|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
|Sebastian Zietz won the 2012 Reef Hawaiian Pro and qualified for the 2013 World Tour. He was also very outspoken in his love for his home island.|
Sebastian "Seabass" Zietz made Kauai proud yesterday by winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro and qualifying for the 2013 World Tour all in one fell swoop. The last surfer from the Garden Isle on the elite Tour was the late Andy Irons, whom Zietz acknowledged while accepting $40,000, a trophy and a handcrafted ukulele built by North Shore musician Joe Greene. This was the 24-year-old regular foot's first professional event victory, beating a stacked final that included defending Triple Crown champ John John Florence, Haleiwa's Fred Patacchia Jr. and Brazil's Alejo Muniz.
There was a strong Kauai presence at Ali'i Beach Park yesterday, cheering him to his first ASP win.
"I've never even made a final [in an ASP Prime or Star event] so to make the final here, I felt like I already won and I accomplished my goal," said the 2012 Reef Hawaiian Pro Champ. "All the Kauai boys came down, even though most of them were pretty hung over, to cheer me on and I just surfed the best I could."
Zietz looked fast and loose in the chunky, three-to-five-foot surf, winning with a two-wave total of 17.76, picking off the sets that swung wide and hitting an unexpected air reverse. He was all offense in the final, leading from the start and nailing the lip with reckless abandon. His best ride of the final, a 9.43 out of possible 10 points, came in the last minute of the heat, when he should have been sitting on runner-up Florence.
"I didn't really want to sit on John John because we're all from Hawaii and we just take turns," Zietz explained. "But I ended up not sitting on him because a wave came and I ended up bettering my score."
|John John Florence is a solid skater. This "handplant" blew everyone's mind in the final.|
Florence, who posted two nine-point rides in the semis, had trouble finding his mojo at the start of the final. He staged a late comeback at the end, landing a technical nosepick, but it wasn't enough, and the defending Triple Crown champ was relegated to second place.
"I really wanted to find a wave, but I couldn't really get in a rhythm and get a wave because everyone was pushing each other super deep," Florence said. "The waves were all-time today and everybody thought the swell was going to be too north and little lefts, but it ended up being pretty perfect."
Florence posted a respectable 14.7 two-wave total, and fell victim to too much jockeying for position with Fred Patacchia, who finished in third place, followed by Alejo Muniz in fourth. Patacchia, the lone goofy-foot in the heat, was grateful for his first finals appearance at his homebreak. He was also stoked that Sunny Garcia wasn't too salty about their paddle battle in the semifinals, where they exchanged some "heated" words in the lineup.
|Fred Patacchia had exchanged some words with Sunny Garcia in the semifinal and admitted he felt flustered until Garcia came over and congratulated him for making the final.|
"When you have waves like this you expect fireworks and you expect guys are going to be surfing well," said Patacchia, who posted a 13.5 two-wave total.
"There was no way I was going to lose that semifinal. I did what I had to do and unfortunately it was against Sunny," he explained after the contest. "Everyone knows how he is, but what was really cool is that before the final, Sunny came over and said, 'I had some time to think about it. Congratulations and go get 'em.' He gave me a big hug and I was really stoked. Before he came up to me I was a little flustered."
|Fred Patacchia made his first final at his home break in Haliewa, and got one step closer to qualifying for the World Tour again.|
Besides the squashed beef with Sunny, Patacchia can also relax because he is on the cusp of requalification for the WCT going into the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach.Reef Hawaiian Pro Final Results
(third place = fifth overall; fourth place = seventh overall)
H1 : Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 15.43pts ; Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.03pts ; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 11.36pts ; Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.07pts
H2 : John John Florence (HAW) 18.00pts ; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 17.70pts ; Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.27pts ; Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.17pts
H1 : Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 14.90pts ; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 13.10pts ; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.87pts ; Brett Simpson (USA) 12.50pts
H2 : Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.17pts ; Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.16pts ; Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.07pts ; Cory Lopez (USA) 6.20pts
H3 : John John Florence (HAW) 16.87pts ; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.27pts ; Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.13pts ; Jadson Andre (BRA) 2.80pts
H4 : Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.40pts ; Tom Whitaker (AUS) 11.10pts ; Perth Standlick (AUS) 9.20pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.10pts
Round of 32 H3 : Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.17pts ; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 15.33pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.93pts ; CJ Hobgood (USA) 10.26pts
H4 : Cory Lopez (USA) 10.66pts ; Brett Simpson (USA) 6.94pts ; Kelly Slater (USA) 6.80pts ; Patrick Gudauskas 2.50pts
H5 : John John Florence (HAW) 16.77pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.77pts ; Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 7.74pts ; Dane Reynolds (USA) 1.10pts
H6 : Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.16pts ; Tom Whitaker (AUS) 11.00pts ; Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.40pts ; Nathan Hedge (AUS) 4.34pts
H7 : Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.70pts ; Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 11.73pts ; Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.17pts ; Evan Valiere (HAW) 8.10pts
H8 : Perth Standlick (AUS) 11.87pts ; Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.60pts ; Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.67pts ; Gavin Gillette (HAW) 2.67pts