- 24 November 2013 | Surfing
Michel Bourez has conquered the Reef Hawaiian Pro 2013, the first jewel of the Triple Crown of Surfing, at Aa'li Beach Park, on the North Shore of Oahu.
The rare four-man final had a perfect line-up. An experienced Hawaiian, a French charger, a Polynesian all-round rider, and an Australian underdog. Patacchia, Flores, Bourez and Atkinson.
But the road to the last clash was long and difficult. Slow-rolling waves were testing paddlers' arm power.
In the first Semifinal, Fredrick Patacchia and Jeremy Flores ended up taking the first two spots, leaving wildcard star Dane Reynolds in the beach. Nerves and valuable points meant interference calls. In the second Semifinal, Josh Kerr committed a mistake and had his second best score cut to half.
The final heat of the Reef Hawaiian Pro 2013 was to be decided in 35 minutes. Jeremy Flores scored the first wave in the first second of the challenge - 8.33 points. With four surfers in the same peak, a crossover would happen, with no interference rule being activated by the panel of judges.
Patacchia answered with a perfect air reverse, and Bourez followed to take the lead with a 9.4-point ride made of power moves. Atkinson was losing important rides and was being left behind.
With 20 minutes to surf, the Polynesian surfer had already collected 17.17 points. Everyone else was comboed, and with eight minutes to go the situation remained the same. Patacchia even rode a 9.23 to ignite the final, but it wouldn't be enough. Party in Tahiti.
"It's still a new feeling. The first time I won it, I was super happy for making the tour and this time, you know, I worked so hard to make the final and especially to lead the Triple Crown and it's a good feeling. They keep saying the guy who wins the Haleiwa contest has a lot of chance to win a Triple Crown", says Bourez.
"I feel great, I feel good in my body and my boards are going well and, hopefully the waves will be good at Sunset. I got second two there years ago so I hope I make another final this year".
The Vans World Cup of Surfing will be up and running between the 25th November and 6th December, 2013, at Sunset Beach.
Reef Hawaiian Pro 2013 Final:
1. Michel Bourez (PYF), 17.17
2. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 16.33
3. Jeremy Flores (FRA), 13.93
4. Dion Atkinson (AUS), 9.73