DO YOU FEEL LUCKY? Tiny Conditions level the playing field Sunday for the OP Pro Hawaii.

posted by / News / November 19, 2006

EVENTS HELD SATURDAY: Round of 128 and Heats 1-9 of Round of 96.
CONDITIONS: 1-2 foot dribble while the rest of the North Shore fired.
NATURE’S CALL: Northeast swell submits to new North swell. Every bit will help at Haleiwa.
PREDICTIONS: The entry of the WCT competitors will turn this thing upside down.


Sunday was a day of business at the Op Pro Hawaii. Tiny conditions made heats seem more like work than usual, and with the WQS elite hitting the stage for the round of 128, a whole new crop of surfers clocked in. Most competitors, however, only made pit stops at Haleiwa for their heats, racing out immediately to get back to Laniakea, or Rockpile, or one of a number of locations on the island that were “firing” Sunday. Anywhere but Haleiwa, really. With the northerly swell, Haleiwa has not been the call, so it was quick shifts for the surfers with heats today.

The waves were almost all lefts Sunday, and favored the light footed and nimble. Brazilians had a big day, lighting up the lefts with a cheering section as loud as a soccer match in the competitor’s area. They were hooting, hollering and going nuts after each successful hack from a fellow countryman. The Brazilians are definitely a group to watch out for in the small conditions. And you know they can sense the opportunity for good results in Hawaii, and will not be going down without a fight. But Monday could be a whole different story once the higher seeded surfers start to enter the field.


Sunday though, it was Brazilian goofyfoot Pablo Paulino posting the highest score of the contest so far with a 9.{{{57}}} in the late moments of heat 13, putting himself into the transfer spot just in time. His wave was a left that he picked up deep—almost too deep—and ignited 4 committed maneuvers in the lip, a very rare occurrence in the conditions Sunday. It will take aggressive surfing on the set waves to get the scores in the 8 and 9 range.

And sometimes, as Pat Gudauskas of San Clemente found out, the ball just doesn’t roll your way. “ It’s rough when it’s like this,” he said after falling short to Makua Rothman and Ola Eleogram. “It forces guys to sit on you and every wave is a battle. There isn’t much you can do but get lucky with an opportunity on a set wave.” Ola Eleogram had the luck in the heat, picking off two in-between waves that lined up for him all the way to the shore. He was able to put in two scores in the solid 7 range and that’s all you can hope for when the conditions are like this: a little luck and some opportunities.

[Special thanks to Tradewinds U Drive car rentals. tradewindsudrive.com.]

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