Hawaii surfers advance at Xcel
Despite the bad weather on Oahu, the second of three total competition days for the 24th annual Xcel Pro was held yesterday in clean and large 10- to 18-foot-face surf at Sunset Beach.
The Xcel serves as the kickoff event to the famed big-wave competition season on Oahu's North Shore. Round 2 and 12 of 16 heats in Round 3 were completed, with Kauai's Roy Powers among those advancing to Round 4 after posting a 9.43 (out of 10 maximum) tally for a deep and successful barrel ride -- the top wave of the day.
Other Hawaii surfers to win their third-rounders included former world champion Sunny Garcia and 2005 Xcel champ Ian Walsh. Defending Xcel champ Evan Valiere of Kauai and current World Qualifying Series No. 1 Jordy Smith of South Africa also advanced after placing second in their third-round heats. Conditions permitting, the Xcel's last day could be held today, but the waiting period runs through Nov. 10.