By Diane Ako
On the heels of the first major winter swell to hit the Hawaiian Islands, the HIC PRO presented by VANS will launch the 2012/13 North Shore big wave winter competition season today, October 29, running through November 10. The HIC PRO is a $95,000 4-star rated Association of Surfing Professionals event.
A vital launching pad for local rising surf stars, the HIC PRO is a local qualifier for the 30th Anniversary $1million Vans Triple Crown of Surfing that will follow from November 12 through December 20.
A total of 144 surfers from 13 nations will compete in the HIC PRO, with a 50 per cent representation by local Hawaii surfers. The 4-star rating of the event makes it a critical source of ASP ratings points for all who have entered. Athletes will come from as far away as Argentina, France, and Australia.
The defending champion of the HIC PRO is Ezekiel Lau - a junior-aged surfer who just this week placed second in the ASP World Junior Championships in Bali. The newly crowned ASP World Junior champion - Australia's Jack Freestone - is also entered into the event.
Other notable HIC PRO contenders include Hawaii's Sebastian Zietz, 6-time Vans Triple Crown champion Sunny Garcia, former HIC Pro champions Billy Kemper, Pancho Sullivan and Myles Padaca, and Maui's Ian Walsh and Clay Marzo. International contenders include #1 seed Jean De Silva (Brazil), former world champion Mark Occhilupo (Australia), and Joan Duru (France).
The HIC PRO will be webcast live at www.vans.com/hicpro, and broadcast on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawaii and on the US West Coast:
Hawaii: Channels 250 & 1250HD - depending upon Coldwater Classic World Tour event broadcast priority. Full live coverage from 10/29/12 - 11/2/12, and tape delay coverage from 11/2/12 through 11/10/12.
Los Angeles, San Diego, Desert Cities: delayed broadcast, sunday, 12/2/12
Delayed broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsNet (check local listings)
HIC (Hawaiian Island Creations) is a locally owned and operated retail chain since 1971 that includes eleven stores across Oahu, Maui and Hawaii and two in Japan. Vans is a footwear and apparel company that supports and promotes surfing and surfers.