The WSL resumed the 50th edition of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask as consistent 8′-10′ swells rolled in at the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore.
The day opened with Heat 2 of the Elimination Round. Julian Wilson, Ethan Ewing, and Miguel Tudela were originally slated to compete in Heat 1 of the Elimination Round, but Tudela was forced to withdraw from the competition after suffering four broken ribs over the weekend. Wilson and Ewing automatically advanced to the Round of 32.
Leonardo Fioravanti, who earned a spot on the 2021 CT season after winning the Injury Wildcard surf-off, hit the water three times today. In Heat 4 of the Elimination Round, Fioravanti got second place behind Peterson Crisanto, but also advanced to the Round of 32. Fioravanti remained in the water for Heat 1 in the Round of 32, winning against Filipe Toledo. Later in the day, Fioravanti again faced Crisanto for Heat 1 of the Round of 16, but this time took the win and became the first surfer to qualify for the Quarterfinals.
“Last week, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be on tour for the whole year,” said Fioravanti after winning Heat 1 of the Round of 16, “but now I’m in the Quarterfinals, and it feels incredible. All of the hard work I’ve put into this year is paying off, but it’s not over yet, it’s just starting.”
Rookie Jack Robinson won Heat 8 with a combined score of 17.73 (out of a possible 20) for the highest score of the day against fellow Australian Julian Wilson. Robinson will face 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater in Heat 4 of the Round of 16. Slater won Heat 7 with a combined score of 12.80 in the Round of 32 against Ethan Ewing.
“I got a bad wave at the start of my heat, I almost hurt myself,” said Slater, “then all a sudden, I got two good ones and got a third good one toward the end of the heat.”
The Round of 32 also saw several victories from the Brazilian Storm, with defending World Champion Italo Ferreira, two-time World Champion Gabriel Medina, Jadson Andre, Peterson Crisanto, Caio Ibelli, and Miguel Pupo all winning their heats.
“That was a hard heat,” said Ferreira after winning Heat 9 against Sebastian Zietz, “I got a lot of closeouts and some little ones, but the good thing is I made it. I’m stoked to be in the water again.”
Ryan Callinan, Jeremy Flores, Jack Freestone, and Kanoa Igarashi also won their heats and advanced to the Round of 16.
John John Florence defeated rookie Matthew McGillivray in Heat 2 of the Round of 16, claiming a spot in the Quarterfinals, and will face Fioravanti in Heat 1. Jordy Smith also advanced to the Quarterfinals after winning Heat 3 of the Round of 16 against Caio Ibelli with a combined score of 11.67.
The next call at the Banzai Pipeline will be Friday, December 18 at 7:00 a.m. HST.
In addition to continuing the Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask, the call will also determine the schedule for the final day of competition for the Maui Pro presented by ROXY.