Michel Bourez © ASP/Cestari
Facing off a late charge by Haleiwa local Fred Patacchia, Michel Bourez has secured an early lead in the Vans Triple Crown Series and pocketed the $40,000 prize purse.
The win counts as Spartan’s second victory at the Reef Hawaiian Pro, having first won here in 2008. His combination of stylish power surfing and impeccable wave selection made him the man to beat throughout the final rounds. A strong surfer in big waves and a great Tahitian tube rider, he’ll now undoubtedly stand as a serious threat to this year’s Triple Crown title.
“It’s still a new feeling,” Bourez said. “The first time I won it, I was super happy for making the tour and this time, you know, I worked so hard to make the final and especially to lead the Triple Crown and it’s a good feeling. They keep saying the guy who wins the Haleiwa contest has a lot of chance to win a Triple Crown.”
Michel Bourez © ASP/Kirstin
“I feel great, I feel good in my body and my boards are going well and, hopefully the waves will be good at Sunset. I got second two there years ago so I hope I make another final this year. …Coming here, I felt great. I’ve been training for the past month, and just to come here solid, I feel like yeah, I deserve it.”
Another European to make the final was Jeremy Flores. As a former Pipe champion, his odds at a serious shot at the Triple Crown race have got to be looking pretty good too.
“Like Sunny Garcia says, the Triple Crown is the best thing after a World Title, and I believe it,” said Flores. “Three events and really powerful waves. At the same time you can surf smaller waves like this year, so you have to adapt to everything. So the Triple Crown winner has to be good in every condition and that is what makes it so special.
“It was definitely a tough contest. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really ready in terms of boards and stuff, so I just kept borrowing boards. So making the final, kind of scratching to find my way into the final was pretty cool. I didn’t really expect that.”
Jeremy Flores © ASP/Kirstin
1st. Michel Bourez (PYF) 17.17pts (9.44; 7.77) – $40,000
2nd. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.33pts – $20,000
3rd. Jeremy Flores 13.93pts (FRA) – $12,000
4th. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.73pts – $10,000
Fredrick Patacchia 14.37pts ;
Jeremy Flores 13.50pts ;
Dane Reynolds 12.80pts ;
Aritz Aranburu 11.12pts
Michel Bourez (PYF) 16:33pts ;
Dion Atkinson (AUS) 15.00pts ;
Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.33pts ;
Josh Kerr (AUS) 4.00pts
H1: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.86pts ; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.17pts ; Yadin Nicol (AUS) 11.93pts ; Matt Banting (AUS) 9.44pts
H2: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.60pts ; Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 14.60pts ; Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.30pts ; Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.27pts
H3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.96pts ; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43pts ; Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.70pts ; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 8.27pts
H4:Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.67pts ; Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.34pts ; Nathan Yeomans 12.87pts ; Evan Valiere (HAW) 9.87pts