" It's amazing when you set your eyes on something and get to accomplish it -- This year couldn't have started better. Winning this contest the first time I was an underdog and got on a roll as a young kid not thinking I was going to win. It's crazy coming back two years later as a favorite with different kind of pressures, but getting that chair up the beach was like deja vu"
It was no easy road Igarashi who posted the events highest single scoring wave of a 9.50 in the Semifinal's over an in-form Ian Crane before moving into his final bout with event dark horse and giant killer, Takumi Nakamura . Although Kanoa's win is just a stepping-stone for his 2017 season on the Samsung galaxy Championship Tour (CT), the stacked field of QS warriors was more than enough to keep him on his toes.
" It feels so good to start off the year with a win after feeling a lot of nerves at the end of the year so this is amazing". Tuach said. "It was great to surf my way through some rounds and had a lot of confidence going into that final already having a few heats under my belt. I felt like I was in a good rhythm with a good game plan and it all fell into place, just like old times."
For the second year in a row , Qualifying Series (QS) competitors were treated to picturesque Huntington Beach conditions for the opening of the Shoe City Pro.
The men's event opened in pristine post-rain conditions, surfers ignited the lineup throughout the first day of the competition a top seed to the water in Round Two in decimating fashion.
Opening Day of
Longtime QS threat Peterson Crisanto left nothing in the water in his opening Round One performer. Crisando opend with a near-perfect 9.27 and 7.40 to earn the day's top performer. Winner of the Reef Pro El Salvador QS6,000 event in 2013, then as ASP6-Star, Crisanto is back from a two year hiatus and ready for a new year.
Just a fraction behind the highest heat total of the day, Cory Arrambide took to his backside and found a pair of excellent scores to tally a 16.63. The Ventura-native comes into this year with a new perspective after spending the winter months at home before gearing up for the 2017 season.
Straight from a World Junior Championship appearance in Kiama, NSW, Australia, Jake Marshall opened up his first heat as a full-time QS competitor in terrific fashion. Marshall showcased his vicious backhand as he prepares for a vital year of competition.
Barron Mamiya put on a shoe in the first heat earned runner-up behind one of the day's standouts, Cory Arrambide.
Hometown -hero Kanoa Igarashi got a jumpsatrt on his season with a brilliant end of the day performance to rouand out the competition. Igarashi posted a excellent 8.83 to lock a win over Braden Jones. The Championship tour (CT) competitor isn't feeling any pressure , which could make for a serious threat to win this event for the second time.
But, just prior to Igarashi's showcase, Matthew Pagan came out firing on all cylinders with a Round One victory and backed that up with a near-perfect 9.00 in Round Two. Pagan is a name the competitive surfing world did not see at all in 2016, but is back in a jersey once more. The South Bay-native looks forward to regaining some of the fire towards competing and doing so in great form .
Also moving on, Kilian Garland , Ian Crane, Parker Coffin, Matt Passaquindici and Taylor Clark have secured their spot into round Three with victories.
Finals Day Draw Decided at
The men's Shoe City Pro QS1,000 continues to score ideal Huntington Beach conditions that held for a full competition day. The field has been reduced to 16 surfers all gunning for their spot atop the podium.
Local hero Brett Simpson came out firing in his Round Two debut with a heat win and backed it up with a Round Three victory later in the day. The former Championship Tour (CT) competitor still has desire to find his way back onto the elite level as he returns to the QS in hopes of doing so. Simpson found himself surfing against two sons of the sport that brought back some nostalgia during his heat.
Ian Crane picked up right where he left off yesterday in his Round Two win and stole another big victory in Round Three in Finals Day Draw--posting one of the few excellent scores on offer. The San Clemente native found his mind space and put it into effect as he moves into Round Four with plenty of steam.
But, not all the top seeds survived the day as the explosive talent of up-and-comer Griffin Colapinto was taken out in Round Three after a big Round Two win. No waves came through that offered the fellow San Clement surfer as chance to showcase his dynamic attack and will put focus toward the next event.
In his debut Round Two battle, ajke Kelly emerged with a huge win and continued that success into Round Three with another victory . Kelley stuck to the same formula to begin his 2017 and it's paying dividends thus far with a crisp backhand attack. While his homebreak of Normad's was flat most of the winter, Kelley kelp busy and took full advantage of the Christmas swell on offer back on the West Coast.
Colt Wand got off to a great start to his 2017 campaign with a massive Round Two performance and earning a spot into Round Four behind Jake Marshall. the goofyfooter didn't have the dream run he would've liked in 2016 as a full-time QS competitor for the first going, but know what it will take for him to excel.