9 December, 2013 9 December, 2013

Upsets and Fates Decided on Day 1 of Billabong Pipe Masters

The Billabong Pipe Masters kicked off in thumping 6-8ft mostly Backdoor barrels yesterday. The NNW swell made the Pipe lefts a rarity (ideal direction is west), but guys like Gabriel Medina managed to find a pair of smokers to earn the highest heat total of the day – an 18.67 out of a perfect 20.

Gabriel Medina was the standout on Day 1 of the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

The fate of Triple Crown ratings co-leader Ezekiel Lau has been decided. He is officially out of the race for the Crown after losing in the very first heat of Round 1. Co-leading the Triple Crown heading into the Billabong Pipe Masters was Michel Bourez, and by virtue of his Round 3 seeding he assumes control of the lead. There are still a few guys in the event with a shot of grabbing the Crown from the Spartan – like Fred Patacchia (3rd); Jeremy Flores (5); Sebastian Zietz (7th) and John John Florence (12th), just to name a few. Round 3 might just decide who claims this prestigious title.

Of course, the main title up for grabs is the crowning of the ASP World Champion, and that fight is yet to get underway. Only two rounds were completed yesterday and both Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning are seeded into Round 3. This means a new world champion could potentially be crowned on Day 2, but surf fans around the world are hoping for a fight to the end.

The real battle begins in Round 3.

South African fans will be bummed at Travis’ loss to Yadin Nicol in a low scoring Round 2 encounter, but with only Yadin Nicol and Miguel Pupo still in the event and with a shot of overtaking him on the one world rankings, and Trav four spots above the drop zone, it appears that his position on the 2014 Dream Tour is secured.

Travis couldn’t find the waves needed to beat Australian Yadin Nicol in a low-scoring Round 2 heat.

The swell is expected to drop slightly for Day 2 of the waiting period, but with a 4-6ft swell still predicted, chances are that they could call Round 3 on today (8:00pm SA time), so tune in to www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters2013 and watch it live.

Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.66 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.83
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.27 def. Joel Centeio (HAW) 6.66
Heat 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.00 def. Marcus Hickman (HAW) 11.67
Heat 4: Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 16.16 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.84
Heat 5: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 14.83 def. Kahea Hart (HAW) 11.44
Heat 6: Bruce Irons (HAW) 9.24 def. Raoni MOnteiro (BRA) 7.00
Heat 7: Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.73 def. Reef McIntosh (HAW) 12.84
Heat 8: Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.30 def. Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 8.17
Heat 9: Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.40 def. Shane Dorian (HAW) 7.73
Heat 10: Granger Larsen (HAW) 13.50 def. Kalani Chapman (HAW) 7.66
Heat 11: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.17 def. Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 5.67
Heat 12: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 17.76 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.77

Heat 1: Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 15.67 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.30
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.67 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 11.87
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 17.83 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 6.06
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.20 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 13.43
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.16 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 6.30
Heat 6: Mitch Crews (AUS) 14.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.66
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.17 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.04
Heat 8: Dusty Payne (HAW) 9.00 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 7.24
Heat 9: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.34 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 4.40
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.70 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 4.27
Heat 11: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.56 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 4.07
Heat 12: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.44 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.93

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Kaimana Jaquias (HAW)
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)

Check out the official press release below.



PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Sunday, December 8, 2013) – The opening day of the Billabong Pipe Masters, in Memory of Andy Irons, commenced today in firing six-to-eight foot (2 metre) waves and the world’s best surfers put on an incredible display of technical barrel riding at Pipeline and Backdoor to complete Rounds 1 and 2. The Billabong Pipe Masters is the third and final leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, hydrated by vitaminwater®.

Gabriel Medina earned the day’s high heat-total of 18.67 on opening day of the Billabong Pipe Masters.

The final stop on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Billabong Pipe Masters will decide the 2013 ASP World Title Race, the coveted Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion and the final qualification slots for next season’s Top 34.

Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19, would put together an amazing show at the iconic lefts of Pipeline to kick off the Billabong Pipe Masters, navigating through a heavy barrel on his opening score to post a near-perfect 9.67. The Brazilian Prodigy would quickly back up the ride, earning an additional 9 point score for another deep Pipe tube punctuated with a massive alley-oop, eliminating Bruce Irons (HAW), 34. Medina’s unlikely aerial at Pipeline puts him in the running for a 250,000 mile prize from   Hawaiian Airlines Airshow award.

“I got a little bit lucky,” Medina said. “I got three really good barrels and did the air at the end. I was watching the guys always getting big scores at backdoor and had them in my mind. Somehow, I found those lefts and that was such a fun heat. I’ve always watched Bruce (Irons) and I really respect him. To be surfing with him is a dream come true.”

Medina will face off against John John Florence (HAW), 20, in Heat 5 Round 3 of the Billabong Pipe Masters.

Sebastian Zietz (HAW), 25, defending Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion, immediately found his rhythm at Pipeline, earning the first perfect 10-point ride (see video) of Billabong Pipe Masters competition for an unbelievable Backdoor barrel.

Seabass’s perfect score.

“It was a dream start to the event,” Zietz said. “I got one little Pipe wave, paddled back out and it was nice having Ryan (Callinan) instead of one of the Hawaii boys. He let me pick apart the first half of that heat. He didn’t try and battle me too much. Bruce (Irons) looked at that wave and I don’t know what he was thinking. He probably should have gone because he probably could have got a 10 easily on it. I just dropped in and the foam-ball hit me and I was on one foot for a second. I put my foot down and was going the perfect speed to get barreled all the way through. That was just a perfect wave.”

Zietz will take on Brazilian Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, in Heat 8 of Round 3.

Mitch Crews (AUS), 23, qualifier for the 2014 ASP WCT, was responsible for one of the day’s biggest upsets, eliminating big wave charger and former WCT veteran Shane Dorian (HAW), 41, in Round 1. Crews would continue his successful Billabong Pipe Masters campaign in Round 2, topping fellow countryman Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 25, to claim his second heat win of the day.

“This Hawaii season’s one of the best I’ve ever had,” Crews said. “This has been an incredible run and that heat was a great time. I saw the heat draw and knew I’d draw someone from Hawaii who was incredible. Shane Dorian, he’s the guy. I saw him the other day and was star struck. I decided I was going to try and just get a few waves at backdoor. I never usually even get waves out here, so I’m really happy.”

Mitch Crews.

Crews will face off against 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 41, in Heat 9 of Round 3.

Jeremy Flores (FRA), 25, 2010 Billabong Pipe Masters Champion, was electric in the offshore barrels in his afternoon heat. Flores would drive through Pipeline and Backdoor barrels to earn one of the day’s high heat-totals, topping dangerous wildcard Tanner Gudauskas (USA), 25, while advancing to Round 3.

“The waves started to get better and I saw the wind switching and saw those perfect A frames,” Flores said. “I was pretty stressed because I was frothing so hard and thought I might take off on too many waves. I think it’s only going to get better from now on, hollow barrels, and it’s good for everyone. It’s Pipe. It’s a dream.”

Flores will surf against Michel Bourez (PYF), 27, in Heat 11 Round 3.

Jeremy Flores found one of the rare lefts of the day.

While the Billabong Pipe Masters delivered some incredible highlights, a reminder of the danger that comes with surfing Pipeline became apparent when former Billabong Pipe Master Kieren Perrow (AUS), 36, was forced to shore early with a dislocated shoulder following a heavy wipeout. This was not the way Perrow anticipated retiring from competition. The Billabong Pipe Masters was his swansong.

Vans Triple Crown leader Ezekiel Lau (HAW), 20, also made an early exit from the Billabong Pipe Masters, falling in Round 1 to Patrick Gudauskas. Lau’s elimination opened up the doors for fellow frontrunners Michel Bourez (PYF), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 31, and Jeremy Flores for the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am local time for a possible 8am start.

Packed house at the Billabong Pipe Masters.

Surfline, official forecasters for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, are calling for: Overlapping NNW swells prevail Sunday through Tuesday with good size surf at Pipe. Wind is light Sunday and Monday, with trades rebuilding by Tuesday.

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