HONOLULU – Friday, August 21, 2009 – Haleiwa’s Flynn Novak went two-for-two at the Sponsor Me Hawaii today, winning his second consecutive professional surfing event here in as many summers. Novak, 26, clung to victory by the slimmest of margins after a rapid-fire exchange of high scoring rides between himself, runner-up Solomon Ortiz (Big Island), and third-placed Dustin Cuizon (Haleiwa), in great head-high waves. Fourth place went to Roy Powers, the number one seed for the event who is currently ranked 36th on the top-tier ASP World Championship Tour. The Sponsor Me Hawaii is a $10,000 one-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event that offers critical points towards qualification for the WCT and offers locals a shot at qualifying for the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing this winter. The event was made possible by the support of Quiksilver.
Falling just short of the finals today was 16-year-old Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach), who turned more than a few heads in his maiden WQS appearance. Asing ended his five round run in the semi-finals to place equal seventh overall, losing to Novak and Powers. En-route he posted the highest single wave score of the contest (9.75 out of a maximum 10 points in the quarter finals), and the highest heat score of the entire competition: 18 out of a possible 20 points in the round prior to the quarters. On final statistics, Asing held four of the top 10 wave scores of the contest, and three of the top four heat scores of the event. You can sense from shore that this kid thrives on the opportunity to perform in competition, whether it be a local junior event or a world class tournament such as this one. In the end, only the ocean and Novak could keep him from reaching the final.
Novak earned $2,500 for his victory today. The lone goofy-footer in the 30-minute final, Flynn cashed in on any and all tube-riding opportunities that opened up, posting scores of 8.25 and 5.65 for a heat total of 13.9 points. Ortiz went home with $1,000 and 13.65 points. Cuizon, who posted the highest scoring ride of the final – a 9.25 for a blistering succession of backside snaps, earned $800 for his 13.15 points. Powers left with $700 and 9.75 points.
Above: Novak headed for victory. Photo: Bernie Baker.
The Sponsor Me Hawaii is important beyond today’s results, counting towards qualification for the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing this winter. Sixteen local Hawaii surfers will get a start, determined through a combination of top WQS surfers from Hawaii, and top performers from this event and the XCel Pro at Sunset Beach in November. Flynn is in good stead after his result today.
“I couldn’t even believe I made the final,” said a stunned Novak. “I can’t believe this has happened.
“I knew what it took (to win) from last year, but last year was more about surfing than tactics. I’m stoked to pull it off in hard conditions.”
While the waves were highly contestable throughout the event, strong off-shore gusts and occasional long lulls between waves heightened the importance of tactics and and a healthy wave count.
“I’m really happy that Sponsor Me and ASP Hawaii put this contest together,” Flynn continued. “We need more of these. Hawaii has world class surf and a super deep talent pool – maybe deeper than anywhere else in the world. This was a good show, right?
“Sponsor Me are on the forefront of something big. They’re at the lead of what should be more major backers for events like these.”
The event was broadcast live over the internet at surf.transworld.net, the leader for online surfing culture.
Sponsor Me is creating contest opportunities for rising action sports athletes. Their contests are supported by live webcasts via the Sponsor Me site and delivery to mobile devices. Sponsor Me competitions will be held regionally, judged by the pros, and the winners will go on to compete on a national level where fans will have the opportunity to vote online and via SMS. For more information visit www.sponsorme.tv .
1st. Flynn Novak, 26 (Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii) $2,500, 250 ASP World Qualifying Series ratings points
2nd. Solomon Ortiz, 29 (Big Island, Hawaii) $1,000, 219 points
3rd. Dustin Cuizon, 24 (Ewa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii) $800, 188 points
4th. Roy Powers (Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii) $700, 178 points
Semi Finals: 1st & 2nd to Final. 3rd=5th place; 4th=7th place
H1: R. Powers; F. Novak; R. Paulson; K. Asing
H2: D. Cuizon; S. Ortiz; J. Canteio; Kaipo Jaquias
Quarter Finals: 1st & 2nd to semis. 3rd=9th, 4th=13th place
H1: R. Paulson; F. Novak; K. Cazimero; S. Moody
H2: K. Asing; R. Powers; M. Rothman; L. Rios
H3: Kaipo Jaquias; S.Ortiz; P. Sullivan; D. Silva
H4: J. Centeio; D. Cuizon; C. Carroll; Kaimana Jaquias
Round of 32: 1st & 2nd advance. 3rd =17th; 25th=81st
H1: K Cazimero; L. Rios; E. Lau; D. Jones
H2: F. Novak; M. Rothman; M. Bruneau; A. Smith
H3: K. Asing; R. Paulson; A. Layer; K. Alexander
H4: R. Powers; S. Moody; Ha’a Aikau; D. Gonsalves
H5: S. Ortiz; C. Carroll; E. Sitt; J. Doudt
H6: K. Jaquias; D. Cuizon; N. Rex; O. Eleogram
H7: J. Centeio; P. Sullivan; E. Tyndzik; K. Ramey
H8: R. Powers; D. Silva; K. Nozaki; K. Miranda