SURF: Head high to two feet overhead
EVENTS RUN: Round 3 to the finals
NATURE’S CALL: ‘Ue ka lani, Ola ka honua. (When the heavens weep the Earth lives)
PREDICTED: Wrap it up before the rain starts again.
There was a funk looming in the air and water on, Sunday Nov. 7, the final day of the 21 Annual Sobe No Fear Xcel Pro at Sunset Beach. As a result of being bombarded with off and on storm showers all week, “Country” had a bad hangover of greenish, muddy water and grayish over cast skies. Furthermore, the run off created a nasty current and made the four to six foot sets disorganized on the inside. Furthermore, the occasional eight footers that did roll in were closing out quicker than a Nieman Marcus in Haleiwa. Despite the conditions, all of the elements of a classic all Hawaiian final was set to go down. Except there was one thing missing at the Sunset heat: Pancho Sullivan. Having been disposed of by finalist and Maui boy, Ian Walsh in the second Round, Sullivan was forced to watch from shore.
“I just got lucky because [Pancho] didn’t get any good ones,” says Walsh. “Everyone surfs good in these events so it comes down to who gets the waves.”
And, it was last year’s Xcel Pro runner up, Fred Pattachia Jr. who got the waves in the final. The lone goofy footer made his third consecutive Xcel Pro finals appearance and was the favorite coming into the final.Freddy P. came out swinging early on with his backhand hit stick against regular footers Walsh, Dustin Barca and Brian Pacheco.Pattachia dominated the first half of the heat with snazzy snaps and beyond critical floaters, racking up a string of eight point rides.”I really wanted to set the pace for my heat,” says Pattachia Jr. “I wanted to show the judges what I’m doing and have my fellow competitors come up to my level.”
It was pretty much catch up for the rest of the competitors from their on out.
Kauian Dustin Barca put up a valiant effort with two West Bowl barrels. Yet, the young gun wasn’t able to advance past fourth place.Another outer islander, Ian Walsh found a lot of open sections, but was unable to match the length of Pattachia Jr.’s rides. Thus earning him a third place position on the stage.
It was then left to West Side rider Pacheco to take down the in form Freddy P. With his 6’0 and Rainos Hayes coaching him in the channel, Pacheco gave Pattachia Jr. a run for his money in the slowly diminishing North swell.
“I had a pretty good board,” says Pacheco of his relatively small board. “[My board] helped me out a lot just because it made my turns look more critical, a little extra butter.”The judges responded to Pacheco’s “little extra butter” with sevens and eights for his rides.
It came down to the last couple of minutes of the heat when Pacheco missed a possible high scoring right off the point. Thus, securing second place for Pacheco and another Xcel Pro victory for Pattachia Jr.Although Fred’s win at the Xcel Pro is inconsequential to his QS standings, this win at Sunset was still important to the young Hawaiian.”I always wanted to do well here,” says Pattachia Jr.. “My dad always said if you can surf Sunset you can surf anywhere.”
1st Fred Pattachia Jr.
2nd Brian Pacheco
3rd Ian Walsh
4th Dustin Barca