Sunday Surf Report: Moniz flies up leaderboard with first-ever QS win

Josh Moniz jumped 146 spots in the rankings by winning the first-ever Martinique Surf Pro on Saturday in the Caribbean. As a Team Hawaii regular and one of the world’s top juniors, Moniz makes his way all the way to 14th place in the Men’s Qualifying Series rankings with the 3,000 points awarded to him. The top 10 will earn a spot on the Championship Tour at year’s end, so the young Moniz may find himself entering more QS events than he had anticipated with the possibility of qualifying now a reality.

The Martinique title is his first-ever QS victory, though he had plenty of momentum coming off his win at last month’s Pipeline Pro Junior.

Not many of Hawaii’s hopefuls made the trip to the French West Indies, but Moniz represented well, topping South Africa’s Michael February in the final. He started quickly and never looked back, picking up a quick 9.07 on his first wave and going on to notch the 17.94 to 16.10 win. February kept pushing and found some good waves towards the tail end of the heat, but it wasn’t enough to catch the youngster from Oahu.

His fellow island mate Kiron Jabour made a solid run of his own, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to Peru’s Miguel Tudela. The points from his result propel Jabour 61 spots up the rankings to 40th in the world.

Kauai’s Kaimana Jaquias was one of just two Garden Isle competitors in the field. He finished with an Equal 33rd result after a third place in the Round of 32. It does give him a small bump in the standings as he moves up to 75th for the season.

Chris Foster was Kauai’s other surfer, taking an Equal 65th place with a Round of 96 elimination.

Ian Gentil reached the Round of 32, but Kona Oliveira, Ulu Napeahi, Joao Marco Maffini, Kekoa Cazimero, Luke Shepardson, Eala Stewart and Makai McNamara each fell in the early rounds.

Big names set for Oakley Lowers Pro

The opportunity to surf Lower Trestles with a small lineup is bringing out the heavyweights. The 10,000 points and $250,000 prize purse probably isn’t hurting its cause as the Oakley Lowers Pro opens up Tuesday in California.

Kauai’s Sebastian Zietz is among a large number of CT competitors who will be in the QS10,000 field, so the QS hopefuls will have to beat the big boys to earn big points. But the top seeds won’t have much time to smile on the sidelines. All the competitors get going in the Round of 96.

Kelly Slater, Filipe Toledo, Kolohe Andino, Jeremy Flores, Jordy Smith and Adam Melling are just some of the CT regulars getting into the action, along with Hawaii’s Dusty Payne, Freddy Patacchia and Keanu Asing.

Mason Ho leads a strong crew of Hawaii surfers hoping to step up to that level, along with Sunny Garcia, Torrey Meister, Tanner Hendrickson, Granger Larsen and Ian Walsh.

Zietz has a tough first-round lineup as he goes up against South Africa’s Beyrick De Vries, Brazil’s Heitor Alves and German Marlon Lipke.

The elite mixture of those fighting for a CT spot, those fighting to keep their CT spot and those just fighting for some good waves should make for a great contest at one of the most surfer-friendly spots on tour. Surfline is projecting some better swell for the final few days of the contest waiting period which only runs through Saturday.

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David Simon can be reached at dsimon@thegardenisland.com.

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