Filipe Toledo Wins 2017 Hawaiian Pro
Filipe Toledo (BRA) earned a huge victory in Hawaii today and became the first Brazilian to win the Hawaiian Pro, a QS 10,000 and the first event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu's North Shore. Runner up Griffin Colapinto (USA) also had a momentous day and qualified for his inaugural year on the 2018 CT after he jumped to the No. 2 spot on the International QS rankings.
The Final ramped up to an unbelievable display of high-performance surfing from Toledo, Colapinto, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and 2x Hawaiian Pro winner Michel Bourez (PYF) who earned third and fourth place respectively.
Bourez opened the Final by pulling into a closeout barrel for a 4.67 to set the scale and elevate the energy on the beach, but Colapinto quickly followed up with his first and best wave of the heat, an 8.17 for a strong carve and powerful finish. Dantas' backhand looked lethal and the Brazilian had strong waves throughout the 35-minute heat, but Toledo was unstoppable after he landed a lofty 540 rotation on a buckled board.
"It was kind of an average wave and Wiggolly (Dantas) looked at it, he had priority and he didn't like it because it was kind of a close out wave," commented Toledo. "Once I hit the lip and I felt my board was broken, I heard like a really crazy noise and I was like, ‘No!' and did the whole rotation and landed on the foam. I was just super scared my board would be separated but thank God the board was pretty solid still and I could land that air."
Incredibly in-tune with his equipment and displaying impeccable wave knowledge, Toledo earned an 8.87 on the air and ultimately the win; no surfer could pull past his combined heat score of 16.54, one of the highest of the day and entire event.
"It feels amazing, it feels really amazing," continued Toledo. "I got runner up in 2015 and I felt that little taste of the victory. I already qualified for the World Tour so I've been super relaxed. I stuck to my game with my strategy and I did what I needed to do and thank God for these wave and these airs, it was really fun."
Colapinto had an all-out approach throughout the event and lost to Toledo by less than a point. The progressive athlete from San Clemente was the first to drop an excellent score in the Final, an 8.17, but couldn't land his air 360 in the dying seconds of the heat for a back-up score to pull ahead.
Aside from placing second and qualifying for the CT, the 19-year-old also made a huge impression after nailing the highest single wave score of the day, a 9.77, in the first Quarterfinal for a blow tail reverse on the end section, which absolutely wowed the beach crowd.
"This will give me a lot of confidence, especially since I'm going to be on tour next year, beating guys like that on tour," said Colapinto of his fellow finalists.
"I'm lost for words almost, I don't know, I've gone through so much hard work, so much hard work with my parents," he said after realizing his ultimate goal of CT qualification. "My parents have invested so much time in me and I have to thank them a lot because we committed when I was 15. I also set goals. I think when I was 16 I said, ‘Alright I want to be in the 6,000's by the time I'm 16, and by the time I'm 17 I want to be in the 10,000's, and by the time I'm 19 I want to qualify.' So, I've nailed my goals on the spot, I'm so proud of that."
Although Toledo takes an early lead on the Vans Triple Crown title, he will be sitting the Vans World Cup out, which leaves the door open for Colapinto, Dantas and Bourez to earn their first title on hallowed grounds.
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Photo © WSL / Keoki Saguibo