If you don't count longboarders and pro juniors, only three native Hawaiians have won ASP World Titles: Derek Ho (1993), Sunny Garcia (2000) and Carissa Moore (2011). Despite inventing the sport, he'enalu (wave sliding), for many native Hawaiians, that fact leaves a sour taste in their mouths like two-day old poi.
When Carissa Moore and Sunny Garica squared off -- along with Australia's Mitch Coleborn and Tahiti's Alain Riou -- in heat 14 of the round of 96 at the Vans World Cup it was a point of pride for resident population. A fading north swell offered five to seven-foot surf at Sunset Beach, but good waves were hard to find all day.
Garcia, a six-time Vans Triple Crown champion, eventually won the wave-starved 30-minute heat, using lineup knowledge and rail-to-rail surfing to earn a two-wave total of 13.93 out of a possible 20 points. The judges threw Garcia a 5.93 out a possible 10 points for a one-maneuver ride, where Sunny displayed classic Hawaiian power with a layback snap under the hook. He solidified first place late in the heat with an eight-point ride that he managed to catch under Coleborn.
"The whole time I was like, 'please, God just send me a wave' because I just wanted to surf," said Garcia of his heat where only 16 waves were ridden. "Fortunately, I stole that wave off Mitch Coleborn, he was right there and we kind of hustled for it and fortunately I got it."
Although Garcia got the best of Coleborn on that wave, the Aussie still advanced out of the heat in second place. Thus, leaving Moore in third and Alain Riou in fourth place.
After the heat, Garcia admitted that he was honored to surf against Moore.
"I was thinking that if I lost to Carissa I would have been happy for her because she's such a great person, such a great surfer and it was an honor to surf against her in a heat," said Garcia. "For the Triple Crown to give her a wildcard into the events was incredible; unfortunately for her she didn't get any waves."
Just like Haleiwa, the ocean seemed to go flat for Moore's heat, but true to form, the 2011 ASP Women's World Champion handled the loss gracefully.
"I think I can just be stoked to have been invited to do the first two events of the Triple Crown, it was quite an honor," said Moore. "I wish I could have made a heat or two, but I walk away with great experience and it was awesome to get to surf out there with the guys."
"We all had trouble finding waves," Garcia explained afterwards. "All I needed was a two. What a nerve-racking heat. I was chasing a two towards the end and was paddling all
over the place trying to find it. Lucky I got a good score on my last wave."
Some may write-off Carissa Moore competing in the 2011 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing as a publicity stunt or a cheap consolation for not holding a women's Triple Crown. But, to the local people of the islands it was a celebration of another native Hawaiian surfing champion.
"Actually I wasn't nervous at all," admitted Moore when it was all over. "I think I was more nervous at Haleiwa. I like that Sunset is a little further out and you're away from the beach and the people and you're just out there in the elements and in your little bubble. It brought back a little deja vu from two years ago when I surfed Sunset and had Pancho [Sullivan] as my caddy. I just went out there and had a good time."
Vans World Cup of Surfing Rd of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 12.53pts ; Junior Faria (BRA) 10.33pts ; Romain Cloitre (AUS) 5.27pts ; Perth Standlick (FRA) 3.70pts
Heat 2 : Evan Valiere (HAW) 13.34pts ; Heath Joske (AUS) 13.13pts ; Marcus Hickman (HAW) 11.34 ; Cory Lopez (USA) 8.77pts
Heat 3 : Brent Dorrington (AUS) 13.17pts ; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 9.60pts ; Billy Kemper (HAW) 7.37pts ; Nathan Florence (HAW) 5.67pts
Heat 4 : Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.84pts ; Jamie O'Brien (HAW) 9.73pts ; Leonardo Neves (BRA) 9.00pts ; Chris Foster (HAW) 6.90pts
Heat 5 : Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 14.67pts ; Evan Gelselman (USA) 11.66pts ; Brian Toth (PRI) 8.43pts ; Mitch Crews (AUS) 7.06pts
Heat 6 : Daniel Ross (AUS) 14.16pts ; Torrey Meister (HAW) 12.27pts ; Kai Barger (HAW) 11.54pts ; Gavin Gillette (HAW) 10.10pts
Heat 7 : Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 12.90pts ; Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 12.37pts ; Nic Muscroft (AUS) 11.93pts ; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.47pts
Heat 8 : Davey Cathels (AUS) 12.93pts ; Nat Young (USA) 9.67pts ; Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 8.86pts ; Tim Reyes (USA) 5.93pts
Heat 9 : Dale Staples (ZAF) 12.27pts ; Joel Centelo (HAW) 8.24pts ; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 7.66pts ; Dylan Graves (PRI) 7.46pts ;
Heat 10 : Ian Walsh (HAW) 13.50pts ; Tonino Benson (HAW) 8.83pts ; Tom Whitaker (AUS) 7.76pts ; Adam Robertson (AUS) 7.00pts
Heat 11 : Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 11.87pts ; Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.10pts ; Sean Moody (HAW) 6.03pts ; Richard Christie (NZL) 3.73pts
Heat 12 : Adrien Toyon (REU) 9.57pts ; Gabe King (USA) 9.03pts ; Austin Ware (USA) 8.47pts ; Royden Bryson (ZAF) 7.90pts
Heat 13 : Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.83pts ; Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 10.47pts ; Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 8.43pts ; Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 3.64pts
Heat 14 : Sunny Garcia (HAW) 13.93pts ; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 10.00pts ; Carissa Moore (HAW) 7.83pts ; Alain Riou (PYF) 5.60pts
Heat 15 : Ian Gentil (HAW) 10.47pts ; Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.06pts ; Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.14pts ; Myles Padaca (HAW) 7.83pts
Heat 16 : Tomas Hermes (BRA) 10.14pts; Mason Ho (HAW) 10.07pts; Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 8.37pts ; Granger Larsen (HAW) 6.43pts