• The Kauai Red Raiders took early control of the standings with a 35-13 win over the Waimea Menehune Friday night at Hanapepe Stadium. Things now set up nicely for the defending KIF champs, who are at 2-0 after the season’s first round. The Kapaa Warriors sit at 1-1 with Waimea at 0-2.
It was again defense that led Kauai to the victory, as it held Waimea scoreless in the first half and gained a 21-0 lead at intermission. Through the first six quarters of KIF play, the Raider defense allowed just three points. The Menehune then got on the board and scored the first touchdown of the regular season against that Kauai defense.
Waimea has a chance to right the ship on its home turn again next week, when the Menehune host the Kapaa Warriors. That game will be the first Saturday afternoon action of the season, seeing a 2:30 p.m. varsity kickoff on Sept. 21. Both Kapaa and Waimea will be hoping to make the first step towards equaling Kauai at the top of the standings.
Kapaa won the first matchup between the two, topping Waimea 23-0 on Aug. 30.
• The 2013 Hurley Pro gets underway today at Lower Trestles in California. It’s the seventh of 10 stops for the men’s World Championship Tour season and it will likely impact the very close race for the season title.
After a second-place finish at the Billabong Pro Teahupoo, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater again holds the top spot in the rankings. Slater has a pair of event victories this year, starting with the season opener Quiksilver Pro in Queensland, Australia and another at the Volcom Fiji Pro. His second in Tahiti was his third final in the year’s first six events.
Mick Fanning is a close second after a semifinal berth at Teahupoo. The Australian is chasing his third ASP world title, having won the championship in 2007 and 2009. Fanning is certainly a favorite at Trestles, having finished no worse than Equal 5th every year since 2008, including a title in 2009.
The opening round will feature the usual format with 12 three-man heats, the winners all advancing directly to the third round while the other 24 surfers battle in man-on-man heats in round two.
Kauai’s Sebastian Zietz, who sits in 16th place for the season standings, will be paddling out with American CJ Hobgood and Brazil’s Raoni Monteiro. Zietz had his lowest result of the season at Teahupoo, taking an Equal 25th place to push him down five spots in the rankings.
Zietz has had some good results at Trestles in 6.0 Pro prime events and also won the 2008 Oakley Pro Junior, so he’s very familiar with the wave. It could be a good opportunity for Seabass to add a strong finish to his 2013 resume and keep working to secure that 2014 world tour bid.
• Press time hit before the Mayweather-Alvarez fight, so hopefully it lived up to the hype. For everything people have to say about Mayweather, there’s a reason the guy is nicknamed “Money.” Nobody has sold fights like him since Mike Tyson, despite Mayweather’s less aggressive style. He’s charismatic and watchable, so hopefully Saturday was worth it for anyone who got the pay-per-view.
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