|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
|Adam Melling fought through a razor-thin final heat to win his first Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, Hawaii.|
Vans World Cup of Surfing champion Adam Melling was exhausted and elated on the winner's stage. The 27-year-old Australian was still trying to get a grasp on his fortuitous situation. He surfed four heats Tuesday on his way to winning the World Cup of Surfing, $40,000 and requalification for the 2013 World Championship Tour.Furthermore, Melling's win vaulted him to No. 2 in the overall Vans Triple Crown of Surfing ranking.
"Surreal, I can't believe it happened," Melling said of his victory and tour requalification. "It's been a crazy day."
Melling was on point yesterday -- literally and figuratively. He picked off a barrel deep off of Sunset Point and linked two cutties for a 6.83 out of a possible 10 points. Then he improved his score with a 9.33 -- a powerful display of rail-to-rail surfing. Melling's style was perfect for the 3- to 5-foot surf, and the conditions reminded him of Australia.
"[The waves in the final] were a little bit like home -- a pointbreak," said Melling, a Lennox Head local. "It sort of sucks up and runs off really good so I thought if anything was going to come it was going to come up here [at Sunset Point]."
|Young Brazilian Gabriel Medina fought hard in the barrel, but finished a close second to Melling.|
The win didn't come easily for the Aussie, though. Melling held off a frothing Gabriel Medina, 18, who put on the pressure to the very end. Medina nearly won the World Cup. Needing an 8.67, he snagged a last-minute tube. The judges weren't convinced, though, and tossed Medina an 8.17, but the young Brazilian was happy with the runner-up finish.
"I'm pretty stoked to get second here at Sunset," said Medina, who scored a 15.67 two-wave total. "That's a pretty good result and I'm excited for Pipe."
Sebastian Zietz, who finished in third place, is also psyching up for the Pipe Masters. The 24-year-old now leads the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing overall standings, and receives a golden ticket into the final World Tour event of the year.
Zietz, the heat leader for the first half of the Vans World Cup of Surfing final, and posted a respectable 13.7 two-wave total.
"Congrats to Seabass, he's freaking killing it," said fellow Garden Isle resident Koa Smith, 17, who was awarded the JN Automotive Rookie of the VANS Triple Crown yesterday.
Smith won the coveted award for round of 64 finishes at the Vans World Cup of Surfing and Reef Hawaiian Pro during his first year competing in the Triple Crown.
"It's such a big honor," Smith said after receiving the award, "I've watched [the Triple Crown] growing up and if you're from Hawaii, then you want to win the Triple Crown."