Boom-shakalaka! Photo: WSL/Heff
Wade Carmichael Qualifies (Score!) and Conner Coffin Wins Sunset
The second karat off Kam Highway.
The second jewel of the Triple Crown has been stolen and I hardly caught a second of it. Sunset’s not my favorite wave to watch in the first place, but today I was busy at a contest of my own. Or, not really my own, but my team’s. I spent the day standing on the cliff at Steamer Lane, screaming UCSD kids into damn good waves. It was more enjoyable than it sounds.
After eight hours on the cliff I had an unsuccessful surf followed quick shower, then jumped straight onto the WSL app. I was overjoyed to discover the final was just beginning.
After recovering from overjoyedness, I found myself befuddled by the names in Sunset's final four. Wade Carmichael. Conner Coffin. Kolohe Andino. Griffin Colapinto. Qualified. Winner. No beard. Triple crown champ? Three Calis and and Aussie. Boo-ya!
The best turn of the heat was a toss-up between Wade and Kolohe. The former unleashed a rapid pocket-rotation that sent cauldrons of spray toward Monster Mush. The latter did a frontside-lipper-turned-fin-drift back into a curvaceous bowl. Strider prefered Wade’s. I dug Kolohe’s. Meanwhile Griff surfed a safe-7 and Conner knifed a sizey wall in conjunction with a frothy tube.
In the closing minutes, all four surfers were within striking distance of victory. Griffin and Kolohe needed a 6 while Wade required an 8. Despite Kolohe’s last-second effort, Conner held onto the win and cemented his place in power surfing history. Dude knows how to set a rail.
The Triple Crown
I don’t have the official standings on hand, but I do know my boy Griff is in the lead, so the WSL better give him that wildcard into Pipe. Which reminds me, Kolohe said something interesting after the final: “I think I’m in second (in the Triple Crown), and I’ve got one of my little... sidekick buddies right in front of me,” he recounted to Kaipo. ...Little sidekick buddy? The disrespect! This statement sheds light on the intensity of San Clemente’s battle for dominance. Kolohe, the old king, fidgets nervously on his throne as a strapping Colapinto storms the castle, QS title and perhaps a Triple Crown in hand. It’ll be fun to see how this plays out over the next few years. Also WSL please put Griffin in Pipe.
Barron Mamiya (Winner of the 2017 Triple Crown Rookie of the Year)
At 17-years old, Barron demonstrated to the field what manhandling Sunset looks like -- on a relative toothpick of a surfboard, no less. The sections Barron hit and the careless aggression with which he hit them was startling. He seems to be one of the rare types that's genuinely indifferent to his body's well-being. When combined with freakish talent, this trait has been known to facilitate never-before-seen greatness. Let's give him a couple years and see if he can maintain this steady rate of ascension.
As of this moment, we can be certain that the following people have qualified for the CT:
Now, it’s likely that Kanoa (Consistent) and Italo (Duh?) will qualify through the CT (depending on their results at Pipe), meaning their QS seed would be gifted to the next highest ranker. Those slots would be filled respectively by Michael Rodrigues and Patrick Gudauskas. I'm not mad at that order.