It has been five years since Sunset Beach surfer Myles Padaca reached the pinnacle of his pro surfing career with a win in the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing and subsequently a Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title. Now 35, Padaca’s intimate knowledge of this challenging break is once again bringing him back to surfing’s centre-stage.
Padaca was in one of the last heats of the second round of O’Neill World Cup of Surfing that were held early on Saturday before competition was turned over to the women’s Roxy Pro. A pulse in the swell kept wave face heights in the six- to 10-foot range for the conclusion of round two and Padaca reveled in the opportunity to ride the clean conditions with only a few other surfers out.
“Surfing at Sunset comes down to the love of it,” said Padaca. “I surf here all the time. It’s my home break. For me, it’s a really special wave – it’s got everything from barrels to big open walls for every kind of maneuver. There were a few nice sets coming in today and it was really clean. I was just working on getting a wave right at the beginning and then build on that.”
Of all the venues that make up the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series on the North Shore of O’ahu, Sunset Beach is the most challenging in terms of actually getting the waves. A deep water break located hundreds of yards from shore, it is highly susceptible to fluctuations in swell direction and has a reputation favoring some surfers while eluding others. With just 25 minutes to work with during a heat, it doesn’t take long to find yourself in “no man’s land” if you haven’t built the scores early on.
First-hand experience of that was had this weekend by Brazilians Heitor Alves and Hizunome Bettero, and French surfer Eric Rebiere. These three higher seeded surfers of the round found no joy in their heats – the worst experience of all had by Rebiere, who only managed one scoring ride – a mere 1.1 point ride out of 10.
Despite four to five foot (one and a half metre) and clean conditions on offer at Sunset Beach yesterday, the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing was called off for the day. A forecasted drop in swell has prompted event officials to wait for more consistent conditions before running the next round.
The O’Neill World Cup of Surfing is now at round three stage, with top seeds set to start entering the fray. Multiple World Cup and Vans Triple Crown champion Sunny Garcia will be among them. Joining Padaca in moving through today were Australians Drew Courtney, Nic Muscroft and Dayyan Neve; Mainland American Alex Gray, Brazilians Neco Padaratz, Bruno Santos and Andre Silva; and Hawaii’s Sean Moody and Hank Gaskell.