The Men's Pipe Masters Invitational reached the final stage today in challenging barrels that delivered a full range of scores. Former Pipe Masters champion Jamie O’Brien along with Hank Gaskell, Makai McNamara and Reef McIntosh - all from Hawaii, remain in contention to win the two wildcards into the Billabong Pipe Masters, where they will take on ASP World Title contenders Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Mick Fanning (AUS) in Round 1.
Due to deteriorating conditions the final of the Invitational was not held today and will be staged as the opening heat on the next day of competition, immediately followed by Round 1 of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons.
The tricky conditions today lent themselves to superior local knowledge, embodied by the four finalists, especially O’Brien who has been tagged as a potential spoiler from the outset.
O’Brien is the most decorated of Invitational finalists, having won the Pipe Masters in 2004 after entering the event as a wildcard. He also lives afront the break and is a standout every day that Pipe is barreling.
“To be honest, I’ve really been looking forward to this event,” said O’Brien. “I’ve been real stress free.
“I think the competitors are looking at me like, ‘Oh I have to surf against Jamie’. But I’m looking at them like, ‘Oh I have to surf against all these great surfers’. These guys all surf Pipe all the time and it’s a great field of surfers in the trials. It’s going to be a showdown, whoever gets the best waves will be in the main event.”
Thirty two surfers, primarily from Hawaii, contested the special Invitational event. Joel Centeio (HAW) posted the only perfect 10 of the day for an incredibly deep tube at Backdoor Pipe. After the mist of the wind-blown “spit” of the wave vanished, there stood Centeio with arms open wide like a stage performer.
“That wave came and it kind of swung more towards Ehukai side and I saw it doubling up,” said Centeio, a retired pro surfer who is typically focused on helping the rise of younger stars these days. “The takeoff was so late and that barrel was so throaty. I pushed off the bottom and it was going so fast and then I felt the spit and I knew I had to kind of doggy door it.”
Sixteen-year-old Australian Jack Robinson was also a feature. Despite being the youngest competitor, his approach to the lethal waves of Pipeline was fearless, committed and stylish. Robinson is rapidly earning a reputation for charging serious surf, and today was case in point. Unfortunately, inconsistent conditions and a close, low-scoring heat saw him bundled out in the Quarterfinals.
“I’m so happy there are some good waves and glad they ran it when it’s pumping. It’s good to show what you've got out there,” said Robinson.
Robinson is used to heavy waves being from Western Australia, hence his quality performance.
“We have a lot of slabs and stuff around and I’ve always grown up on that.”
With no shortage of surf on the horizon for the remainder of the week, event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning to assess conditions and make the next call.
Pipe Masters Invitational Final Match-Ups:
Reef McIntosh (HAW), Jamie O’Brien (HAW), Makai McNamara (HAW), Hank Gaskell (HAW)
Men’s Pipe Masters Invitational Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Reef McIntosh (HAW) 6.83, Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 4.60, Kai Barger (HAW) 3.11, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 2.83
SF 2: Makai McNamara (HAW) 6.26, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 3.27, Landon McNamara (HAW) 2.10, Mason Ho (HAW) 1.13
Men’s Pipe Masters Invitational Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 10.40 , Reef McIntosh (HAW) 7.26, Isaiah Moniz (HAW) 6.67, Danny Fuller (HAW) 2.06
QF 2: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.04, Kai Barger (HAW) 7.93, Seth Moniz 7.10, Shane Dorian 4.00
QF 3: Landon McNamara (HAW) 6.66, Mason Ho (HAW) 3.20, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 1.33, Joel Centeio (HAW) 1.03
QF 4: Hank Gaskell (HAW) 15.50, Makai McNamara (HAW) 6.03, Jack Robinson (AUS) 5.33, Kalani Chapman (HAW) 2.34
Men’s Pipe Masters Invitational Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Danny Fuller (HAW) 13.00, Shane Dorian (HAW) 6.17 , Kalani David (HAW) 6.17,
Keanu Asing (HAW) 1.83
Heat 2: Jamie O’Brien (HAW)18.40, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 8.33, Alex Smith (HAW) 6.67, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 4.00
Heat 3: Kai Barger (HAW) 7.50, Reef McIntosh (HAW) 6.00, Ian Walsh (HAW) 5.07, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 4.53,
Heat 4: Seth Moniz (HAW) 3.84, Isaiah Moniz (HAW)3.57, Granger Larsen (HAW) 1.90, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 1.90
Heat 5: Landon McNamara (HAW) 8.10, Kalani Chapman (HAW) 6.10, Billy Kemper (HAW) 5.56, Joshua Moniz (HAW) 4.14
Heat 6: Joel Centeio (HAW) 14.73, Makai McNamara (HAW) 11.13, Kaito Kino (HAW) 10.34, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 4.67
Heat 7: Hank Gaskell (HAW) 6.24, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 5.26, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 3.67, Nathan Florence (HAW) 3.63
Heat 8: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.50, Mason Ho (HAW) 7.64, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 2.63, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 6.26
Sunset Surf Club celebrated its 7th highly successful Night Surfing Classic Friday 5th and Saturday 6th December 2014 at the Pipe, Pollok Beach, Summerstrand.
Addie from Sunset Surf gives us the wrap on a great event:
"This year, in addition to the surfing contest and live entertainment activities, the club included a Bodyboard division and a Skateboarding competition for enthusiasts to show off their talent.
The Sunset Surf Club Night Surfing Classic kicked off at 18h00 on Friday 5th after a record entry of 86 surfers and 40 skateboarders. As the heats progressed through the evening the crowd grew and the weather was good creating a festival atmosphere with funky band, Down By Law providing the live entertainment on Friday evening and the ever popular The Brothers who performed on Saturday evening.
Surfers who excelled in their respective divsions were Daniel Emslie (U/10), Kelly Fenton (U/12 Girls), Dylan Hendricks (U/12 Boys), Brian Lightfoor (U/14 Boys), Kia Fenton (U/16 Girls), Michael Monk (U/20 Boys and Open division) who also received the Surfer of the Contest award unanimously, his dad and former SA Team and Border team member, Wayne Monk (Masters), Kurt Buchner (Veterans), Peter Coffee (Longboard) and Warren Canepa (Bodyboard).
The skate park and the Night skateboarding competition co-ordinated by Rieyaad Saban founder of King’s Beach Skateboarding was another hit with the crowds when skateboarders of all ages demonstrated their extreme talents in the Street line and Mini ramp categories.
We positioned ourselves to meet and beat challenges related to an event of this kind with special emphasis placed on safety and security of contestants and spectators alike. The goals we set ourselves from the first year in 2008 were achieved as can be seen by the growth and interest in the night surfing classic each and every year. This event did not come without challenges this year too but we persevered and overcame those challenges as we often do. We have people of all walks of life and of all ages enter this competition from as far as KZN and Western Cape.
Our sponsors have placed their full support behind the night surfing classic providing product prizes, gift voucher and cash such as Algoa FM, SSA, RVCA, Quiksilver, Surf Centre, Roxy, Soul Good, La Zila Projects and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (Beach Office and Electricity Installations Department) for the floodlighing.
A special thanks to all contestants, spectators and Sunset committee for making the event what it is today. Next years competition will be held on the 4th and 5th December 2015 God willing – Addie Jappie (Chairperson) Sunset Surf Club.
Here are all the results:
Surfer of the contest was Micheal Monk.
The theater of dreams. Gotto be in it to win it. And Gabe, Mick and Kelly are in it. Will Gabe fly, or will he cry. Will Kelly do it for Generation X. Can Mick pull it off instead of pulling a hamstring?
Looks like the wave gods are cooperating and sending some solid swell to the islands for the Start of the Pipeline Masters. It's gonna be decided by big balls and barrels and not spinning twirling stuff. Purple blobs mean real surfing not sky surfing.
So how does the cookie crumble? Like this:
-If Gabriel makes the final at Pipe, he wins the World Title.
-If Gabriel places 3rd or 5th at Pipe, Mick must win Pipe to claim the World Title. Kelly will be eliminated.
-If Gabriel places 9th at Pipe, Mick must place 2nd at Pipe to claim the World Title. Kelly will be eliminated.
-If Gabriel places 13th or 25th at Pipe, Mick must place 3rd to beat Gabriel or 5th to tie (then there'd be a surf-off)
-For Kelly to win the World Title, he must win Pipe, while having Mick get 3rd or worse, & Gabriel get 13th or 25th.
So basically Kelly is only technically in with a chance. He needs one of the Pipe wildcards to do him a favour and beat Medina in the early rounds. And there's only 2 of them this year vs the normal horde - as it's in keeping with the ASP standard protocol for all world tour events - 2 wild cards.
Eddie Rothman - he of the big tat's and bigger mouth, had a lot to say about the culling of the local wildcards. Until someone pointed out that he wasn't exactly local himself, having come to the islands at 13 yrs old....from Pennsylvania. Hard to throw your weight around as a Pennsylvania local.
Still, he has a point. The circus arrives to invade your break so it seems fair to give the local surfers a crack. Flip side of the coin is that world titles are often on the line and getting knocked out by a wildcard cos he knows the spot like the back of his hand is a bitter pill to swallow. But flip the coin again....you wanna lift the trophy you must be the best surfer in the world - which means you gotto beat anyone, anywhere.
Pipe reminded everyone that it's a proper wave yesterday - when it swatted Parko like a fly and drilled him flat onto the reef for 2 waves. That'll wake ya up a touch! He got a few rocky love bites to mark the occassion but it otherwise fine. Won't surf the Van's event but will be back in the mix at the Billabong Pipe Masters.
Check out this classic Aussie take on who's hot and who's not for the title.