Ventura surfer Dimitri Poulos shook off a low-scoring first wave and put together three impressive rides to win the pro competition at the 40th Rincon Classic on Sunday at Rincon Point.
Poulos, 19, had a total score of 15.34 from his two best waves to hold off Venturan Cory Arrambide, who finished at 15.00.
It is the first Rincon Brewery Pro title for Poulos, who powered his way to an impressive 8.57 on his second wave after a 1.9 to start.
Poulos, whose talent gained a sponsorship from Red Bull, ripped off a 6.77 on his last wave and that gave him enough of a cushion to beat Arrambide, who scored a 6.9 on his last ride to go with an 8.1.
Poulos was the most active of the four finalists as he caught six waves.
Ventura County’s Jabe Swierkocki, the 2020 Rincon U17 champion, started the RB Pro with a bang, scoring a final-round best 8.67. Seven-time Rincon Classic champion Killian Garland of Santa Barbara followed with a 7.6 before Poulos threw down his 8.57 followed by a 6.5 on a smaller wave to take over the top position.
Poulos advanced to the final after winning his quarterfinal and semifinal heats.
The 12-under Groms Division was won on a buzzer-beating ride by 11-year-old Ronin Castorino of Goleta. He pulled off an 11-turn performance that earned a score of 9.6 and vaulted him over Maddox Keet of Carpinteria.
Castorino, who surfed just three waves in the final, finished with a total of 17.1, and Keet had a 12.17.
Santa Barbara’s Aiden Albada got in three scoring waves and won a tight competition in the Boys 14 Division. He scored a 5.5 on his first wave and added a 6.2 on his third wave for a 11.7 total.
Carpinteria’s Koa Modisette, who had the best wave score of the final heat with a 7.33, finished second at 11.56. Dominic Arce of Carpinteria was third at 11.33.
In the Women’s Open, Ventura’s Makena Burke displayed her power on two 8-point scoring waves and ran away with the title with a score of 16.67. Santa Barbara’s Ashley Fagerstedt took second with 8.93 points,
Santa Barbara’s Vela Mattive, 14, scored an 8 on her first wave en route to the Wahines U17 title. Her two-wave total was 15.17, finishing ahead of Ventura’s Delaney Poulos (14.23).
The Rincon Classic returned to a live, in-person event after last year’s contest was held in a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 40th edition got off to a unsteady start as local law enforcement ordered everyone off the beach due to a tsunami advisory early Saturday. The warning was issued for the entire West Coast after a violent underwater volcanic eruption near the island nation of Tonga in the south Pacific Ocean — more than 5,200 miles away.
Rincon Classic director Chris Keet couldn’t believe the news.
“In the 22 years I’ve been doing this and the 25 years I’ve done surf contests, I’ve never had a tsunami warning,” he said during the video broadcast of the event. “I felt like I was in a bad Baywatch episode.”
After about an hour delay, contest officials, sponsors, fans and surfers were back on the beach and in the water.
40th Rincon Classic
Top three finishers in each division
Rincon Brewery Pro
Gremlins Boys U12
Vissla Expression Session
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.