Winter means waves in Hawaii, and Oahu's North Shore is about to become the focal point of the surfing world again. Vans Presents the HIC Pro will launch Hawaii's 2013 big wave season at Sunset Beach, October 29 to November 10. The HIC Pro is a local qualifier for the famed Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (November 12-December 20) that will begin right after the crowning of this year's HIC Pro champion.
The HIC Pro is a $95,000 4-star rated Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event that features the best talents from Hawaii and pits them against ambitious young blood from eight other nations: Australia, Tahiti, Japan, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, France and US Mainland.
Veteran Hawaiian surfer and former ASP world champion Sunny Garcia, 43, returns to defend the title he won here last year. His victory came from an inspired performance that proved power and experience will always hold favor with Sunset, known to be a brutal and punishing wave at its winter best.
But every young surfer who has entered this year's event seeks to attain the heights that Garcia has achieved in his 27 years of professional surfing. They have no plans of holding the door open for an icon of the sport who famously shows no mercy for his rivals.
Among those preparing to rattle Garcia's cage are locals Dusty Payne (Maui), Mason Ho (Sunset), Ezekiel Lau (Honolulu), and Ian Gentil (Maui); as well as highly seeded Australian pair Mitch Coleborn and Jack Freestone.