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.