It was shortly after 12 noon, (at just about the same moment that Pancho Sullivan had ridden a MASSIVE north swell wave at Sunset Beach, which he called “one of the best barrels I’ve had all winter “) that air specialist Gavin Sutherland scored an 8.8 for a 360 degree aerial spin on a waist high south swell at Queens. Gavin was competing – make that “performing” – at SURFER’s Air Invitational on the south shore of O’ahu, in the heart of Waikiki.
The two hour event – in conjunction with Town & Country’s annual Surf Grom Contest – included some of Hawaii’s best pro and amateur surfers from around the state. Sutherland’s repeat win came from a two wave total score of 16 points, blasting him planets away from 2nd place Jamie O’Brien’s 12.83. In third was Kauai’s Kawaika Stilwell with 4th going to Ewa’s Dustin Cuizon. At age 27, Gavin was the oldest of the competitors, leaving the world famous beach with a check for $2,500 for roughly 60 minutes of surfing in the bathtub warm south Pacific – not a bad day at the office!