Hobgood then took first blood in the final, a few ok waves went down and then the ocean went flat. Suddenly with 8 minutes remaining the local hero Joel Centeio grabbed a 9.33 with a solid barrel and jumped into first place. Hobgood almost matched it but the wave didn't play ball as a monster set washed through the lineup.
Alain Riou, having looked so strong previously did little to impress the judges with his shadow impression. Entering the final 4 minutes either of the top three could have taken the event with one decent score but Huey was feeling the local support and smiled on Joel.
"In the final I was going for first place, nothing else. Said Joel. There were some lulls and I just sat out the back. I was 50 yards away from those guys. I was praying for a set. Then that set came. I got that shack then heard all the friends and family cheering for me. When I came out of that barrel it was the best feeling ever and I had to throw the claim."
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