Fanning seemed to be in the right spot at the right time, getting all the set waves, and his big score came on one where he threw a couple of high-speed slashes off the top, snuck a roundhouse cutback in and finished with a big tail slide move off the closeout section to seal the deal.
Once again, Hurley upped the prize money for first, from $30,000 to $105,000, to make it the highest first-place prize giveaway, beating the U.S. Open’s $100,000.
Reynolds just couldn’t find the rhythm and said he was tired from surfing four big heats in one day, and needed an IV before his first-ever championship tour final.
Reynolds did have one of the best heats of the event in the semis against Aussie Bede Durbidge where both surfers were going off, busting airs and big moves, and he took it with an almost perfect 9.67 score for a tail-out lip bash and an air reverse 360. And in the quarters, Reynolds had one of the highest-scoring heats of the event, 18.20, when he took out Carlsbad’s Taylor Knox.
Fanning was on fire too, eliminating Kelly Slater in the semis by a landslide and Tahitian Michel Bourez in the quarters, which were a little wave-starved. Fanning now moves to No. 2 in the world standings behind Australian Joel Parkinson, who’s won three events this season and has been on a roll.
Crowd favorite Rob Machado from Cardiff lost in round four, along with Florida’s Hobgood brothers, C.J. and Damien. And so ends a sunny, hot week of ripping at Lower Trestles, as the big boys are on their way to France.
High five to everyone who helped out with the California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday. I hear there were 750 locations. Last year, they removed 1.6 million pounds of debris from our beaches, and 200,000 pounds of it was recycled. I bet even more was cleaned up this year.
Rip Curl’s “Surfboards in the Sand” portrait had tons of surfers and their boards show up on the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier on Saturday. They raised some funds for the Surfrider Foundation and Orange County Coastkeeper to help with protection and enhancement of our coastal environment. Look for a shot of that in Transworld Surf magazine.
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.