John John Florence wins Vans World Cup of Surfing
Final day of Vans World Cup of Surfing underway
The final day of the Vans World Cup of Surfing is underway, as waves in the 6-8 foot range hit the North Shore.
There's only one O.C. surfer remaining in the contest. San Clemente's Dane Gudauskas – who has been off the competitive circuit this year, is the only local left after his brother Tanner, Kolohe Andino, and Huntington Beach's Brett Simpson were all knocked out of the contest Thursday.
In the first heat held today, Hawaiian Evan Valiera won his heat with South African Jordy Smith coming up in the second spot to move on. Dusty Payne got needed points this morning by moving to the next round, the Hawaiian is on the cusp of being knocked off the World Tour.
All eyes will be on Hawaiian Sunny Garcia, who has competed in the Vans Triple Crown for two decades, as he comes up later in the day. Garcia has claimed the Triple Crown – made up of the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the World Cup of Surfing, and the Billabong Pipe Masters – six times in past years. While he didn't do well at well at the first event, he's always someone to keep an eye on. Taj Burrow, of Australia, won the Reef Hawaiian Pro.
Ventura's Dane Reynolds – who has also ditched the competitive tour this year – is also doing really well, posting high scores in his heat Thursday. Also keep an eye on young John John Florence, a young Hawaiian on his rookie year on the World Tour, who is just good as any veterans on tour.
We have a ton of great photos from Thursday's action, when competitors battled in 10 – 12 foot surf. Check them out below!
Watch it live at vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com.