The battle to become Champion has come down to the final event of the season, the Billabong Pipe Masters. After a day of action that saw the Men’s Pipe Invitational narrow the list of potential wildcards to four, Gabriel Medina (BRA), Mick Fanning (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA) discussed their Tour seasons and their gameplans going into Pipe.
Today at the Rip Curl Pro at Supertubes he was the last man standing and it’s a Mick Fanning signature. He’s done it three times this year; you haven’t noticed he’s even in the event until he’s won it. Bells, J-Bay, and now Supertubes, all won in great waves and with surfing that couldn’t be denied. He now goes into Pipe alongside Kelly and Gabe, and this whole world title thing just got a lot more interesting.
Follow Mick Fanning for the most critical 60 minutes of the year — and watch him win a world title.
It couldn’t have been written any better. The 2013 ASP World Title came down to the year’s very last day of competition in the best waves of the year. Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning were fighting for the crown and the only thing separating either man from it was a 10-foot wave at Pipeline. Mick only had to win two heats to seal the deal; he only had to catch four waves. 4 Waves, 1 Hour takes you through that final day, exposing one of the most interesting, exciting and nerve-racking 60 minutes in the history of surfing. Just press play and see it all through Mick’s eyes, you little champion you.
Haven’t found a way to embed Red Bull videos yet. Well worth watching. Red Bull is making some great videos these days.
Kelly Slater had a magical run to the finals in this contest. He did exactly what he set out to do. Unfortunately for him, Mick was able to pull a rabbit out of the hat in two consecutive heats, snagging a great wave in the dying seconds of each to get the scores he needed to advance past the Quarter Finals and win the world title. Fortunately, the loss of the title frustrated Slater enough for him to commit to another year on the tour. Good news for surf fans everywhere.
More: Live Webcast
Coming up shortly - the final of the 2013 Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. The waves have been pumping all day and two of the best surfers to ever tackle the famous reef of Banzai Pipeline are about to hit the water for the final heat of the 2013 season. Mick Fanning won the necessary heats to secure his 2013 ASP World Title, but was eliminated shortly thereafter. Slater, obviously frustrated about losing the world title is surfing like a man possessed and has racked up the highest scores of the entire event. John John is the only other surfer doing as well as Slater. Tune in now!!!
Words by JJ
Ding Ding Ding, Are you ready for this?
A whole lotta mad s#!t is predicted to go down tomorrow at surfing’s main arena!
The surf forecast is off the charts - Pipe is supposed to be eight-to-12-maybe-even-bigger foot, we’re talking Second and Third Reef.
And not only is there an incredible showdown between Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater unfolding, but a host of back-stories that quite possible make the final day of the 2013 Billabong Pipe Masters one for the ages.
Let’s look a little closer at some of the surfers remaining in the draw …
This is going to be heavy. Pipeline is already in the 12-15’ range this evening as I write this. Conditions, swell angle and winds are all extremely favorable. The world’s best will be faced with serious surf tomorrow. Contest call is set for 7:30am Hawaiian time. Not to be missed!
The most interesting moment of the contest was when Mick Fanning interfered with John John Florence’s final wave in their Round 4 heat. It was a strategic move on his part to avoid facing Florence in Round 5. Florence is surfing in his own backyard here at Pipeline and knows this wave better than most. He is a very difficult draw for anyone, including potential world champs.
Pipeline - the most famous wave in the world. Day one of this years Pipe Masters contest began with near perfect Pipeline surf. Sometime during this contest, the ASP 2013 World Title will be decided. If Mick Fanning gets past the Quarter Finals, he will win the title, even if Kelly Slater wins the contest. Kelly is basically in the position of needing a miracle to win title #12 this year. That being said, he is the greatest competitive surfer ever, so don’t write him off just yet. If Mick loses in the Quarters or before, Kelly still has to win the event to claim the title. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this in pro surfing!
It’s looking like Kelly Slater is out of the running for the ASP World Title this year, unless Mick Fanning gets eliminated before the semi finals in this event. After starting the year with some great events held in epic conditions, the last three events have had very lackluster conditions. Kelly’s comments can be heard in this video clip:
You have to wonder why heats that are so important to the title race between Mick and Kelly were run in such marginal conditions. The forecast is to blame, with increasing swell and poor conditions on offer for the rest of the waiting period. Still, it is tragic to see the title race come down to who gets luckiest in crappy surf… I’d much rather see them being pushed to their limits so that the best performance wins the title.
The ASP World Title Race resumed this morning on the opening day of the Quiksilver Pro France, with the world’s best surfers taking on clean 3-4Ft A-frames at the back-up location of Seignosse Le Penon.
Event No.8 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France showcases professional surfing’s heroes in some of the best beachbreaks on the planet. With only two more events left this year, both World Title contenders and surfers outside the Top22 consider the Quiksilver Pro France with the utmost importance.
Quiksilver surfer Kelly Slater (USA) 41, eleven-time ASP World Champion, had his back against the ropes in his Round 1 encounter with Adam Melling (AUS) and Dane Reynolds (USA) and failed to find excellent scoring opportunities for most of the 30-minute exchange. With only seconds on the clock, Slater found a cleaner, longer left with more verticality and dismantled every section of the wave to earn a near-perfect 9.23 out of a possible 10.