The O’Neill World Cup Champion is C.J. Hobgood.
The day started with wave face heights of 12 feet which were scheduled to hit 25+ by midday for the final day of the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach.
Hobgood, 29, won the World Cup in clean 20- to 30-foot wave face heights, making Hobgood the first goofy-footer in 11 years to win at Sunset Beach – Australia’s Michael Romelese was the last goofy-foot to win at Sunset in 1997. Hobgood was lucky enough to grab the biggest wave in the 35-minute final and was absolutely blown away by his first place finish:
“That just shows you what Sunset can do. You just roll the dice, go out and sometimes Mother Nature is good to you and other times it just beats you down. There’s four guys out there, but you never really see your competitors the whole time. It’s Man versus Nature out there and that’s what makes Sunset so challenging and appealing.”
Australia’s Tom Whitaker, 29, finished runner-up. Whitaker was awed by the quality of surf Sunset Beach produced today: “It’s pretty much as dreamy as Sunset gets, it’s beautifully clean and really, really good sized,” he said.
Sunset Beach local, Marcus Hickman, 29, finished third with Jordy Smith of South Africa in fourth place. Smith posted a 10-point ride earlier in the day by getting a tube. He also posted the highest heat score of the contest – an 18.50 out of a possible 20 in the same round. The highest placed European was Eric Rebiere of France, who placed third in his heat in the round of 32 to finish equal 17th overall.
ASPWorldTour posted this video with the day’s highlights…
After this event, Dusty Payne (Hawaii) is ranked first for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing overall title. This year’s O’Neill World Cup of Surfing Champion C.J. Hobgood(USA) is second and Joel Parkinson (Australia) is in third. All three surfers will be competing at the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
The Billabong Pipeline Masters started today – Monday, 8th December – it’s a never-ending wave for these guys!