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PHOTO COURTESY OF BERNIE BAKER/ASP
San Clemente's Chris Ward made it to the final of the Volcom Pipe Pro, taking second place and $10,000. Hawaii's John John Florence was the winner.
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San Clemente surfers shine at Hawaii event

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

San Clemente's Chris Ward made a big statement Saturday, placing second at the Volcom Pipe Pro, a challenging event at the famous Banzai Pipeline off Oahu.

Ward, who was once on the ASP World Tour, took a break from the competitive scene two years ago to refocus. He won the American Pro Surfing Series in Huntington Beach last year, and now his comeback mission is in full swing after he earned valuable points at the 5-star Volcom Pipe Pro, giving him momentum to earn spots in more higher-level surf events. He also took home a check for $10,000.

Ward came in behind John John Florence, the Hawaii phenom who grew up surfing Pipeline in his front yard. The 20-year-old was the reigning champ, and it was the third final he's made at the event.

Ward earned a total heat score of 14.8 in the final, while Florence earned a 16.33 for the win, worth $20,000.

"I was just happy to make it through today, really, because the waves were small but still really good," Florence said in an interview with ASP. "Surfing the four-man heats in small, peaky conditions like that is really tough, and it's quite a battle to even get a wave. I'm glad I snuck some in."

San Clemente's Kolohe Andino made it to the semifinals. Andino is known for his aerial surfing but has been staying on the North Shore this winter, and the practice he's been able to get in barreling waves has apparently paid off.

Costa Mesa-based Volcom awarded $58,000 to the widow and two young daughters of North Shore big-wave rider Sion Milosky, who died in March 2011 while surfing Mavericks in Northern California. Volcom maintains the Live Like Sion fund and has presented the family with a check the past two winters.

Contact the writer: lconnelly@ocregister.com


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