Messy conditions at Pipe this morning. Photo: Dias
Lay Day Called for Opening Day of Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons
Billabong Pipe Masters

Lay Day Called for Opening Day of Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons

Dec 08, 2018

The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT), has been called OFF today due to unfavorable winds on offer (messy four-to-six foot, NNW swell with gusty NW side-shore winds). The holding period for the Pipe Masters runs through Thursday, December 20, and event organizers will select the best days to run the competition within that window. 

“We are down here at Pipe today and it is howling onshore wind,” said Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner. “The wind has gone a little more to the north today, so the trade wind is kicking in and messing things up. The swell is still okay, but we are going to call competition off today. We will come back tomorrow morning and have another look. That new swell that is filling in is quite north in direction so the chance of being on are pretty low tomorrow. Going into next week we have a series of swells lining up, which look good.”

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow, Sunday, December 8, at 7:30 a.m. HST to reassess the conditions and make the next call. 

The Irons family at the opening ceremony. Photo: WSL

Once called on, the Billabong Pipe Masters will cap off the season to determine the 2018 Men’s World Champion and the winner of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of the Surfing (VTCS). Three athletes remain in contention to claim the World Title: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), and Filipe Toledo (BRA). 

The Men's World Title Scenarios going into the last event of the season, the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii, are as follows: 

  • If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he wins the World Title;
  • If Gabriel Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need to finish 1st;
  • If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th-25th, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need a 2nd or 1st at Pipe.
Who Will Take Pipe?

Billabong Pipe Masters: Third and Final Stage of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

For 36 years, the VTCS has been sharing and celebrating one of the most significant sporting series in the world. The VTCS  encompasses three different and equally storied wave venues along seven miles of hallowed coastline – Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach, Sunset Beach, and Pipeline. The first gem of the series, the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, saw 2012 WSL Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) take the win and move closer to securing a fourth VTCS title. Parkinson announced retirement from professional surfing earlier this year but is lining up for a victorious swan song. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) won the Vans World Cup of Surfing yesterday in all-time big wave conditions at Sunset Beach and is in contention for his first VTCS title and another victory for Hawaii.

Now, the three-event series heads into its final event, the Billabong Pipe Masters, which will determine the esteemed VTCS winner. Although the Triple Crown race is still open heading into Pipe, the top three leaders include Jesse Mendes (BRA), who placed 5th at the recent Hawaiian Pro and runner-up in yesterday’s Vans World Cup, Parkinson, and Lau, respectively. 

Pipe Invitational Will Determine Two Wildcards for Billabong Pipe Masters

The first competition day of the Billabong Pipe Masters will feature the Pipe Invitational, a 32-man trials event that awards the top two finishers a wildcard into the main event. With a $60,000 prize purse on the line, but more importantly, a chance to play spoiler to the World Title, the Pipe Invitational will kick things off in dramatic fashion once competition begins. 

The 32-man draw is comprised of the top 12 finishers from the 2018 Volcom Pipe Pro, four Hawaii athletes off the International QS, four from the regional QS, six event wildcards, four standout Pipe performers, the 2017 Pipe Invitational defending event winner, and a Vans Triple Crown of Surfing contender. Names like Billy Kemper (HAW), 3x Jaws Challenge winner and reigning Big Wave Champion; former Pipe Invitational winners Finn McGill (HAW) and Dusty Payne (HAW); North Shore big wave standout Jack Robinson (AUS); and Hawaiian notable Mason Ho (HAW) fill the roster, alongside young guns like Wyatt McHale (HAW), 17, Justin Becret (FRA), 17, and Barron Mamiya (HAW), who have also earned their place in the lineup.

Dusty is back! Photo: WSL / Kirstin

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