SUNSET BEACH, Hawaii - Sunset Beach local Marcus Hickman, 29, proved that quality surf like that on offer in the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing is all it takes to bring out the best in a surfer. While he predominately only competes in home waters, Hickman is well worthy of being on the international stage when conditions get big and perfect like they did today, coming in with wave face heights of 15-20 feet (5-6 metres).
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime O’Neill World Cup of Surfing is the second of three men’s events that comprise the annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. It is also the final event on the 2008 ASP WQS.
Hickman produced the highest single wave score, a 9.77, and the highest heat total of 17.94 points in the second-last heat of the day in Round 2. He is always a dominant force at Sunset when the waves get serious, but somehow he has never reached the winner’s dais in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Should the conditions stay big and challenging, he’ll be looking to finally set the record straight.
Nineteen year-old Dusty Payne (Maui) continued on today with the momentum that saw him reach the Final of the first event at Haleiwa last week. Payne posted the second-highest heat score of the day: 17.17 points out of 20, and advanced through two rounds.