Tuesday 12 December 2017 / 09:54 AM

HO FAMILY FINISHING THE YEAR STRONG

Last weekend, on opposite sides of the globe, the Ho Family proved they’re still a formidable force in the surfing world.

While Coco Ho was fighting for her spot on next year’s world title tour, older brother Mason was forging his place in the Ho’s reign at Sunset Beach.

Coco finished the QS series in fifth place securing her 2017 WCT position, going down to inaugural Sydney International Pro winner Silvana Lima in their quarterfinal heat.

Lima went on to win her semi-final heat in the last minutes, due to her opponent – and last year’s Junior World Champion – Isabella Nichols losing crucial points to an interference.

“I’m pretty bummed to be honest,” Nichols said.

“I had to go that wave at the end with Silvana and it came through as an interference. I don’t feel like I achieved all that I could have and if I didn’t get the interference then I would’ve beaten Silvana.

“I’m happy with how I went, but I just would’ve liked to do better.”

Lima won the final and the 2016 QS title, beating Aussie Philippa Anderson, who was unable to find the required 6.97 wave score needed to take Lima’s lead. The win in Sydney secures Lima a spot back on the CT.

“I can’t believe this. It feels amazing,” Lima said.

“I felt confident in this event, and my boards were feeling great, so I think that is what really helped me to win this.

“Winning this event is right up there with winning Bells, the feeling is exactly the same. I’m ready to get back on the CT for sure.”

While the women were battling it out Down Under, the men were facing off in Hawaii for the HIC Sunset Pro.

Mason Ho took his second win at Sunset Beach, securing the family’s Sunset Beach legacy.

Mason and Coco’s father, Michael Ho, is familiar with the Sunset Beach podium, winning the event when it was called the Xcel Pro in 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1996.

As well as being the fourth-last event on the QS tour, the HIC Pro is the official Hawaiian local qualifier for the Vans Triple Crown and offers 112 athletes a chance to compete in the prestigious series.

While Sunset was producing 12-foot barrels, Brazil was producing upsets on the Men’s QS leaderboard. Kanoa Igarashi shot up seven spots to take the pole position from his good friend and Quiksilver teammate Leonardo Fioravanti in the Hang Loose Pro, held at Joaquina Beach over the weekend.

Taking the 6000pts that were up for grabs, Igarashi secured his place in the 2017 CT.

“It feels incredible to win again in Brazil,” Igarashi said.

“It’s really similar to last year when I needed a good result to qualify for the CT. Now I can go to Hawaii without any extra pressure and just have fun there.”

Igarashi entered the Hang Loose Pro ranked No.8. While within the qualification cut-off, he was far from safe with the two QS10000 events in Hawaii in the coming weeks sure to provide further upsets in with the rankings.

All eyes will now turn to Hawaii as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing kicks of later this week. The world will be watching in anticipation to see if John John Florence can truly make 2016 the year of John John, backing up his Eddie Aikau Invitational win and early World Title clinch.

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About the author

Jaymie Faber

Jaymie Faber is a freelance surf and travel writer, and author of a women’s learn to surf book. From Sunshine Coast, Australia, she is mad about surfing, ocean conservation and exploring ‘off the grid’ locations. Jaymie writes for various publications and magazines around the world. See more at jaymiefaber.com

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