Hot on his heals was the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” Freddy Boy Patacchia who was destroying the lefts throwing big fans of water, but came up short placing second. Patacchia is currently rated No. 29 on the championship tour and is heading off to Teaupoo this week for the CT event there.
Third was another Hawaiian, Joel Centeio, who was blowing up too, finishing third. Fourth was San Clemente local Pat Gudauskas, who had some big heats as well holding it down for the O.C. surfers. By making the final, Gudauskas is in first position on the tough WQS ratings and is looking pretty good for getting on to the big show, CT next year.
Former world tour vet Corey Lopez steam rolled to the semis along with Hawaii’s up and coming Dusty Payne and Kiron Jabour. Surf City’s Shaun Ward, a finalist the year before, lost in the quarter finals.
Brett Simpson lost a close one in Round 6 as did former four-time winner of the event Shane Beschen, who was going off, and Newport Beach ripper Ritchie Collins. Losing in Round 5 were San Clemente’s Chris Ward, wild-card gal, 15-year-old sensation Carissa Moore, and Huntington’s Micah Byrne.
Seal Beach’s Chris Waring and “Hoiso” Mike Hoisington lost in the fourth round as some superb surfing was seen in most heats after the swell hit.
In the Oakley Juniors, the young guns, Hawaii’s “Sea Bass” Sebastian Zietz struck early getting a 9.5 score out of a possible 10 on his first wave with five hard driving slashes on a right-hander all the way across the point into the bay, to put the pressure on and eventually iced the win.
Zietz racked one of the highest two wave scores of the event with a combined total of 18.4, although H.B. local Jason Harris was ripping big time taking an all-time second place finish.
That wraps up the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro, which is supposed to be increased to a six star next year.
Fig over and out.
RICK FIGNETTI is a 10-time West Coast champion and a longtime KROQ-FM surfologist. He owns a surf shop on Main Street. You can reach him at (714) 536-1058.