Gaskell, Payne, Sullivan win first-round heats in Triple Crown opener
Kevin Sullivan of Lahaina also advanced to the second round of the season’s first Triple Crown event, which got under way Thursday in waves of 6-12 feet. All three Maui surfers remaining in the event are scheduled to compete today.
Wesley and Granger Larsen of Napili were eliminated in the first round, as was Ola Eleogram of Hana.
Gaskell had a score of 17.17 in his heat. Myles Padaca of Oahu was second with a 14.97. Eleogram (9.00) was third, followed by Takayuki Wakita (5.57) of Japan. Gaskell’s best wave was worth 9.00 points, third-best of the round.
”The waves are the nicest I’ve ever seen them at Haleiwa,” Gaskell said.
”Tough competition makes me try harder. It was a tough heat and I just got the best waves I could.”
Payne had a score of 16.00, second-best in the round, that included a single-wave score of 9.33. David Gonsalves (9.00) of Oahu was second, Alex Smith (6.60) of Kauai was third and Jack Perry (2.69) of Australia was fourth.
Sullivan won his heat with a 14.56. He was followed by France’s Eric Rebiere (14.00), California’s Shane Beschen (10.90) and Kauai’s Bruce Irons (10.34).
Granger Larsen had a 6.33 in his heat. Sebastien Zietz of Kauai won with a 13.50, Gilmar Silva of Brazil was second with a 10.84 and Romain Cloitre of France was third with a 10.03.
Wesley Larsen went scoreless in his heat. Oahu surfers took the top two spots – Daniel Jones had an 8.67, and Flynn Novak had a 6.83. Anthony Petruso of California was third with a 2.67.
In the second round, Payne is grouped with Makua Rothman and Mason Ho of Oahu and Australia’s Jarrad Sullivan. Gaskell’s heat will also include Brad Ettinger of California, Corey Ziems of Australia and Hugo Savalli of the French island of Reunion, located east of Madagascar. Kevin Sullivan will face Silva and South Africans Antonio Bortoletto and Rudy Palmboom.
Zietz had the best heat score of the day, an 18.27 in the second round. Chaz Chidester of Oahu had a single-wave score of 9.67 in his second-round heat.