By Andrea Swayne
Kolohe Andino of San Clemente was crowned champion of the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing on Saturday (Sunday, Feb. 15 Australia time) at Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia.
Andino turned in high-scoring and high-flying performances throughout the World Surf League Qualifying Series event.
With a near perfect 9.73-point wave and a 7.33 back up, he defeated runner-up Mateia Hiquily of Tahiti 17.06 to 10.13.
“This has been a great event, but I’m not going to take my foot off the gas at all and I’m going to keep getting ready for Snapper,” Andino said, in a post event WSL interview. “I had a couple of heats where my back was up against the wall and I was able to fight through which is good mental prep for Snapper. I hadn’t really heard of Mateia before, but I was super impressed by his surfing at this event, he was lighting these waves up … ”
Going into the contest Andino’s pre-season No. 11 ranking gave him the event’s No. 2 seed.
The win earned him $25,000 in prize money.