Men and Women split the day at 6-10 foot Sunset
By Matt Skenazy
Dane Gudauskas pumped down the line, did one turn in the pocket and set up for another. The face was bumpy. Backside, it was hard to find the right line to take. He had two options when he got to the bowl—pull in, or throw up a hack.
"I kinda did both," Dane said. "I did a snap, but there was a step in the wave and I free fell in the barrel. The thing tomahawked me in the back of the head."
His board snapped clean in two beneath him and he called little brother/board caddy Tanner into action.
Dane paddled back out with a fresh, unbroken wave sled and threw down his second solid score to take first in his heat, with Cory Lopes advancing as well in second place. His board-breaking guillotine was the wipeout of the day this morning as they ran the second half of the men's round of 128.
Makua Rothman, the 2007 champion was the surprise knock out this morning, going down on a buzzer beater to Ruben Gonzalez. The rest of the Hawaiians though held it down. Mason Ho, TJ Barron, Myles Padaca and Nathan Carrol all advanced to the round of 96.
It took three trademark power gauges to earn Sunny Garcia the highest single wave score of the day with a 9.5, propelling the 2000 World Cup winner to the next round. More proof that at 39 years old, the six-time Triple Crown Champion is still a major force to be reckoned with, though no one in their right mind would claim that he isn't.
The Hawaiian charge was no surprise really. While the morning heats where going on four young groms thrashed around in the shorebreak, pulling into closeouts and hucking themselves over the falls. No doubt some of these guys will be out in the lineup in no time.
The men's event was called after the round of 128 finished up to let the women hit the water and finish out the Gidget Pro. More news on that to follow.
There's a lot to watch for tomorrow. The Irons brothers will hit the water, as well as Marco Polo, Drew Courtney and Tanner Gudauskas, surfers ranked 12th, 15th, and 16th respectively on the 'QS, who will be battling for qualification in next years' 'CT.
Stay tuned to www.surfingmagazine.com for more news on the Vans Triple Crown.