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Zietz posted the first major win of his five-year pro surfing career here and has qualified for the 2013 ASP World Tour. Accounting for talent like John John Florence (HAW), Sunny Garcia (HAW), Julian Wilson (AUS) and Alejo Muniz (BRZ) along the way, Zietz earned $40,000 in prize money and now leads the 30th anniversary Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series ratings. "Coming into it I was definitely thinking I wanted to qualify (for the 2013 tour) but I never would have imagined I'd be in the running for the Triple Crown. Sunset's a tricky one for me. I've never really done good there, but I've never done too well at Haleiwa either, so hopefully this could be my year. If I get into Pipe, I'll be super ecstatic, I love surfing contests there." Zietz built incredible momentum through the rounds today and had won a good share of the 4,000-strong crowd by the time he secured a berth in the final against Florence, Fred Patacchia (HAW), and Muniz. With the rest of the fan base backing defending Vans Triple Crown champ Florence, it was game on for the final and Zietz was determined not to let it slip. He had his challengers on the ropes 20 minutes into the 35-minute final.© 2014 ASP/Cestari
Florence came back with a late charge that included a near-perfect 9.2-point ride with a reverse 360 air, only to see Zietz answer back with a 9.43. Florence knows he has positioned himself right where he needs to be to defend his Triple Crown title. With world title pressure far behind him, and reaping the benefits of experience that comes from a full year of elite level competition, the 20-year-old exudes quiet confidence and total satisfaction with his level of performance. "I'm just so happy for (Sebastian) to win and it looks like he's going to be on tour next year," said Florence. "It's always good to have another Hawaiian on tour, especially someone like him who's always positive and happy and making everyone laugh. "I feel like each year I learn more and more on the tour with these older guys. Each heat I go into I learn something new and every time I lose it's just another learning point, really. You just can't make mistakes against those guys or you're gonna lose." On being in position to defend his Vans Triple Crown title that offers the bonus $100,000 this year: "You know, the extra money is always good, you're really stoked on that, but I think the prestige of actually winning the Triple Crown is really the main thing."© 2014 ASP/Cestari
Welcome to the plateau. It's where we gather to watch Yago Dora soar above our heads.
These are the fortunate few. Many epic sessions have fallen by the wayside, victims to our ruthless monthly culls, but the results are wondrous to behold.
Patagonia is a challenging lover, said the English novelist, Bruce Chatwin. It haunts you, it bewitches you, it wraps you in its arms and does not let you go.
Welcome to the winners' podium. The cream of February lies before you in four spectacular Atlantic sessions, big barrels being the theme.
The symbiosis of surfer and winter. The Astray Collective and Finisterre bring you a short narrated by Matt Smith and produced by Mickey Smith