Billabong Pipe Masters

World Title Race: Gabriel Medina Roars in Round Two

Dec 17, 2017

The Billabong Pipe Masters got off to a fiery start Sunday morning on Oahu's North Shore, with No. 2 ranked Gabriel Medina facing a do-or-die match with Hawaiian wildcard Dusty Payne. Medina needed a win to keep his World Title hopes alive. Payne, a former Championship Tour star, qualified for this year's event by winning the hotly contested trials event, The Pipeline Invitational.

Gabriel Medina's 9.00. Photo: WSL / Sherman

The pair hit the water in clean, playful conditions, amid a slow building swell. Both surfers nabbed solid scores early, but Medina's strategy of staying busy in the lineup helped him stay in the lead. Payne remained in striking distance, thanks to a beautiful Backdoor tube. His 7.17 was the highest scoring wave of the heat halfway through. But then Medina responded with a deep backhand tuberide of his own, earning him a 9.0, and the crucial victory.

On the beach, Jeep Leader John John Florence watched the heat intently. For now, the pressure is back on the Hawaiian. He'll be taking to the lineup first in Round Three, just before Medina and fellow World Title contender Julian Wilson.

Final Day Highlights - Buzzer Beater and Trophies!

Medina Slides His Way Into an 9.07!

Faces of the Vans Triple Crown - Pt. 7!

Julian Wilson’s Almost Perfect 9.73!

Final Day Photos!

Flores 8.70 Deep Backdoor Runner!

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