Sunset Beach: Day 2

posted by / News / November 30, 2008

The minute you start thinking Sunset Beach is kinder and gentler than it used to be, it wheels around and slaps you upside the head. That groomed, light wind 10-foot swell we enjoyed yesterday woke up with a raging hangover this morning, as strong northeast trades and a bump-up in size from the north made it the surfing equivalent of the world’s strongest man contest. But instead of pulling tractors with their teeth, the brave competitors of the Round of 128 had to dodge six-wave cleanups, hold on through {{{Smart}}}-car-size moguls and muscle their seven-foot-somethings in the most challenging World Qualifying Series event of the year.

How fitting that it’s these type of conditions that will likely decide the scrum of QS warriors still in the running for qualification. Some surfers’ odds are a lot longer than others, but today we got a first look at one scrum member – who also happens to have the best odds of anyone (despite the fact that he has to make the final). Sunny Garcia showed up today with entourage intact. His girl Colleen, the kids, Jason Mags, Albee McGuire and a host of other supporters. He’s no longer grumbling about his seeding – he’s past that now and knows that making a few heats at Sunset – regardless of conditions – are nothing compared to his six {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown titles. So anyway, in the whipping wind and sporadic rain, Garcia paddled out on an 8’3” and went to work. Aussie Jarrad Howse stitched together an impressive heat, but Garcia did what he needed to get through. “One down, five to go,” he said. “I got nervous because I knew I was actually behind there for a little bit. I just needed to find that one section to fit in that hack.”

Next up in the pressure cooker: Brett Simpson and Yadin Nicol, heats 6 and 7 in the round of 96, respectively. Both have Sunset lover and cheerleader Pat O’Connell on the sidelines, both need semifinal finishes or better to make the cut and both were in the bleachers today, psyching to their favorite playlists. But when winds started clocking in at 35 knots and kitesurfers started blowing through the lineup by 1 p.m., Randy Rarick knew it was time to pull the plug until tomorrow.

But this doesn’t mean it’s time to go to Pearlridge and sneak in to High School Musical 3. Sunset’s big, mean and blustery with no one out right now. You really want it, boys? Go out and get it.


2008 Triple Crown Coverage:

STOP #1 – REEF HAWAIIAN PRO
REEF HAWAIIAN PRO DAY 1
REEF HAWAIIAN PRO DAY 2
REEF HAWAIIAN PRO DAY 3
REEF HAWAIIAN PRO DAY 4
REEF HAWAIIAN PRO DAY 5

STOP #2 – O’NEILL WORLD CUP / ROXY PRO
O’NEILL WORLD CUP / ROXY PRO DAY 1
O’NEILL WORLD CUP / ROXY PRO DAY 2

STOP #3 – BILLABONG PIPELINE MASTERS
WAITING PERIOD STARTS DEC 8th

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