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Monday, November 28, 2011
Updated: December 3, 1:39 AM ET
Up at Sunset

By Daniel Ikaika Ito
ESPN.com

Keanu Asing, claiming it like he means it ... and why wouldn't he after posting the highest wave score of the day?

Preview Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Final

Sunset Beach demanded big boards and bravado yesterday from the round of 128 contestants at the Vans World Cup of Surfing. The first big swell of the North Shore season provided massive 16 to 24-foot wave face heights, making the second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing a survival lesson. It wasn't a matter of if you were going to get pounded by a huge wave it was matter of when you were going to get pounded said Keanu Asing.

"I pretty much got pounded on every other wave out there," said Asing after winning his heat yesterday. "I probably got more pounded than waves I caught.

"It's pretty much survival mode: 10 to 12-foot Sunset and super windy, it's just difficult to position yourself out there and get the right waves," he said.

Tanner Hendrickson, done for the day with a mangled ankle.

Asing managed to find the "right wave" yesterday with the first ride of the heat. The 18-year-old, regular foot from 'Ewa Beach caught the highest scoring wave of the day, a 9.33 out of a possible 10 points, for a heavy tube ride. It was the kind of wave where the whole beach gasps at the same time.

"I took off on the wave and got in super early and took off and as I was bottom turning I saw it set up to be a good double up," explained Asing. "I setup for it and thought it was going to be a barrel section [&] I stood there and got the 'vision' and I almost fell but brought myself back up, came out and was so psyched -- there's no better feeling than that."

Asing felt good yesterday after beating Austin Ware, who advanced in second, Stu Kennedy and Makai McNamara. There can only be two guys to make it out of the heat win or lose -- everybody seemed relieved to just make it back to the beach unscathed. Not all the surfers were lucky enough to avoid the carnage.

Maui's Tanner Hendrickson left his heat early with an ankle injury yesterday. According to Hendrickson, he went up to hit the lip and was compressed by the wave upon landing. Hendrickson's injury was a reminder that surfing giant waves on the North Shore is a dangerous endeavor.

Big surf means big consequences, which apparently also brings out a big audience. Yesterday was the largest crowd in World Cup history said Vans Triple Crown Executive Director Randy Rarick.

Jamie O'Brien tried dancing on the ceiling, but it didn't really work out so well.

"This is man against the sea and this is what the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is all about," said Rarick.

With waves still hovering in the six to eight-foot range today, and another sizeable and more westerly swell forecasted to hit on Thursday, there will be no shortage of giant surf for the Vans World Cup of Surfing.

RESULTS: Round of 128 (1st & 2nd advance)
H1: Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 13.24pts ; Evan Valiere (HAW) 11.94pts ; Tyler Newton (HAW) 7.94pts ; Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 6.93pts
H2: Marcus Hickman (HAW) 9.00pts ; Perth Standlick (AUS) 7.93pts ; Gabriel Villaran (PER) 7.60pts ; Yuri Sodre (BRA) 3.30pts
H3: Billy Kemper (HAW) 8.33pts ; Chris Foster (HAW) 7.40pts ; Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 5.86pts ; Roy Powers (HAW) 5.70pts
H4: Jamie O'Brien (HAW) 14.84pts ; Brent Dorrington (AUS) 9.36pts ; Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.23pts ; Alex Smith (HAW) 5.50pts
H5: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 11.00pts ; Gavin Gillette (HAW) 10.83pts ; Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 7.70pts ; Solomon Ortiz (HAW) 7.06pts
H6: Torry Meister (HAW) 9.43pts ; Brian Toth (PRI) 7.90pts ; Dege O'Connell (HAW) 6.90pts ; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 6.00pts
H7: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.87pts ; Tim Reyes (USA) 10.20pts ; Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 8.83pts ; Billy Stairmand (NZL) 1.70pts
H8: Davey Cathels (AUS) 11.60pts ; Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 10.80pts ; Nathaniel Curran (USA) 9.67pts ; Dylan Goodale (HAW) 8.77pts
H9: Joel Centeio (HAW) 12.50pts ; Ian Walsh (HAW) 9.67pts ; Jano Belo (BRA) 9.43pts ; Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 7.56pts
H10: Tonino Benson (HAW) 16.17pts ; Dale Staples (ZAF) 15.17pts ; Kamalei Alexander (HAW) 11.40pts ; Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 6.33pts
H11: Keanu Asing (HAW)12.90pts ; Austin Ware (USA) 8.06pts ; Stu Kennedy (AUS) 6.77pts ; Makai McNamara (HAW) 5.97pts
H12: Adrien Toyon (REU) 11.67pts ; Sean Moody (HAW) 10.66pts ; Casey Brown (HAW) 7.03pts ; Joan Duru (FRA) 6.36pts
H13: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 11.97pts ; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 11.00pts ; Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.00pts ; Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 9.96pts
H14: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 13.30pts ; Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 12.93pts ; TJ Barron (HAW) 10.67pts ; Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 8.87pts
H15: Myles Padaca (HAW) 12.93pts ; Mason Ho (HAW) 12.70pts ; Jack Freestone (AUS) 9.37pts ; Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 7.43pts
H16: Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 15.53pts ; Ian Gentil (HAW) 12.90pts ; Flynn Novack (HAW) 9.73pts ; Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 8.80pts