Lighter winds, clear skies, and a solid swell greeted competitors on Day Three of the eighth annual Sunset Beach Pro, the inaugural season opener for the new APP World Tour. With an opportunity to advance into the late rounds on the line, stakes were high as the world’s best paddlers faced off against each other in the formidable arena.
After two days of wild and woolly early-round action, Round Three for the men and women featured both memorable performances and surprise eliminations. These started early when American Sean Poynter failed to make it out of the first heat of the day, narrowly knocked out by Brazilian Carlos Bahia. Other notable paddlers to have their hopes dashed in Round Three included Denmark’s Casper Steinfath, Australia’s Kai Bates, and Florida brothers Kieran and Fisher Grant.
Tahitian title-threat Poenaiki Raioha once again notched the highest heat score of the day, this time with a 17.7. Other top performances were turned in by the trio of Maui boys—Kai Lenny, Bernd Roediger and Kody Kerbox—who are all looking to bring the Sunset Beach Pro title back to Hawaii.
Day Three Video Highlights
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the women put on a great show in their semi-final round. While usual suspects Izzi Gomez and Shakira Westdorp made it out of the first semi heat with little contention, Fiona Wylde had to edge out both Mariko Lum and Lara Claydon by fractions of a point to join Brazilian big-wave charger Nicole Pacelli for the stacked final to come.
While competition has been on hold since last Friday, a large, long-period NW swell has arrived just in time for what promises to be a thrilling final day of action tomorrow. The webcast starts at 10AM PST, so make sure to stay tuned to SUP Magazine for all the in-depth coverage, videos and photos from the 2017 Sunset Beach Pro.
More 2017 Sunset Beach Coverage