30 Oct Baker takes down Garcia at Sunset
Newcastle’s Jackson Baker has taken down The King of Sunset in his own backyard.
Sunny Garcia has won more Vans Triple Crown of Surfing titles than any other surfer, and is the only surfer to have won three consecutive Triple Crown titles.
The 45-year-old Sunset local may be on the CT anymore but he is still one of the most feared and revered contest surfers in the world, especially on the break he has made his own.
So it was pretty normal for the 18-year-old Baker, surfing in only his second Sunset event, to feel a little intimidating going into his round 3 match-up.
‘I knew it was going to be a super tough heat, but at the same time, I knew I had nothing to lose,’ said Baker from Hawaii.
‘Surfing Sunset against a guy like Sunny is super scary.
‘He’s the man out there and would definitely not want to be beaten by an 18-year-old surfing his second event at Sunset.’
Baker, the only Australian in the otherwise all-Hawaiian Heat, posted a two wave today of 8.73, to finish second behind Billy Kemper’s 10.77.
Garcia finished third with a two-wave total of 7.17.
Scoring big wave totals was made tough by the 4-5 foot choppy conditions at Sunset but Baker did enough to impress the judges and the commentators alike.
‘Sunny shook my hand after the heat,’ said a stoked Baker.
‘He’s probably the biggest name I’ve ever beaten.
‘I’m just so stoked.’
The natural-footer will now take on fellow Aussie Sheldon Simkus and Hawaiian’s Kaimana Jaquias and Koa Smith in the fourth round.
It’s a huge result for Baker with the points he will gain from this event going along way to keeping him inside the top 150 world rankings.