Huge surf forces an early finish.
The second instalment of the ASP Billabong Pipe Masters Pro got underway in difficult conditions.
All round two heats were completed before the rising swell, with wave face heights of up to 30 feet, washed out the competition zone – leading for the competition to be called off. Out of the 12 heats only two saw heat totals more than 10 points out of a possible 20, a testament to how difficult the conditions were.
Kelly Slater redeemed himself in round two – keeping his hopes for the world title. He topped the score board with 17 points in his bout against Invitational winner Reef McIntosh. Slater closed the 40-minute heat with a deep and hollow tube, logging a 9.57, with the crowd on his side he dropped into a deep pit and finished off with a wraparound cutback and a chop hop for the highest single-wave score of the day.
“It’s was really challenging and really hard today,” said Slater. “I just figured if I’m going to win this contest, which I have to do to win the title, I’ve got to get through the best guys. In all honesty, Reef is one of the best guys out here from four feet to 20 feet and whatever size it is.”
Jadson Andre was out to win in his heat against Tiago Pires. He delivered a powerful drop on a huge wave before disappearing deep in to a tube, he was then blasted out in a thick spit of spray – dominating the heat and leaving with a 9.37.
“I was nervous before my heat because it’s really dangerous, it’s big,” said Andre. “I’m just stoked to make it. I know I’m safe for the next year but I’m really looking for a big result over here. If I win three more heats I can be in the top 16, and that would be really nice. I’m just trying to surf heat by heat, and that heat was great because at first I was kind of nervous and I’m just going to go on the first wave that I see.”
Pires really struggled to find anything more than 1.50 and was eliminated from competition in an equal 25th. The result means he currently sits at 28th in the world rankings and will not qualify for the 2015 tour. Other competitors who failed to re-qualify include Dion Atkinson, Mitch Crews and Raoni Monteiro.
[pullquote]Jordy Smith had to exit the water prematurely during his round two heat after a Backdoor closeout tube slammed him into the reef[/pullquote]
Jordy Smith had to exit the water prematurely during his round two heat after a Backdoor closeout tube slammed him into the reef, injuring his shoulder and leaving the door open for Dusty Payne. Payne edged his way to the win and moves onto round three.
“It’s so tough today and they’re all scary waves and I really didn’t want to go on any of them,” said Payne. “There’s so much backwash coming back out, there’s waves coming back at you that are the six of waves you’re trying to take off on. I just hope Jordy is okay.”
The final heat saw Matt Wilkinson and Aritz Aranburu go head-to-head, and ended with a dramatic rescue of Aranburu in the impact zone. He was caught at high speed by a jet ski, narrowly missing the slam of a closeout. The loss see’s Aranburu eliminated from both competition and next year’s championship tour.
Heat seven was a notable heat that saw Travis Logie take to the water for his last ever appearance as a championship tour competitor, after announcing his retirement. Logie lost to Adrian Buchan and leaves the competition in an equal 25th place.
“It’s been crazy, the love that’s been shown to me. before my heat I nearly teared up a little bit and I can’t believe it’s over. It’s bittersweet and I have lots of love for my family and my wife and Quiksilver and ASP for letting me do what I love for a living,” Logie stated. “I can’t believe it’s over but I’m stoked to go paddle out because yesterday I wan’t walking. I’m just stoked I paddled out and gave it a shot.”
Billabong Pipe Masters Round 2 Results (1st to R3, 2nd = 25th):
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.00pts def. Reef McIntosh (HAW) 7.00pts
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.33pts def. Makai McNamara (HAW) 4.57pts
Heat 3: Dusty Payne (HAW) 4.30pts def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 4.30pts
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 8.50pts def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 4.77pts
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.17pts def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 4.13pts
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.64pts def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 7.07pts
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3.47pts def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 1.30pts
Heat 8: Kai Otton (AUS) 7.16pts def. Brett Simpson (USA) 6.83pts
Heat 9: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 6.90pts def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 1.57pts
Heat 10: Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.70pts def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 2.73pts
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) 4.50pts def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 0.84pts
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 4.13pts def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 3.24pts
Billabong Pipe Masters Round 3 Match-Ups (1st to R4, 2nd = 13th):
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Kolohe Andino (HAW) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Sebastien Zietz (HAW)
Heat 11: Nat Young (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 12: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Words Louis Hall @LHall69