Lennox Head surfer Adam Melling literally has the world at his feet as the winner of the World Cup of Surfing which was held on Sunset Beach, Hawaii, on Wednesday local time.
Melling, 27, needed a top-two finish in the four-man final to re-qualify for next year’s world tour and in winning the US$250,000 VANS World Cup he has retained a position on the ASP World Tour for 2013, pocketed US$40,000 and moved to equal second on the VANS Triple Crown series ratings.
Melling found himself in the final against Sebastien Zietz (Kauai) – the recent winner of the REEF Hawaiian Pro (the first stop of the $1million Vans Triple Crown of Surfing); Brazilian wunderkind Gabriel Medina; and fellow Australian Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan (Central Coast, NSW). He was up against the wall, knowing he needed a win or a second to get the points he needed to requalify.
Zietz ran away with an early lead after a 7.67 tube ride. Melling was afraid he had peaked too soon, surfing ‘the perfect heat’ in the quarter-finals that earned him the highest score of the entire competition: 18.4 points out of 20 (9.4 and 9.0 wave scores).
But glassy smooth 6–8-foot surf prevailed and so did Melling’s powerful level of performance. Digging deeply, he turned the tables on Zietz just minutes before the close with a near-perfect ride (9.33) that featured four gouging turns. He shot from third to first. But with seconds remaining, Medina paddled into a game changer, got barreled and cleanly exited. Melling was left floating, waiting for Medina’s score to drop, not enough to steal the win, but enough to take second, relegating Zietz to third and Buchan to fourth.
Round of 32
H1: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.57pts; Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 11.13pts; Glenn Hall (IRL) 6.40pts; Chris Ward (USA) 5.70pts.
H2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.03pts; Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 10.54pts; Julian Wilson (AUS) 3.93pts; Travis Logie (ZAF) 2.33pts.
H3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.63pts; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 13.16pts; Taylor Knox (USA) 11.66pts; Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.37pts.
H4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.60pts; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.10pts; Kelly Slater (USA) 9.60pts; Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.94pts.
H5: Perth Standlick (AUS) 17.23pts; Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 13.43pts; John John Florence (HAW) 11.44pts; Nat Young (USA) 9.67pts.
H6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.03pts; Brett Simpson (USA) 11.17pts; Billy Kemper (HAW) 8.94pts; CJ Hobgood (USA) 6.50pts.
H7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.97pts; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.76pts; Marc Lacomare (FRA) 9.43pts; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 8.20pts.
H8: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.10pts; Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.17pts; Kai Otton (AUS) 10.63pts; Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.33pts.
H1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.44pts; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.86pts; Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.70; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.57pts.
H2: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 15.80pts; Adrien Buchan (AUS) 14.26pts; Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 13.86pts; Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.87pts.
H3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.54pts; Perth Standlick (AUS) 10.83pts; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.33pts; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 5.47pts.
H4: Adam Melling (AUS) 18.40pts; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.94pts; Brett Simpson (USA) 15.70pts; Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 10.13pts.
H1: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 13.00pts; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.03pts; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.67pts; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 7.30pts.
H2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.00pts; Adam Melling (AUS) 10.34pts; Perth Standlick (AUS) 8.26pts; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.33pts.
1st – Adam Melling (AUS) 16.16pts, $40,000;
2nd – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.67pts, $20,000;
3rd – Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 13.70pts, $12,000;
4th – Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.26pts, $10,000.
The Vans Triple Crown rating after two of three events –
1 Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 10,950;
=2 Adam Melling (AUS) 7,200;
=2 Alejo Muniz (BRZ) 7,200;
=4 John John Florence (HAW) 6,500;
=4. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6,500.
For more information, visit the ASP website: www.aspworldtour.com.