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.
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.
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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!
Today is the final day of competition in the 2012 Billabong Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Oahu. First heat in the water features Kelly Slater, who is attempting to win an unprecedented 12th ASP World Title. The only 2 surfers that have a shot at the title anymore are Kelly and Joel Parkinson. There is a good chance that both of them will advance to the finals and face each other in an exciting, epic showdown. Down to the wire! The contest will be starting at 9:00am Hawaii time (11:00am Pacific). Not to be missed!
A notable television executive once said: “give me dramatic surf with winners and losers and the best surfers in the world at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and you’ve got yourself a lucrative deal.”
Right. Like this ever happens. It’s called the Dream Tour for a reason. For more than a decade, the size and quality of surf - not size and quality of the parking lot or number of watching households - dictates when and where events go down.
‘Course occasionally planets align. Occasionally, right around 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, one might find the best surfers in the world battling
head-to-head in dangerous, barreling surf for careers and titles and money and fame and respect. Occasionally, there’s a Cinderella story (Seabass winning the Triple Crown) next to a former champ stepping out of the race (Fanning) surrounded by an ever-tightening world title race between a potential 12-time world champ and a perennial runner-up. (Kelly v Parko.)
This was today. Today was good TV.
If the final day has waves of similar quality to the first two, this will certainly be one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the ASP. Pipeline is typically one of the most crowded waves on the planet when it is this good. These guys are getting to surf with only a few other people in the water in flawless conditions.
Solid swell continues on the North Shore of Oahu and day 2 of the Pipe Masters contest is underway!
Building swell and the first heat is in the water now.