Held at the iconic Sunset Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing Finals have now finished up and proved to be an extremely exciting competition, with some surprising upsets such as Kelly Slater being knocked out of the running in the semifinals of the competition. The winter season barrel sets were coming in hard and heavy at Sunset Beach, and they definitely gave the competing surfers an excellent template for executing the best surfing they were capable of bringing out. Many of the professional surfers competing in this event seemed to be loving the way the waves were breaking, as they were both clean, rolling breaks, and also breaks that had a lot of size and speed.
Double to triple overhead was a normal break at the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing, and some of the breaks were certainly kind of intimidating in terms of the extreme mass they were carrying. The pros at the 2016 Vans World Cup handled them expertly though, and some of the most amazing blasts, cutbacks, check turns, and barrels were seen during this event. Given that the breaks in Hawaii tend to be long-period, clean breaking waves, this gives competitors the ability to really get barreled for extended duration, which makes for some really fun to watch surfing. Although Hawaii tends to be a more sunny and tropical location in terms of weather, the winter doldrums seemed to be set in heavily over the Sunset Beach setting during the 2016 Vans World Cup with severe overcast and chilly temps during the event.
In spite of the somewhat dreary weather conditions, the strong wave breaks gave the competitors a lot to work with during the competition and allowed for some truly top-notch surfing to take place. Surfers from all around the world ended up showing up to compete in the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing, making this competition a truly international professional surfing showcase. Hawaiian breaks tend to be a favorite for many surfers, due to their amazingly long break duration and hollow barrels, and Sunset Beach definitely did not disappoint this year at the Vans World Cup. For the benefit of surfing fans and enthusiasts all over the world, a competition summary of the winner and podium finishers at the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing will now be provided below.
1st Place – Jordy Smith – South Africa:
Taking the first place finish at the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing was South African professional surfer Jordy Smith. Starting out with his performance in the quarterfinal round, Jordy was already looking like a major contender to win the competition. Out of a field of four competitors in Heat 4, Quarterfinals, Jordy Smith ended up placing first with a final heat scoring total of 14.67 points. With his score of 14.67 he only narrowly was able to defeat Heat 4, Quarterfinals runner-up J. Andre who came in with a scoring total of 14.60, so this was a narrow and critical heat victory for Jordy Smith. Jordy’s Wave 1 scoring in the series during Heat 4, Quarterfinals came in at 6.00 points, which wasn’t exactly a dominant score by any means. However, he was able to salvage his heat when his Wave 2 scoring came in at 8.67, which was the highest wave score of any surfer in his heat. That put him up and over into first place in his heat, where the average wave score was 6.62 points overall.
Heading into the semifinals, Jordy really started to hit the accelerator and put up some amazing scores, although he was admittedly inconsistent in his semifinals scoring. This is to say that while he earned an insanely high (the highest wave score in the entire semifinals) Wave 1 scoring at 9.50 points, he choked a bit when it came to the Wave 2 scoring when he earned a 4.93 points score. Even with his mistakes in the Wave 2 performance, Jordy Smith was still able to salvage his round total in Heat 2, Semifinals with an overall score of 14.43 points. His 14.43 point semifinal scoring total was enough to comfortably beat out the Heat 2, Semifinals runner-up, Torrey Meister, by a margin of almost one and a half points. The average wave scoring in Heat 2, Semifinals came in at 5.34, which was sort of a median average compared to the range of other average wave scores during the entire duration of the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing.
As the competition began to wrap up in Heat 1, Finals, Jordy Smith was in a great position as he went up against Frederico Morais, Torrey Meister, and Tanner Gudauskas to see who would win the 2016 Vans World Cup. Things got slightly more difficult for Jordy Smith, however, at the conclusion of his Wave 1 scoring. He was only able to bring in a 6.33 point score for Wave 1, and while this is not a bad score by any means, he was going to need to do better than that if he expected to bring home the title. Especially since Frederico Morais was hot on his trail after Wave 1 scoring revealed an 8.23 point score for Morais.
This meant Jordy was going to have to pull out a major performance in his Wave 2 scoring, and he was able to do just that. Earning an 8.73 point score for his Wave 2 performance, Jordy Smith managed to pull off the first place victory at the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing with a total score of 15.06 points when it was all said and done. Frederico never gave up by any means, and actually came quite close to knocking Jordy Smith out of the first place spot given that Frederico lost to Jordy by a margin of less than one point. Truly an exciting and closely contested final round, the average wave score there was 6.00 points overall.
2nd Place – Frederico Morais – Portugal:
Taking home the second place runner-up spot at the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing competition, Frederico Morais did everything within his power as a professional surfer to unseat Jordy Smith from first place. Beginning with his performance in the quarterfinals, Frederico was already looking very promising in this competition when he was able to bring in the single highest score of the entire quarterfinal round. With two extremely well-executed wave performances, Frederico Morais kicked off his Heat 1, Quarterfinals performance with a relatively towering 8.00 scoring value.
The only person even close to challenging Frederico in Heat 1, Quarterfinals turned out to be Hawaiian surfer Koa Smith, when he brought in a 7.17 pointer for his Wave 1 score. That challenge fell flat however, when Koa choked in his Wave 2 performance and was only able to bring in a 3.77 point score, while Frederico Morais ended up earning another solid score with a Wave 2 value of 7.20 points. When it was all said and done in Heat 1, Quarterfinals, Frederico Morais scored a heat total of 15.20 points, handily beating his competitors by a margin of four points. The average wave scoring came out to be 6.04 points in Heat 1, Quarterfinals, and a lot of that average had to do with Frederico’s high 15.20 scoring total.
Although the semifinals were not quite as well-surfed by Frederico Morais as his quarterfinal performance turned out to be in terms of scoring, he still managed to do quite well and again took the first place slot in Heat 1, Semifinals. Starting out with the Wave 1 round of scoring in the semifinals, Frederico managed to bring in a 6.23 point score which was the second highest Wave 1 score in Heat 1, Semifinals behind Tanner Gudauskas’s 8.43 point Wave 1 score. After the Wave 1 scoring was in for Heat 1, Semifinals, it looked as though Frederico might be bumped back a few spots, but those assumptions were proved wrong when Gudauskas had a poor Wave 2 scoring at 4.50 points and Frederico upped his game into a 7.00 Wave 2 scoring total.
If Gudauskas had not made mistakes in his Wave 2 performance, it would have been likely that he would end up the first place finisher in Heat 1, Semifinals. However, Frederico Morais hit the accelerator in Wave 2 and that earned him a total semifinal scoring total of 13.23 compared to Gudauskas who brought in a 12.93 in Heat 1, Semifinals. In this way, it was an extremely close call between the two competitors with Morais only taking first in the heat by a margin of less than half a point. The average wave score in Heat 1, Semifinals came in at 5.82, brought down by several quite low Wave scores in the heat.
With regard to Frederico Morais and his final round performance, he started out very strong and it looked as though he might actually end up winning the entire 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing. This was not meant to be, however, given that he couldn’t hold it together in his Wave 2 performance and as a result was knocked down into second place by Jordy Smith. Morais started off very strong indeed in the finals, with an initial Wave 1 scoring value of 8.23 points, the second highest Wave score in the entire final round. At that point he was leading by a decent margin, but simply was not able to remain consistent into his last Wave performance of the entire competition when he came in with a Wave 2 scoring of 5.87 points overall.
In light of these two wave scores taken together, Frederico Morais finished out the competition with a Heat 1, Finals scoring total of 14.10 points and a second place result. This turned out to be a very narrow loss to competitor Jordy Smith, with less than one single point separating the two professional surfing titans by the end of the contest. While this cannot have been an easy loss for Frederico considering how close he was to winning, and how well-positioned he was to take down Jordy Smith, it was still a solid performance at will do well for his 2016 World Surf League rankings and overall season scoring. The average wave scoring in the finals was 6.00 points overall.
3rd Place – Torrey Meister – Hawaii:
Rounding out the podium in third place at the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing, Hawaiian surfer Torrey Meister did somewhat poorly in the finals after a much stronger performance within the earlier stages of the competition. Torrey actually had the second highest scoring total within the quarterfinals, where he competed in the third heat of that round. Within Heat 3, Quarterfinals, Torrey Meister put up a rather average Wave 1 scoring value at 5.00 points, and at that point was in no position to do anything terribly amazing in terms of final scoring.
He managed to turn all that around however, when he put up one of the highest single wave scores of the entire 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing with a Wave 2 scoring value of 9.93 points. This had the fans and judges going absolutely nuts at the competition, and it was honestly one of the most perfect rides of the entire event. With his massively redemptive 9.93 point Wave 2 scoring value under his belt, Torrey Meister was able to take the first place slot in Heat 3, Quarterfinals with a total of 14.93 points overall. Meister was able to beat out his runner-up in that heat by a margin of just over one point, and got himself into a solid position to continue competing in the semifinals. The average wave scoring in Heat 3, Quarterfinals came out to a total of 5.62 points.
Although his consistency wasn’t exactly there in the quarterfinals, Torrey Meister was definitely consistent in terms of his semifinals performance. Meister competed in Heat 2, Semifinals, where he went up against the likes of Jordy Smith, Kelly Slater, and Jadson Andre who were all competing fiercely for who would advance up into the final round. Torrey began his Heat 2, Semifinals performance with an initial Wave 1 scoring value of 6.17 points, delivering a solid yet not extremely impressive or unique performance.
He upped the ante a little bit for his Wave 2 scoring, delivering a 6.87 point value that brought his heat total up to 13.04 points overall. That simply was not enough to earn him the number one spot in Heat 2, Semifinals, especially since Jordy Smith was able to bring in a whopping 9.50 Wave 1 score that put him up and over in the semis. Although Torrey missed the number one spot in Heat 2, Semifinals by a margin of almost one and a half points, he was still effectively positioned to compete in the final round of the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing. The average wave scoring in Heat 2, Semifinals was not terribly high at 5.34 points overall.
Heading into Heat 1 of the final round within the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, Torrey Meister really seemed to kind of run out of gas and lose his edge. In spite of this kind of running out of gas, Torrey was still able to take third place and round out the podium, which definitely represents a big achievement for his 2016 season. Torrey did rather poorly starting out with his Wave 1 performance in the finals, given that he was only able to earn a 4.77 point score for that wave performance. He was going to need a lot more than that to advance beyond third place in Heat 1, Finals, and when his Wave 2 performance and scoring came around he was still unable to hit the gas and bring in a high point value. His Wave 2 scoring was only a slight improvement over the Wave 1 value, bringing in a 5.17 pointer for that wave. This gave Torrey Meister a 9.94 point total in the finals, and consequently his third place finish. There was a more than four point margin between Meister and the second place runner-up Frederico Morais, to give an idea of how relatively low Meister’s scoring turned out the be in the finals, where the average wave score was 6.00 points.