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Pancho Sullivan Wins Xcel Pro at Epic Sunset

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Now that’s what a surf competition should look like! Essentially running simultaneously with the dud that was the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, the 25th running of the Xcel Pro at Sunset Beach was everything you could hope for in an event. Soon to be retired Pancho Sullivan overcame a stacked final heat on his way to a huge victory in what was all-time conditions at Sunset Beach.

Kamalei Alexander (2nd), Danny Fuller (3rd), and Makua Rothman (4th) rounded out the final heat and each of the Hawaii surfers lit up the unreral 6-10 northwest swell. However Pancho opened up the heat with an event-high score of 9.77 and never looked back. With Sunset in full form for the final, Sullivan’s wealth of knowledge of the wave he was raised on proved to be too much for the other surfers to overcome. “I held back and paddled a little deeper,” Sullivan said after the winner’s ceremony on the beach, on his strategy to move outside of Sunset’s west peak. “The third [9.77] wave of the set really helped me build momentum.”

Winning at Sunset is especially rewarding for Sullivan as he has publicly stated that he will retire from the 2008 ASP World Tour at the end of the season. It’s been a brutal year on the WCT for Pancho, as well as the rest of the Hawaii contingent, but this victory at Sunset does a lot more to remedy that than a win in the meager beach break featured by the Hang Loose Pro ever could have.

Congratulations Pancho Sullivan, winner of the 2008 Xcel Pro Presented by Honolua!

2008 Xcel Pro Presented by Honolua Final Results
1. Pancho Sullivan $10,000 (1,500 pts)
2. Kamalei Alexander $5,000 (1,313 pts)
3. Danny Fuller $3,000 (1,125 pts)
4. Makua Rothman $2,400 (1,069 pts)

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Nothing Says North Shore Winter Like…

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Early north swells are rolling in through mostly uncrowded breaks, the first arrivals of the winter-only crowd are beginning to make their first cruise down Kam. Highway and backing up the lines at the Pupukea Foodland, the descent of what seems like the entire surfing world is on it’s way to the country, turning it into not so country once again. All of that screams that another North Shore winter season is just about here, however nothing screams it quite like the 2008 Xcel Pro at Sunset Beach.

The holding period for the annual kick-off contest opens this Sunday out at Sunset. Our friends at Xcel are especially pumped about the event this year as it marks the 25th anniversary of the 4-Star ASP WQS event. There is $80,000 worth of prize money up for grabs at the Xcel Pro this year; a purse that could just as easily go toward filling the belly of a starving amateur as it could pad the bank accounts of some of the world’s top professionals who have thrown their hats into the ring. Last year’s champion, Joel Centeio of Makakilo, HI, will not be participating in the event so a new champion will be crowned at Sunset. The event will feature a live webcast so you can keep an eye on all of the phenomenal action. We’ll keep you posted on all of the action and results coming out of Sunset.

From then on the North Shore becomes it’s annual madhouse as Pipe and the rest come alive. Last year was widely known as one of the worst in recent history as far as waves go, so cheers to more swells, as well as controlled madness, as the 2008/2009 North Shore winter season gets underway.

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