Haleiwa’s John John Florence won the Hawaiian Pro today at Alii Beach Park.
Florence carved up three powerful turns for an 8.83 in the four-man final against Portugal’s Frederico Morais, France’s Marc Lacomare and Australia’s Adrian Buchan, and that wave pushed him to the victory.
Florence, who was crowned as the 2016 World Surf League champion in October, and Morais both had two-wave totals of 15.66 going into the lastminute of the 35-minute final, but Florence was in the lead because of his higher single wave (the 8.83) in the heat.
Morais, however, caught one last wave in the final minute, needing a 7.34 to overtake Florence. It took a few minutes after the heat ended for the score to come up from the judges — and when it did — there was a loud gasp from the crowd. Morais’ score was 7.33 – 0.01 away from the victory.
The Hawaiian Pro is the first event in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, with the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach and the Billabong Pipe Masters at Ehukai Beach to follow.
“I’m just going to do the same thing,” Florence said about the next two contests, which gives him the possibility of winning a third career Triple Crown. He won it in 2011 and 2013. “It’s right down the street from my house. I’m going to go and surf my heats. It seems to have worked out here, so I’ll stick with the same plan.”