The first huge swell of the Hawaiian winter arrived Tuesday and will likely see the HIC Pro presented by Vans get underway Wednesday, October 28, the first day of the event's holding period. The official local qualifier for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the HIC Pro is a critical event for Hawaii surfers, as it determines nine additional places for local athletes to compete in the world's most prestigious surfing series.
Tuesday's victory-at-sea conditions should gradually subside for contestable surf tomorrow, followed by a potentially larger swell filling in late Thursday, peaking Friday. Wave face heights Tuesday exceeded 30 feet.
Danny Fuller (HAW), the HIC Pro defending champ, returns this year to uphold his title and qualify to compete on the world's main surfing stage this winter. The 33-year-old professional surfer from Kauai has spent the year traveling to promote his photography, but is looking to tap into his competitive side to perform at the powerful and challenging waves of Sunset Beach.
"For the past few months I've surfed as much as possible," said Fuller. "Preparing myself for the winter, doing a bit of physical training...my boards feel really good and I feel good. I'm just ready to get this winter started, and considering the waves are breaking on the horizon at this moment, we couldn't get it started in any better fashion."
Hawaiian athletes dominate the 112-man HIC Pro field this year, making up 55 percent of the field. The youngest Hawaiian surfer, Finn McGill, is competing at the HIC Pro for the first time this year at just 15 years old.
"I have been practicing a lot lately," said McGill. "Even when it's 2-foot Sunset Point I've been trying to go out on my big boards and feel them out and try to get ready for this comp."
With consistent pulses of big surf lined up for this week, the HIC Pro could complete its three days of competition by the close of the weekend. Vans Triple Crown Contest Director, Marty Thomas, will make the competition call at 7:30am each morning.