PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Thursday, December 16, 2010) – The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series) is back on this morning with clean four-to-six (2 metre) surf at Backdoor Pipeline and will crown a champion by day’s end.
“Yesterday’s swell is still delivering clean conditions this morning so we’ll start the contest right away,” Richie Porta, ASP International Head Judge said. “With no new swells predicted for the remainder of the waiting period, we’ve decided to capitalize on the surf that we do have and crown the Billabong Pipe Masters Champion by this afternoon.”
With the ASP World Title having been decided in Puerto Rico, the Billabong Pipe Masters will now focus on the Vans Triple Crown title. Adrian Buchan (AUS), 28, is the only surfer remaining in the event who can potentially overtake current ratings leader Joel Parkinson (AUS), 29, but needs to win the event to clinch the prestigious Hawaiian crown.
Yesterday’s competition witnessed a dramatic day of action after nearly a week of lay days and saw Kelly Slater (USA), 38, deliver the event’s first perfect 10-point ride amidst several near-perfect barrels at Backdoor Pipeline.
In addition to the outstanding Billabong Pipe Masters competition, the world’s best female surfers hit the lineup at Pipeline for the first time in Vans Triple Crown history with four-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, clinching the Vans Duel for the Jewel, a winner-take-all, one heat battle that allowed the Australian talent to wrap up her third Vans Triple Crown title.
Up first this morning will be Owen Wright (AUS), 20, against Jeremy Flores (FRA), 22, in the first Quarterfinals heat.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, are calling for the current northwest swell to hold throughout the morning before slowly fading throughout the afternoon.
The Billabong Pipe Masters holds a waiting period from December 8 through 20th and is webcast LIVE via http://triplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters/
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
QF 4: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)