San Clemente surfer wins Hawaii event
There were just minutes on the clock when a perfect, peaky wave came straight to Ian Crane.
It was the biggest set of the day, and somehow the San Clemente surfer was the only competitor able to paddle into the wave that came straight to him.
Crane threw down a few power turns and carves, scoring an 8.5 to solidify his first ASP Junior win at the North Shore Surf Shop Pro Junior recently, the first event on the calendar for the best 20-and-younger surfers from around the world.
It was a big win for the 19-year-old surfer, who not only won $15,000 but hopes to receive enough points for the World Juniors at the end of the year. It is the last year Crane qualifies to surf in the pro junior circuit.
Crane has spent about six seasons in Hawaii and is staying with fellow San Clemente surfer and friend Kolohe Andino, the youngest surfer on the ASP World Tour, which is made up of the best 34 surfers in the world.
Crane said he was feeling relaxed going into the event.
"When the contest was on, it was just like 'no worries,' I was just having fun," he said. "It was just kind of one heat at a time."
He said he was a bit nervous the first few heats, but once he got to the quarterfinals, his confidence was up. Then by the semi-finals, he was on a roll.
"I had a fun semi where I got a lot of waves," he said. "You don't catch a lot of waves at Sunset, but I had about six waves in my heat. I was just having fun surfing with pretty much no one out."
Because the surfers are so far out in the water, he couldn't hear the judges and didn't know until he came to shore whether he had made the finals.
"I hadn't made a final before, so I felt like I already won," he said. "The waves were just getting better and better all day. The final before us, the girls had such good waves. I was so excited to get out there."
He got a solid score just as the heat started, but struggled as the 30-minute heat progressed. It wasn't until the end of the heat when the perfect wave came his way, solidifying his win.
"It was awesome, I was so stoked," he said. "I couldn't believe it was real."
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