Heats Held: Round 5 to the Final.
Conditions: Light offshore, super shallow 2-to 4-foot nuggets at Off-the Wall
Nature’s Call: “Your my boy, Pancho!”
Predictions: As we speak, Fred Patacchia’s sponsors are designing the Freddy Pink boogie board.
The new northwest swell filling into the final heat of the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro presented by Billabong was like a new kid at school– awkward and lost. It came with a lot of closeouts and crossed-up peaks, but showing flashes of barreling brilliance throughout the last day of the 3-Star WQS event. If the swell was an unpopular, dorky freshmen, than Off-the Wall’s reef was like a school yard bully, flexing its’ coral heads and threatening the all Hawaiian final. But, no reef could shake up the ‘Big Man On Campus’, Pancho Sullivan.
Pancho was like a senior in the final, owning Fred Patacchia Jr., Roy Powers and Dustin Barca as if they were sniveling underclassmen. After the ‘CT surfer nailed down a perfect 10, he had his fellow finalists needing a combination of scores to take him out of the lead. Pancho’s small-wave skills are seriously under-rated considering his performance at this event, the ’07 Trestles ‘CT contest and the Pipeline Masters. In fact, Sullivan’s ’07 “Off-the Wall Masters” experience was a valuable learning tool for this contest.
“What I learned from that Pipe Masters final is to adapt to the conditions and move around a lot. Especially, when the conditions are small and tricky like this you have to move around, look for waves all over the reef and look for any scoring potential, ” said Sullivan, who won his second Pipeline Pro title today.
“I think because I moved around a lot and took a look at a lot of different waves it ended up putting me in rhythm to be in good position for that one good set.”
Pancho’s 10-point tuberide came from that “one good set” and stuck the nail in the coffin with 10-minutes left in the heat. The Kaua‘i Boys, Powers and Barca wouldn’t ride a wave for the rest of the contest and settle for third and fourth place, respectively.
But, ‘Class Clown’ and Pipeline Pro runner-up, Fred Patacchia Jr. would ride four waves in the remaining minutes of the final. Only thing, Freddy P. rode those waves on a bright pink boogie board.
Pancho Sullivan’s small wave skills are vastly underated
“I think the pink bodyboard was the icing on the cake. I felt like I did everything I could’ve done in that final and in order to beat Pancho it would have taken a miracle. I didn’t see a miracle coming my way in the last 10 minutes,” said Patacchia, who came in early and grabbed the sponge from the Wolfpak on the beach.
“I just accepted the fact that I didn’t win, but I think I had the most fun. I was just trying to have fun and put a smile on my face for not winning. The boys [sitting on the beach] were egging me on to do it.”
Fred’s sponging and bodysurfing in a ‘QS final is by far the most ridiculous, gut busting spectacle in recent memory. While the ‘Big Man On Campus’ took home the biggest check and the win. The ‘Class Clown’ stole the show at the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro presented by Billabong.
For more on the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro presented by Billabong, visit www.BillabongPro.com