WCT bonus to Melling's Sunset win
LENNOX Head surfer Adam Melling has clinched the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach in Hawaii and with it enough ASP points to seal a return to the World Championship Tour next year.
Melling, a member of the Le-Ba club, emerged triumphant with the top-scoring wave in the dying minutes of a thrilling, action-packed final yesterday.
"I haven't had too much luck this year but felt like my surfing's been the best it's ever been, so hopefully I don't put myself in this position ever again," Melling said of his requalification for the WCT big league.
"I don't know why it comes to this but on tour it's definitely hard.
"It's only 32 guys and they want it so bad and they all surf so good.
"Pipe's next. Pressure's definitely off and it's a bit of a relief because that wave's pretty big and scary sometimes."
Following up on his win at the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, Sebastian Ziets was on fire early in the final, locking into a high-scoring barrel and almost completing a second, even better, tube ride.
Australian Ace Buchan was unable to find a strong early score but, 20 minutes into the 35-minute contest, Melling, Buchan and Gabriel Medina had all locked in solid six-plus scores to put themselves in contention if a good second score came their way.
Ziets tried to defend his early lead, taking off on anything that looked promising but in the closing minutes Buchan showed the way by finding a high-scoring wave followed by a scorcher from Melling and a small barrel ride by Medina.
The four surfers waited as the final buzzer sounded and with a 9.33 to Medina's 8.17 and Buchan's 7.13, Melling was crowned the 2012 champion.
"Waking up this morning I was like, 'this comp is going to be over today and I really want to be on that podium'," Melling said after the win.
His all-out attack and scintillating turns found him with the highest wave score of the final - 9.33.
"I saw Melling get that wave and I already knew it was the score (to win)," Ziets said.
"He blew it up super hard and I knew he only needed a six.
"But I'm still super happy. Melling is a friend of mine and I'm stoked that he won it. I'm still over the moon. I have two finals in a row and I can't ask for much more."
Surfing fans now turn their attention to the Billabong Pipe Masters starting on Saturday, with the iconic event to decide the three-way world championship tussle between Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater.