Wildcard Mamiya Takes Down CT Veterans at Men’s Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Presented by SHISEIDO
The men’s Final also featured a battle for the yellow jersey between wildcard Mamiya and CT veteran Igarashi that unfolded in historic fashion. Mamiya is the first men’s wildcard to win an event since 2008.
A slow start gave way to fireworks as Igarashi put pressure on the wildcard after a priority mistake by Mamiya, who recovered brilliantly with back-to-back scoring waves to accrue a 15.00 heat total and left his seasoned competitor in need of a near-perfect 9.50. But the local North Shore competitor wasn’t done yet and dropped the hammer on a major, two-turn combination to earn an 8.83 and leave Igarashi in need of two new waves with just two minutes remaining.
“I can’t believe it, I literally can’t believe it,” said Mamiya. “I thought Pipe was going to be the event I was going to do really well in. I’m so comfortable at Pipe and I wasn’t really super prepared for this event but in my mind I just had to adapt to whatever the conditions are and figure it out. It doesn’t even feel real. I want to thank all my friends and family, my mom and my dad sacrificed so much for me, and I want to thank Shaun Ward too. He’s been with me since day one, and he’s really helped me so much through a lot of tough times.”
“At the end of last year I was really bummed with my performance in 2021,” added Mamiya. “I didn’t make a heat on the QS and was coming off an injury. There were just a lot of things not going my way. I wasn’t even on Tour and got into Pipe through a wildcard and got another wildcard here so I’m just super stoked.”
Eventual runner-up Igarashi battled his way to the Final after matching with even threat Jack Robinson (AUS), 2019 Vans World Cup winner here at Sunset, in phenomenal fashion. The 24-year-old then had to overpower Ethan Ewing (AUS), who looked to be unstoppable in his event run, but Igarashi was able to score a near-perfect 9.03 (out of a possible 10) and left the Australian talent in need of an excellent score heading into the final minutes.
The current World No. 2 will now look for his second-career CT win heading into the MEO Portugal Pro after falling short to Mamiya’s Cinderella story.
“I’m actually really happy,” said Igarashi. “Coming to Hawaii for so many years now, growing up in Huntington Beach, this has always been the place where I’ve really needed to work. I’ve always had a lot of struggles and just with my surfing, and over the years I’ve had to really work on it. Now just coming here and seeing so many familiar faces, I have so many friends here now and it just means a lot because somewhere where I felt so uncomfortable before I’m able to feel a little bit more comfortable and get some scores, and get some results.”