In 2005, Tahiti’s Michel Bourez won a small surfing contest that was held in the Canary Islands. Until Saturday, that victory has served as Bourez’ best result to date. By putting on an absolutely stellar display of surfing at Haleiwa, the 22 yr. old Bourez can now lay claim to winning the first leg of the Vans Triple Crown, the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro.
While conditions at Haleiwa weren’t quite up to the standard set in earlier rounds of the event, the final day of action still saw plenty of opportunities for some of the world’s best surfers to let loose. And that’s exactly what Bourez did. In doing so, Bourez not only took home $15,000, bragging rights, and an early lead on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series ratings, he also took a no. 2 ranking in the WQS standings and a guaranteed spot on the 2009 ASP World Tour. “It means a lot to just qualify for the World Tour. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life since I started to surf. I’ve been watching all the best surfers, like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, all those guys. And, right now I can surf with them. It’s a good opportunity for me and all the Tahitian surfers. I’m stoked for Tahiti.”
The final day at Haleiwa offered up a good number of deep barrels for the surfers, something Haleiwa is not generally known for. I don’t really think you’ll find any of the riders complaining about this though, everyone looked like they were just really digging the opportunity to get shacked at one of the world’s most prestigious events. Bourez especially looked right at home from the semi-final on. “That semi was maybe the best heat of my life,” said Bourez. “Everybody was getting barreled I was screaming my head off. It was so sick. I was having so much fun out there and that’s what I call a good contest.” In the process of screaming and having as much fun as he was, Bourez posted the highest wave and heat scores of the entire event: 18.96 points out of 20 for the heat, and 9.93 out of 10 for his top tube ride.
Congratulations Michel Bourez, winner of the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro!
1st. Michel Bourez (Tahiti) – 16.77 out of 20 (9.77 & 7.0) – $15,000
2nd. Jihad Khodr (Brazil) – 16.5 (8.5 & 8.0)- $7,500
3rd. Kekoa Bacalso (Hawaii) 15.83 (9.0 & 6.83) – $4,500
4th. Dusty Payne (Hawaii) 4.67 (2.67 & 2.0) – $4,400
H1: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kekoa Bacalso (HI), Nic Muscroft (Aus), Brett Simpson (CA)
H2: Jihad Khodr (Brz), Dusty Payne (HI), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Bede Durbidge (Aus)
MEN’S QUARTER FINALS:
H1: Kekoa Bacalso (HI), Michel Bourez (PYF), Evan Valiere (HI), Greg Emslie (SAf)
H2: Nic Muscroft (Aus), Brett Simpson (CA), Sunny Garcia (HI), Kieren Perrow (Aus)
H3: Bede Durbidge (Aus), Dusty Payne (HI), Chris Ward (CA), Dayyan Neve (Aus)
H4: Jihad Khodr (Brz), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Dustin Barca (HI), Tim Reyes (CA)