Freddy Patacchia, an 11-year veteran of the World Surf League (WSL), scored a perfect ten-point ride in his round one heat of the Hurley Pro Trestles on Wednesday, according to the WSL. After his win, Patacchia announced on the livestream that he was withdrawing from the competition and retiring from the series.
“I’ve been battling with wanting to do something differently in life and stay at home with this little nugget here,” Patacchia, holding his daughter, told the WSL. “I knew this day was going to come where I was going to have to walk away from surfing, and I never thought it would end like this. This is just the perfect scenario.”
Combined with a backup ride score of 8.9, Patacchia bested 2014 world champ Gabriel Medina of Brazil and former world number two Bede Durbidge of Australia. At the end of the heat, Medina rode a wave in with Patacchia, shaking hands.
“Freddy, we [are] all [going to] miss you buddy,” Medina wrote on Instagram. “Stoked to [have] shared [more than] just that wave with ya, but some experience on tour.”
On Thursday morning, Patacchia thanked his fans via Instagram, saying, “Mahalo to everyone for the kind words, love, & support. Yesterday was a big day in my life & I’m so happy I got to share it with the global surfing community. Aloha.”
With his win, Patacchia would have advanced directly to round three. According to the WSL, his vacancy will provide a bye directly into round four for one of the heat two winners.