The Ho legacy continues as Mason Ho took out a field of 48 surfers to claim the title of Hard Rock Cafe Junior Pro champion in six to eight foot surf at Sunset Beach, Hawaii. From the start of the 35 minute final, the son of legendary Michael Ho scored an 8.0 and never looked back.
With Kauai’s Kyle Ramey and Clay Marzo from Maui on his tail, it was catch up as Ho scored a 7.20 midway through the heat. With that, and an interference call when Marzo took a shoulder ride with Ramey deep in the pocket, it left the Sunset Beach local, waiting for a solid back up ride.
That time arrived when with less than a minute, he caught an outside set and rode it with three solid, vertical manuevers for the highest score of the event. A 9.90 sealed the Hard Rock Cafe Junior Pro victory leaving Ramey in second and Marzo, third.
For 14 year old fourth place finisher John John Florence, who won his quarter and semi final heats earlier with dominating performances, surfing against the older and physically stronger surfers meant gaining valuable experience as he has another six years in events such as these junior pros.
Says, Florence (below), “I’m just stoked to be in the final with these guys and had a really fun time. I don’t usually surf Sunset unless it’s a lot bigger, but today I had a good time”.
For Mason Ho, this meant something as he reflected on his father’s trophy case. “Now I can put this trophy up next to one of my father’s Hard Rock Cafe World Cup trophies. He’s won out here at Sunset Beach so many times and to win one here, especially this contest being the first Hard Rock Cafe event since those days when my father use to compete means a lot to me.”
With the win, he pocketed $2000.00 and an $800.00 MOBI PCS phone and will be on his way to Brazil in two days to compete on the World Qualifying Series tour of the Association of Surfing Professionals. A top 100 seed going into the international tour means he’ll be seeded into at least the third or fourth round of every event he competes in as he hopes to gain his way into the World Championship Tour. The elite tour of the world’s best 44 surfers and which holds title to uncle Derek Ho, world champion during the late 1980’s.
Hard Rock Cafe Junior Pro Results:
First: Mason Ho. $2000
Second: Kyle Ramey, $900
Third: Clay Marzo, $600
Fourth: John Joh FLorence, $500
Equal 5th: Nalu Wallace, Kekoa Cazimero, $300
Equal 7th: Tyler Newton, Hizson Lin Kee, $200