The 2012 Hurley Pro was an exciting event for all who participated and attended in Southern California. One rookie pro had an even more exciting ride as onlookers saw the image of some marine creature appear in the wave next to him. Now people are trying to determine if the creature that was swimming next to Kolohe Andino was a friendly dolphin or a deadly shark.
The Hurley Pro is one of the most anticipated surfing events in the United States. The best of the best from all over the world came together to surf the waves of San Onofre State Beach - Lower Trestles from September 16 through September 22.Thirty-two surfers and four wildcards took to the waves to compete this year. Among them were top contenders, Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson while newcomers like 19-year-old John John Florence and Brazillian-born Gabriel Medina also competed.
"Every year, we strive to make the sport of surfing better," says Hurley VP of Sports Marketing, Pat O'Connell on the Hurley Pro website. "And the Hurley Pro is the perfect venue to achieve that. From the world's best surfers to the fans on the beach to the online audience, we're looking to elevate the experience across the board."
The experience certainly was elevated for 18-year-old California native Kolohe Andino. Besides having to worry about catching the perfect set, Andino found himself surfing next to some sort of marine animal in the middle of his Round Two heat during Tuesday's competition.
While Andino got a quick view of the creature in the waves below him, the thousands of onlookers on the beach got an even better view, but they're still debating on what the creature was.
Many were wondering if it was a dolphin or a shark. Some believed its fine was too straight to be that of a dolphin and the fact that it was swimming alone made peoplebelieve that it was a shark. However witnesses said they saw a group of dolphins swimming in the waves of San Onofre State Park earlier that morning. Its horizontal tail also gave evidence that it was most likely a dolphin.
American Cetacean Society researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger agreed. After seeing the photo of the animal, she said that it is a bottlenose dolphin.
It is common to see dolphins at the Lower Trestles, however white sharks are also seen around the waters pretty commonly.
Whatever it was, the only thing that mattered is the fact that Andino competed his set without being injured. The only bad news was that he never made it past his heat.
Florida born Kelly Slater took home the Hurley Pro championship. Thiswas the 40-year-old's 50th ASP World Event. He has been crowned ASP World Champion a record-setting 11 times.