Roaring in like a lamb
By Stuart Cornuelle
Makapu’u was getting pounded with swell today. Where is Makapu’u? On the other side of the island from the Reef Hawaiian Pro, which opened its waiting period faced with what would be pretty decent surf at T-Street. Not real Haleiwa. But the sun was out, the air and sea balmy, and it was still a pretty good day fo’ go beach. Contest organizers opted to run heats from the Round of 136 and Round of 128, despite a swell with too much north to make Ali’i Beach show its surging, frightful self. Tough on those competitors who prepped all year for the “Hawaii season,” but were called to action before the waves showed up. Still, there were local standouts: Joel Centeio, Hank Gaskell, Gavin Gillette and TJ Barron are all alive and kicking after winning their heats. Reads like an NSSA Hawaii boys final from a few years back - the boys have been surfing here since diapers and, big or small, they’re ready to go. The 2009 Vans Triple Crown: one day down, one million stories to come.
Heat winner Joel Centeio channels Lance Armstrong, donning the yellow jersey.
Da boys in da shade. Sol Ortiz, Kamalei Alexander, Freddy P and Joel Centeio.
Cory Lopez thought he left little waves like this behind in California. Early round, um, action, at Haleiwa.
Bam Bam in the blue, smiling because he's finally home from a long rookie year on tour. Now is Kekoa's time to really shine.
Cory Lopez again, signature slash 'n slide, from the left at Lowers all the way to the Triple Crown.
Joel Centeio sends five feet of spray off a two-foot wave en route to a ticket in the next round.
Mar Ohno checks the surf and drips with style.
Meanwhile, out the back...
The Spartan and his spear. What an unoriginal caption. Michel Bourez needs no clever wordplay...
...but he did need better waves in the Round of 128. Michel is out of the Reef Hawaiian Pro - but look for him to shine elsewhere when the swell picks up.
Coming off some hometown momentum at the Oakley Pro Jr. in Santa Cruz, Nat Young is ready for a solid Hawaii season - despite an early loss at Haleiwa. Shake it off, Nat. Game on.
Whodaguy? The original Rabbit, still smirking.
The Bats! Jason Shibata, keiki o ka aina.