The 19th Annual Xcel Pro was finally completed at Sunset Beach in clean four to six foot surf with Hawaiian Fred Patacchia winning his first professional event and relieving the the 20 year old of any notion of not being able to win a World Qualifying Series event. “The win gives me confidence going into the winter contest season,” said Patacchia, who has traveled the Association of Surfing Professionals second tier tour and although he will not qualify for the WCT (top tier) this year he added, “now I can just go all out going into the Triple Crown and have fun and surf with no pressure on me”.
The finals started out slow with Kapolei’s Kalani Robb taking an early lead in the thirty five minute heat with three big snaps on a wave that broke at Sunset Point and rode through into the inside reef. Marcus Hickman from Sunset Beach, a surprise alternate in the event countered with a set wave that peaked on the main break to took over first place and a motivated seasoned veteran Shawn Sutton got his rythem going by reeling off two long waves hitting the lip consistently on every turn.
Patacchia finally got going and with only two of the competitors fifteen rides being scored, clinched the finals by getting the longest tube ride of the heat with a disappearing act that seemed like he was too deep to find his path out of the tube. “The whole time I was in the tube I couldn’t see anything because I was being forced to push deep through and didn’t think I was going to make it,” exclaimed Patacchia, “and to be out there with three other guys I surf with every day was quite a treat”.
$20,000 Xcel Pro Final results
- Fred Patacchia Jr. (Hawai’i) $4,000
- Kalani Robb (Hawai’i), $2,000
- Shawn Sutton (Hawai’i), $1,500
- Marcus Hickman (Hawai’i), $1,300.
- 5th (tie), Jason Bogle (Hawai’i) and Paul Paterson (Australia)
- 7th (tie), Mikala Jones (Hawai’i) and Doug Silva (Hawai’i)
- 9th (tie), Myles Padaca (Hawai’i), Pancho Sullivan (Hawai’i), Gavin Beschen (Hawai’i) and Kawika Stillwell (Hawai’i)
- 13th (tie), Gavin Kennelly (Hawai’i), Roy Powers (Hawai’i), Jonah Morgan (Hawai’i) and Derek Ho (Hawai’i).
In the longboard expression session, Bonga Perkins showed stylish riding skills with huge carving cutbacks to take the title back from last years winner Rusty Keaulana who placed third. Both Perkins and Keaulana ran neck and neck until the last two minutes of the heat when Kanoa Dahlin of Haleiwa caught a six foot set wave and got completely covered up and came out with a huge lip launch to seal second place.
Longboard Expression Session
- 1. Bonga Perkins, $500
- 2. Kanoa Dahlin, $300
- 3. Rusty Keaulana, $200
- 4. Dino Miranda
- 5. Lance Ho’okano
- 6. Keegan Edwards
Event Sponsors: Havaianas, American Savings, State of Hawaii