After adding the Hawaiian Pro to his list of victories, the new WSL World Champion has the VANS Triple Crown at the top of his to-do list.
“I’m so glad to get a win here at home,” said Florence after the finals. “I want to win the Triple Crown. I want to win Pipe. I want it all.”
John John took a hard-earned tiebreaker win over Portugal’s Fredrico Morais at Haleiwa as they battled wave for wave on Hawaii’s North Shore.
Needing a 7.34 to overtake Florence, Morais earned a 7.33 on the last wave of the heat, seeing them tied on their top two scoring rides. It was only Florence’s previous 8.83 that clinched him the win.
For a brief moment the surfing world thought Slater might make a move. Having entered as a wild card the 11x World Champ took an early 9.0-point ride and went on to dominate his round three heat. Haleiwa is a self-confessed North Shore favourite of Slater’s but the 44 year old soon watched as John John overtook the field.
Florence has become the fourth Hawaiian to take the world title and is the youngest so far to do it.
“It’s about finding the balance of enjoying it and having the competitive mind-set and that seriousness,” said John John in a recent episode of Twelve, “Because that’s when you’re going to be at your happiest, that’s when you’re going to be surfing at your best.”
The series in collaboration with Hurley has documented what was to become John John’s first victory year. His 2015 release, View from A Blue Moon gave the surfing world a 4K cinematic morsel of his enviable existence as a professional surfer, but this series has captured his 2016 preparations, competition strategies, his wide-ranging hobbies and downtime on Hawaii. We feel like we know John John a little more.
His Triple Crown victories in 2011 and 2013 and of course, a current world title stand him in good stead to continue the winning streak, and he’ll meet fellow Hawaiian Wyatt McHale in round three.
Gabriel Medina will then encounter John John’s brother, Nathan Florence in the following heat. As a world tour-qualifying event for next year, the results will decide the 2017 WSL men’s line-up and put this year’s field in their place before their battles at Banzai Pipeline.
Featured image WSL / Tony Heff