20 December, 2014 20 December, 2014

Gabriel Medina Wins 2014 ASP World Title

Gabriel Medina has been crowned 2014 ASP World Champion after a spectacular shootout in the final of the Billabong Pipeline Masters, which was won by Julian Wilson.

Gabriel Medina gets chaired up the beach after clinching his maiden ASP world title.

The final day of the Pipe Masters was contested in a duel heat format, and Gabriel was the first of the three remaining title challengers to hit the water in Round 3 Heat 6. The Brazilian was up against Dusty Payne, who was leading the Vans Triple Crown heading into the final day at Pipe, and Medina came out swinging with two quick rides. He scored an 8.83 followed by a 5.83 in short succession to secure an early lead, leaving Dusty needing a near perfect 9.99 and a mountain to climb before their heat even had priority. The Hawaiian answered back strongly by muscling his way out of a dredging Pipe left to score a 7.17, but Gabriel then pig-dogged a Backdoor right to put Dusty in a combination situation and easily took the heat win.

This meant that Kelly Slater was out of the title race before he’d even paddled out for his Round 3 heat. With one contender eliminated, Gabriel’s stepfather, Charles, and a proud group of Brazilian supporters were dancing on the sand. Only Mick stood in the way of Brazil’s first world title.

Gabriel’s biggest supporter, his stepfather Charles, was overjoyed.

Mick Fanning was up in Heat 9 and needed a win to keep his title hopes alive. In a slow start to his heat against former Pipe Masters champ, Jeremy Flores, Fanning left it until there was less than ten minutes remaining to get his first score, which was a quick in-and-out at Backdoor to score a 2.67. Sitting in second and needing a 4.47 with less than four minutes remaining, Mick paddled into a bomb and got spat out of a deep Backdoor tube to score an 8.17 – boosting him into the lead and through to the next round. Mick was still in contention and the champion would be decided later in the day.

Kelly Slater entered his heat with no pressure with the world title out of his reach. The chance to win his eighth Pipe Masters crown, however, had the 11-time world champ fired-up and he started strongly with a 8.60 for a beautiful Backdoor tube. Kelly backed this up with a 4,70 and held the lead until the dying moments of the heat, when Alejo Muniz stroked into a clean Backdoor bomb and got spat out the other end for a near-perfect 9.50 and the heat win. Kelly was out of the world title race and out of the Pipe Masters.

Gabriel was in total control at Backdoor, as well as on his forehand at Pipe.

The non-elimination Round 4 hit the water next and Gabriel was up first in Heat 2, with Fanning due to follow in Heat 3. The world rankings leader narrowly won his heat over Josh Kerr and compatriot, Felipe Toledo, to advance directly to the quarter-finals. This put all the pressure back on the reigning world champ, and in a close heat against eventual winner, Julian Wilson, Mick finished second. This meant he’d be surfing in Round 5 and needing a win to keep his title hopes alive.

In a low-scoring battle with Brazil’s Alejo Muniz, Mick could only muster a 2.84 heat total and was eliminated from the Pipe Masters. This meant that Gabriel, who was in the lineup to contest his quarter-final against Felipe Toledo, had just clinched his maiden world title. The Brazilian supporters on the beach started celebrating proudly – especially Charles, who dived into the water and headed straight for Gabriel.

Gabriel chats to Ronnie Blakey following his victory.

With the world title already in his hands and celebrations ongoing, Gabriel walked through his heat with proud countryman, Felipe Toledo, and advanced to a semi-final battle with Josh Kerr. The Australian opened strongly with an 8.33, but had waited half the heat to find it. Gabriel grabbed a couple of early scores and an 8.13 of his own shortly after Josh’s, which left Kerrzy searching for a score with time running down. Needing a 5.27, one last chance came Josh’s way in the form of a Pipe left, but it clamped at the end and offered no exit. Gabriel was through to the Final.

Julian Wilson, meanwhile, easily took down Ace Buchan in the second semi-final to set up a battle with Gabriel and a chance to clinch the Vans Triple Crown title.

The Final was a wild tube shootout, like every Pipe Masters final should be, and Julian Wilson struck first with an excellent 9.93 to grab the lead. Gabriel answered back shortly afterwards with the only Perfect 10 of the final day to snatch back the heat lead. He then backed up his 10.00 with an 8.00 on his next ride to put the pressure on Julian Wilson. With just two minutes remaining, Julian pulled into a long Backdoor tube to score a 9.70 to add to his 9.93 and grabbed a last gasp Pipe Masters victory, as well as the Vans Triple Crown title.


Julian gets spat out of the winning wave (above) and celebrates the Pipe Masters title (below).


Check out all the heat reviews, results and photos from an epic final day at the Billabong Pipe Masters on aspworldtour.com.

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