With no sizable swells in the forecast and five days left in the holding period, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing officials chose to do the "unheard of" — run simultaneous heats at different sites yesterday.
The O’Neill World Cup of Surfing completed 39 heats of men’s competition at Val’s Reef (the inside of Sunset) and Kammie Land (the peak directly west of Sunset). Contest officials were forced to run heats simultaneously to make use of a north/northeast swell that is forecasted to peak today.
"It’s actually very bizarre," said Joel Centeio, 27, of the simultaneous heats. "I actually had to do it before because of flat conditions in Europe and they ran double areas, but here in Hawaii it’s unheard of."
Centeio, currently second in the Triple Crown’s overall standings, advanced out of the round of 64 by placing second in his heat behind Luke Munro of Australia. Centeio posted a two-wave total of 12.33 out of a possible 20 points at Kammie Land.
"It was actually pretty tricky because you couldn’t hear anything, so I didn’t know what scores I had," said Centeio. "It was a bit tricky and you had to pick the right waves and I managed to get one pretty good one and that seemed to be the difference for me."
Conditions were tough yesterday with blustery offshore winds, scattered showers and challenging 4- to 6-foot waves.
Centeio’s childhood friend, Kekoa Bacalso, won his heat in the round of 64, earning a two-wave total of 13.23. This was Bacalso’s first time surfing in the O’Neill World Cup, and the 25-year-old from Mililani was baffled that he was surfing Kammie Land.
"It’s pretty tough out there and I guess it helped that I go kayaking out there and go fishing with the kids and whatnot, so I had a good idea of where the waves are," Bacalso said. "I never thought in a million years that I would surf a heat out there, but here I am."
Both the men’s and women’s contests are likely to finish today. The women’s final is scheduled to start around noon. The men are expected to paddle out around 3 p.m.