Joel Centeio wins Hawaiian Pro; Nate Yeomans qualifies for 2010 World Tour
Local knowledge and a Houdini-like performance on an eight-foot barrel helped propel Joel Centeio to victory in the Reef Hawaiian Pro surf contest at Haleiwa on Oahu's North Shore.
Centeio, 26, a Haleiwa resident, prevailed in the four-man final largely on the merit of his long tube ride, which received a score of 9.33 out of a possible 10. He won with a best-two-waves score of 14.76, and the victory makes him $20,000 richer and the early leader in the Triple Crown of Surfing series race.
That race now moves to Sunset Beach and will conclude at the fabled Banzai Pipeline.
"It's the best thing that's ever happened to me," a jubilant Centeio said, moments after emerging from the water. "It's a dream come true to win here at my home break."
Centeio defeated C.J. Hobgood, Australia's Jay Thompson and Tahiti's Alain Riou in the final after a marathon Monday session that began with the Round of 32.
Also celebrating is San Clemente's Nathan Yeomans, who by reaching the quarterfinals of the ASP World Qualifying Series contest earned enough points to qualify for the 2010 ASP World Tour. Yeomans climbed to No. 7 in the WQS standings with one contest remaining: the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach.
(The Billabong Pipeline Masters is a World Tour event and will decide this year's world champion.)
While the triumph catapulted Centeio from 131st to 51st on the WQS, he cannot qualify for the 2010 World Tour.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Joel Centeio ducks beneath the lip of a wave at Haleiwa. The subsequent barrel ride earned the surfer a score of 9.33 and helped him win the Reef Hawaiian Pro. Credit: Bernie Baker / Triple Crown of Surfing
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