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Firing Action on Opening Day of Hurley Pro Sunset Beach

The Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, the second stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), kicked off in sizeable conditions after four-consecutive off days. 

The Men’s Opening Round 1 and Elimination Round 2 were completed in 10-15 foot surf ahead of a week of promising swell.

Event replacement surfer Barron Mamiya (HAW) and CT rookie Callum Robson (AUS) upset World No. 1 Kelly Slater in a relatively low-scoring affair as the pair sent the recent Pipeline winner into the treacherous Elimination Round.

The 11x WSL Champion came out swinging in Elimination Round Heat 1 against wildcard Koa Smith (HAW) and injury replacement Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) with a 6.67 (out of a possible 10) to put pressure on the heat leader Smith at the halfway mark.

However, McGillivray’s impeccable forehand and positioning for time behind the curtain earned him a 7.67 under the five-minute mark to steal a heat win from Slater. In second place, Slater also advanced and eliminated Smith from the draw.

Two-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW) advanced in first out of his opening matchup at Sunset, drawing his signature long carves on the open face for two good scores and the win.

Behind him the battle between Owen Wright (AUS) and Ethan Ewing (AUS) came down to the final-second fireworks by Ewing who started late on a bomb and committed to two massive turns for the second advancing spot ahead of his compatriot.

A matchup of heavy-hitters in Heat 5 between World Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Hawaii’s Ezekiel Lau and Billy Kemper produced highlights and came down to the wire.

Ferreira controlled his fate from the get-go with the biggest scores early and battle ensued between Lau and Kemper, eventually going Lau’s way with a buzzer-beater to finally take first place.

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In the day’s opening heat, Jordy Smith (ZAF) matched the ocean’s power with his own, pushing the limits on a massive layback snap and a big re-entry to post the day and the event’s first excellent score of 8.00 points (out of a possible 10).

Smith, who won a Qualifying Series event at Sunset before, faced compatriot Matthew McGillivray and Ryan Callinan (AUS) and advanced straight into the Round of 32.

“It’s definitely reassuring that my surfing suits this wave,” said Smith. “I’ve had some great success out here right from the very first time I surfed in that event. But this is a whole separate deal, coming up against the best surfers in the world you just got to lay it all on the line.”

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO Men’s Opening Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.50 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 8.33, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 6.84
HEAT 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.33 DEF. Lucca Mesinas (PER) 10.17, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.64
HEAT 3: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 11.40 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 9.83, Kelly Slater (USA) 8.94
HEAT 4: Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.50 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.10, Jordan Lawler (AUS) 7.90
HEAT 5: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.43 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.67, Billy Kemper (HAW) 9.86
HEAT 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) DEF. Joao Chianca (BRA) , Kai Lenny (HAW)
HEAT 7: Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 14.76 DEF. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 9.00, Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 8.43
HEAT 8: John John Florence (HAW) 12.83 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 11.20, Owen Wright (AUS) 9.84
HEAT 9: Jackson Baker (AUS) 10.77 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 9.63, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 8.73
HEAT 10: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.20 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 10.93, Seth Moniz (HAW) 7.97
HEAT 11: Jake Marshall (USA) 13.27 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.40, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 5.87
HEAT 12: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.33 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.43, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 1.33

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO Men’s Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 13.57 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.00, Koa Smith (HAW) 12.77
HEAT 2: Billy Kemper (HAW) 11.66 DEF. Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 6.43, Owen Wright (AUS) 5.67
HEAT 3: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 13.54 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.17, Jordan Lawler (AUS) 6.60
HEAT 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.70 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 9.26, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 6.83

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO Women’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Molly Picklum (AUS)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW), Moana Jones Wong (HAW)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Luana Silva (HAW)
Heat 5: Lakey Peterson (USA), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 6: Tyler Wright (AUS), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), India Robinson (AUS)

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach presented by SHISEIDO Men’s Round of 32 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
HEAT 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Lucca Mesinas (PER)
HEAT 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS)
HEAT 4: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Barron Mamiya (HAW)
HEAT 6: Deivid Silva (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
HEAT 7: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
HEAT 8: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Billy Kemper (HAW)
HEAT 10: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 11: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
HEAT 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)
HEAT 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
HEAT 14: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Callum Robson (AUS)
HEAT 15: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 16: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Imaikalani deVault (HAW)

Photo: Jordy Smith carving Sunset Beach. Photo: WSL Tony Heff

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