sunny dress and act like him/her? Good on ya Sunny!! He’s no different than anyone of you when you are in rush hour traffic, admit it. I’m guessing Sunny and Freddy were laughing their asses off about it later. I hope he punches Chris Cote. And Fish. And Gabriella and his dad. And Kelly for calling him grumpy.

  • Best trick Ive seen this year

    JonJon pulled that invert reverse! That guy is amazing!

  • dgcova

    cant wait to see the next event at Sunset…….10 foot is forecasted……hope to see biiiig turnns and baaaarrels

  • Alicia

    I’m stoked for Seabass, he’s awesome.

  • Fernando

    There was no chance for Siunny Garcia in the paddle battle with FP. SG would make a huge interference.

  • DAN

    What a pathetic behavior of sunnys, oh man, what about been a little more patriotic huh? Fred needs a good result, and I cross my fingers for him, such of a really good goofy. If that was a guy from another place it would end up like that time when Neko got run out with sunny trying to push him on the beach. ASP is a joke, they shouldnt allowed someone like sunny to compete. By the way, his behavior explains why he won legends stuff, nobody wants to get trouble in a hassle with him, occy should won or tom.

  • YD

    @ASPfan, what a smart ass you are. How old are you, kid? Cause if you are over 16, I’d say you are retarded. Why so angry? Take it easy on the steroids. Idiot.

  • M. Stoker

    FP was in legitimate position over Sunny. And Seabass was relaxed going into the final and just stoked to be there, which 90% of the time results in a victory.

  • PFhawaii

    ASP fan, Im on your side, we need you to be a live commentator.

    Freddy caught the last wave paddled right back out & snaked Sunny, a move Sunny is more known for. Freddy most likely makes next years tour because of it. Sunny probably didn’t think FP would do that, but finally realized Hawaii has 1 more back on tour. I believe Freddy had stated he told Sunny “he wasn’t going to let him take it away.”

    Early congrats to Freddy on his tour qualification. And congrats to Grumpy Gramps for his stellar early season results. Sunny is not only the 1st grampa to win an ASP event, but also oldest at 42. More fuel for Kelly’s fire? (counting the days before he becomes a grandfather, doubt it)