HALEIWA—The North Shore’s John John Florence had a great start to the new year by winning the 2011 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout yesterday, taking taking home a purse of $40,000. The 18-year-old led the first day of competition, and clenched the title in the second to last heat of the day, scoring one of rare rights of the day at Backdoor in waves of approximately 20 feet.
“This win means everything,” Florence said. “It’s my homebreak and I surf here everyday. I’m so stoked right now.” Florence reportedly charged the triple-over-head waves and took the title all while fighting off a flu.
Runner-up Kalani Chapman, another North Shore local known for catching some of the biggest, heaviest waves at Pipeline, got the “wave of the day” in the third round. Chapman, also on team Vans with Florence, took home a $20,000 paycheck.
After his infamous third-round wave, Chapman posed for photos with fans appearing to be under the age of 10, who also brought him half of his board he broke during the heat.
“Kalani’s a really nice guy, definitely deserving of the praise and big paycheck,” said a North Shore resident soon after the event ended, adding, “He’s always been a good kid.”
The top five places in the contest, which is organized by director and North Shore resident Eddie Rothman, were dominated by all North Shore surfers. Florence took first place, Chapman runner-up, Makua Rothman took third place, Mark Healy fourth, and Fred Patacchia won fifth.
The contest utilizes a unique judging format which involves three rounds of no elimination, four man heats and each surfer’s best three waves are scored. The locally organized contest does not use the modern technology that the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing does. Described as a very “rootsy” contest, the Backdoor Shootout doesn’t use computer scoring, live webscast, or colored jerseys. Only a P.A., a judging panel, and a pop up tent in the yard of the Quicksilver house to house the judges are used.
The teams that entered this year are Da Hui, Quiksilver, Oakley, Hurley, Red Bull, Billabong, Volcom, and North Shore Boys. Hawaii’s Jamie O’Brien won last year, with Pancho Sullivan of the North Shore winning in 2004, the last time the contest was held.
1. John John Florence (Vans), $40,000
2. Kalani Chapman (Vans), $20,000
3. Makua Rothman (RVCA), $15,000
4. Mark Healey (Quiksilver), $10,000
5. Fred Patacchia, Jr. (Quiksilver), $5,000