Pancho Sullivan would not be denied. Dominating the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro from beginning to end, Sullivan sealed the win in what was, although sub-par by Pipeline standards, finally somewhat decent surf following a windy and rainy weekend of tiny waves.
Posting a perfect 10-point tube ride as well as the highest heat score of the event – 18.75 points out of 20, in the 30-minute final, his three rivals were all left in need of a combination of scores to turn the tables. The win earned Sullivan $7,000 and 875 World Qualifying Series ratings points. Pancho, the much heralded North Shore local, first won this event back in 2005, a result that catapulted him onto the elite ASP World Championship Tour.
An all-Hawaii affair, second and third place went to fellow WCT surfers Fred Patacchia and Roy Powers respectively, with Dustin Barca fourth. With the conditions being what they were, it was very evident that familiarity and knowledge of Pipe had local surfers in the right places at the right times, enabling them to dominate the competition.
Even though Sullivan’s perfect ten was up there, ride of the day honors has to go to Patacchia. In a classic move with 20 minutes left in the final heat, and realizing that Pancho was just too far out in front to catch, Fred decided to paddle in and trade in his surfboard for a pink bodyboard, apparently not concerned by the threat of losing money by dropping his position in the heat. When he wiped out heavily on that, he took to bodysurfing the barrel. “The thought of injury and money didn’t even enter my mind,” said Patacchia. “I was all about the win, so once I saw Pancho had it, I was done.”
Posted by Shaun on Thursday, February 7th, 2008 in Surfing.