How’s it going at the Billabong Pro Banzai Pipeline competition in Hawaii?

December 16, 2008

The Billabong Pipeline Masters (men’s event) is over.

The Billabong Pro Maui (lady’s) is off today due to no waves. The quarter finals, semi finals and finals still have to be held – about 4 hrs. of surfing, but the Honolulu Bay is flat. They are hoping for a little pulse on Thursday or Friday but are getting rather concerned as to whether there will be enough wave to complete this competition in the remaining 4 days…

So back to the men’s event.

The man to beat was Bede Durbidge, defending Billabong Pipeline Masters Champion. The place to do it was the Banzai Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.

For those of you who know nothing about the Banzai Pipeline, this is what ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) has to say about it:

“Pipeline is the powder keg of the surfing world. Surfers from hundreds of countries travel here to prove their moxie in the caverns of Pipe. With the inundation of surfers in the line-up, the take-off zone makes for some volatile situations. Be advised: if you venture to Pipe, be prepared to do battle – not just with the sea, but with your fellow surfers… People make their entire careers out of surfing the Pipeline. Make your mark on this wave, and you’ll go down in surfing lore.”

Nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has won the Billabong Pipeline Masters a record sixth time today. The victory is Slater’s sixth of the 11-event 2008 ASP World Tour season. He has made the Pipeline Masters final 10 out of the 17 times he has entered the event; winning in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999 and again today. His 2008 win comes nine years after he last clinched the Pipeline crown in ‘99.

“It’s inexplicable,” Slater said of his win and banner season. “I’m just stoked. I wasn’t even worried about surfing the event, so to surf it and win and get that board (a Gerry Lopez designed surfboard trophy). I’ll cherish that for sure.”

As for the Triple Crown, that too has now been decided and this year the honour went to Australia’s Joel Parkinson who finished 5th in the first two legs of the Triple Crown held at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach and 9th at the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

“I’ve come runner-up to the Triple Crown a couple of times,” Parkinson said. “Andy nabbed it from me both times, so no hard feelings to Wardo, but I really didn’t want that to happen again. It feels amazing to actually take it home this time.”

The victory is doubly sweet given Parkinson made headlines earlier in the week by earning the first-ever perfect 20 out of 20 heat total at Pipeline – only the second perfect heat total in ASP history under the two wave format.

So well done to everyone, and good luck to the ladies. I hope they get a chance to finish this competition in style.


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