Josh Kerr: will he pull a trick inside the barrel

Challenging waves test surfers of the Vans World Cup of Surfing.


Dane Reynolds took the most out of the 10-to-12 foot surf available, at Sunset Beach. The Ventura surfer scored 18.37 and was the standout of the round of 64 of the Vans World Cup of Surfing.

"I actually had very little confidence going into that heat, I don't really know the Sunset lineup and I was on a board I've never ridden before," said Reynolds. "But maybe you're better off not knowing the lineup.

"I saw Hank and Julian sitting about 10 or 15 yards further out than me, muscling the peak. No matter what the lineup, I like to sit further inside. I like to see the waves coming at me. I guess I got one they couldn't catch, a smaller wave with nice lines. I did a couple of turns on it, it felt good, but I didn't know if it was a three or an eight. Turns out it was a 9.3 or something".

"Competition for me is just an opportunity to see what pans out. I got really nervous, but it's pretty rad to feel that sort of intense pressure. I kinda dig it. It makes you surf in a different way. And whatever happens, you always learn something from it.

Also advancing was Dane Gudauskas with a two wave total of 7.67. The difference lay in the highly variable conditions that included sweeping closeout sets, freaky west peaks, and speed bump wave faces. If you could find your way through the minefield, the rewards included deep barrels, towering vertical walls and a ticket to the next round.

Hawaii's Ian Walsh encountered some of the craziest conditions in his heat against Joel Centeio (Hawaii), Jadson Andre (Brazil), and Kolohe Andino (California). He positioned himself for an excellent 8-point opening ride from way outside, but then had the world come down around him for the rest of the heat. Fortunately, a small backup score was enough for a win.

"I got lucky, I got a big peak in the beginning that went the whole way," said Walsh. "Then the rest of the heat I was just getting pounded. I was duckdiving, ditching my board. Every time I'd get back to where I got that first wave one would break 15 feet farther out and nail me back 50 or 60 yards. If you're on the wrong side of the impact zone here, there's no worse place to be.

Australians Taj Burrow, Ace Buchan and Josh Kerr flew the Southern Cross high today, Burrow keeping his Vans Triple Crown title goal on track, while Kerr proved he's one of the most versatile and accomplished surfers on tour.

"It's very prestigious," said Taj. "Three big events in Hawaii in three completely different waves that are all very challenging. So to come out on top at the end of all three would be rewarding. I've come close but never won so it would be a good one to tick off the list."

Kerr was impressive today, scoring two rides in the seven-point range for 15.04. The playing field was vastly different today compared with shoulder-high surf at Haleiwa last week.

"Last week we were going left at 1-foot Haleiwa throwing airs, and this week we're just trying to hold on with our (biggest boards) at Sunset, just trying to make a turn and stay on the board," said Kerr. "But that's what Hawaii's all about - the diversity, and you've got to love that. You don't know what to expect when you come to Hawaii, you've just got to have every board ready and be ready to go. I'm just excited to enjoy the six weeks, make some heats, and get some barrels."

The Brazilians fell the hardest today, seven of the nine who surfed today lost. The two Brazilians left are Raoni Monteiro, who advanced behind Sunny Garcia, and Jesse Mendes.

Round of 64 of the Vans World Cup of Surfing:

Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.478pts ; Heath Joske (AUS) 11.00pts ; Vincent Duvignac (FRA)10.00pts ; Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 7.66pts
Heat 2 : Evan Valiere (HAW) 10.77pts ; Adam Melling (AUS) 9.53pts ; Junior Faria (BRA) 5.10pts ; Brett Simpsom (USA) 2.57pts
Heat 3 : Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.20pts ; Jamie O'Brien (HAW) 7.60pts ; Taylor Knox (USA) 6.57pts ; Brent Dorrington (AUS) 5.90pts
Heat 4 : Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.04pts ; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.63pts ; Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.83pts ; Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 6.54pts
Heat 5 : Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.23pts ; Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.17pts ; Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 6.57pts ; Torrey Meister (HAW) 4.94pts
Heat 6 : Kai Otton (AUS) 10.43pts ; Evan Geiselman (USA) 8.90pts ; Matt Pagan (USA) 6.87pts ; Daniel Ross (AUS) 6.17pts
Heat 7 : Nat Young (USA) 13.17pts ; Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.34pts ; Pancho Sullivan 11.80pts ; Tiago Pires (PRT) 5.43pts
Heat 8 : Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.67pts ; Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 9.47pts ; Kalani Chapman 5.50pts ; Davey Cathels (AUS) 4.73pts
Heat 9 : Dane Gudauskas (USA) 7.67pts ; Tonino Benson (HAW) 7.20pts ; Adriano De Souza (BRA) 6.83pts ; Dale Staples (ZAF) 6.56pts
Heat 10 : Ian Walsh (HAW) 11.90pts ; Joel Centeio (HAW) 11.07pts ; Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.50pts ; Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.27pts
Heat 11 : Damien Hodgood (USA) 9.76pts ; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 9.47pts ; Willian Cardoso (BRA) 5.93pts ; Gabe Kling (USA) 4.57 pts
Heat 12 : Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.87pts ; CJ Hodgood (USA) 9.23pts ; Keanu Asing (HAW) 7.27 ; Adrien Toyon (REU) 4.10pts
Heat 13 : Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.97pts ; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 12.97pts ; Glenn Hall (IRL) 11.00pts ; Thiago Camarao (BRA) 9.50 pts
Heat 14 : Sunny Garcia (HAW) 12.46pts ; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.67pts ; Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 8.33pts ; Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 6.40pts
Heat 15 : John John Florence (HAW) 15.83pts ; Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.00pts ; Ian Gentil 8.10pts ; Mason Ho (HAW) 7.16pts
Heat 16: Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.37; Hank Gaskell (Hawaii) 11.56; Julian Wilson (Aust) 7.36; Tomas Hermes Brazil) 6.17