Michael Dunphy (USA) wins the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Vans Pro with Kaito Kino taking 1st place in the ASP 2-star Vans Pro Junior. Today's action saw competitors raising the bar in high performance 3-4 ft. wind swell at 1st Jetty.
Virginia Beach native Michael Dunphy claimed the Men's Final in good form, but was not without a challenge. Luke Davis (USA) and Deivid Silva (BRA) also battled for the lead, with non-stop exchanges of long rides, connecting turns all the way to the beach. Silva seemed to have the lead solidified with a huge backside blast that earned him a 7.93 for the single maneuver. But, as time ticked away Dunphy found the score he was looking for, tearing apart a long right-hander that dropped in at an 8.57, leaving Luke Davis and [Hiroto Arai]/athletes/2317/hiroto-arai) (JPN) in a combination situation, and Deivid Silva needing a near-perfect 9.57. After a flurry of waves, none of the other surfers could catch the hometown hero, and as the final horn blew Michael Dunphy claimed the win in a dramatic fashion.
â€œI was just really relaxed all week, and stayed calm in the Final, knowing that I could win if I got the right waves. To win in front of my friends and my family, when I've been doing this contest for so long,is the best feeling ever. It's crazy. Last year I was putting so much pressure on myself and I didn't get the results. So, this year I have just been trying to relax and have fun with it and it's been working. I am just so stoked I don't even want to leave the beach right now.â€
Dunphy is the first Virginia Beach native to win ECSC in 33 years, since Wes Laine won back in 1981. The regular-footer walked away with $15,000, 1,000 Qualifying Series points, and the pride of a long awaited win on his home turf.
Runner-up Deivid Silva (BRA) had an amazing event and was in form throughout the Final day. Finishing runner-up in this event in 2013, Silva was out for one better all week, but in the end he was left chasing a huge score when time ran out.
Luke Davis (USA), who also held the lead at one point in the final, will walk away with a solid 3rd place finish to back up his maiden ASP victory at the 4-Star Surf Open Acapulco back in July.
â€œI wanted to win this event really bad, but if it wasn't going to be me I would have picked Dunphy.â€ Explained Davis, â€œHe was the in-form surfer all week and was definitely the one to beat.â€
Kaito Kino (HAW) took the win in the Vans Pro Junior with a solid 16.67 two-wave total in the Final, scoring a 9.50 on a big right-hander where he blasted three powerful turns out the back. The Hawaiian ripper overtook Cooper Chapman (AUS) with that wave and held the lead until time expired.
â€œI'm so stoked, that was insane. I just felt in rhythm in the Final and waves just kept coming to me. I wasn't sure how I was doing because I couldn't hear anything with the wind, but I knew I had one good wave, and then at the end I just heard that I got first. This win brings my confidence up so much and hopefully I can get to the World Junior Championships and do well there.â€
This event in Virginia Beach is Kino's last regional Junior event of his career, and he has made sure to finish with a bang. Without major sponsorship, the Honolulu local will earn a crucial 1,000 points in the Junior Series and some serious momentum going into the World Junior Championships.
Cooper Chapman (AUS) finished just behind Kino in the Junior Final with a solid display of smooth technical surfing. Chapman scored a perfect 10-point ride in the Semi-Final, but just couldn't keep it going in the Final.
â€œI haven't really been making that many heats this year on the QS (Qualifying Series), so I came over here and decided to surf the Juniors to get some confidence back up. Putting up some big scores and making some heats just really helps with building confidence in my surfing. At least now I know that my surfing is still there if I get the right waves, so I look forward to the next couple events.â€