Maui Surfer Cole Alves Claims Vans Pro Junior Crown
The World Surf League (WSL) crowned Mauiʻs own Cole Alves as the winner of the Vans Pro Junior competition on Saturday, Aug. 25. WSL said a slight rise in swells made for a finals day packed with explosive surfing from Alves. This is Alves’ first-ever WSL win making it back-to-back Hawaiʻi wins in the North America region.
Alves earned his maiden WSL chair after a comeback victory over Tyler Gunter, Nick Marshall (USA), and the sole East Coast representative Bo Raynor (USA). Heading into the dying minutes, Alves was in need of a 5.74 and the Atlantic Ocean came to his aid when needed most. WSL said the 17-year-old was given a golden opportunity and he didn’t let it go to waste, opening up with a solid air-reverse that he was able to spin out of before laying into multiple, forehand power turns to earn a near-perfect 9.17.
The score left Gunter in need of a 9.50 with just over two minutes remaining. Despite not earning points out of region, Alves garnered some points by making it to Round 4 of the Men’s Qualifying Series event and now heads south to North Carolina with renewed vigor.
“I’m so stoked to represent for Hawai’i again after some of the guys have won this one,” Alves said. “I feel like this is my breakthrough event after never really doing well in any contests. To make a few heats in the Men’s QS then to win this, I’m speechless. That wave came out of nowhere and I knew I only needed a 5-point score, but I wanted to push it because I could’ve left the door open for a guy like Tyler (Gunter) who’s been on fire. Now I’ll go to the Outer Banks for that QS 1,000 and I feel like I’ve built a lot of confidence in my surfing this week heading there.”
Vans Pro Junior Final Results:
1st place- Cole Alves (HAW) 16.00
2nd place- Tyler Gunter (USA) 12.57 750 points
3rd place- Nick Marshall (USA) 11.27 560 points
4th place- Bo Raynor (USA) 9.54 525 points
Vans Pro Junior Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Tyler Gunter (USA) 12.77, Nick Marshall (USA) 10.66, Wyatt McHale (HAW) 9.93, Taro Watanabe (USA) 5.57
SF 2: Cole Alves (HAW) 12.47, Bo Raynor (USA) 10.97, Chase Modelski (USA) 10.83, Robert Grilho (HAW) 7.14
More information on the World Surf League can be found on their website.