BANZAI PIPELINE, Hawaii (Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008) –Round 1 of the Billabong Pipeline Masters will hit the water at 8am. Surf is in the five to seven foot range and building. The ASP Dual Heat format will be utilized meaning all of Round 1 and half of Round 2 will be completed today.
Forty of the 64 surfers competing in the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters are full-time ASP World Tour competitors. The rest of the field is comprised of five replacement surfers, three event-nominated wildcards, 14 Pipeline specialists, one Tahitian invitee and one Vans Triple Crown contender.
Replacement surfers, wildcards and the lowest seeded surfers on the ASP World Tour will surf first in Round 1 with the middle and higher rated surfers seeded into Rounds 2 and 3 respectively.
ASP World Tour surfer Ben Bourgeious (USA) pulled out of the event citing injury today and has been replaced by Reef McIntosh (HAW). As previously reported, Neco Padaratz (BRA) and Jordy Smith (ZAF) are also out with injuries and Travis Logie (ZAF) declined his spot for personal reasons.
As the final competition on the 11-stop 2008 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pipeline Masters is the last chance surfers have to cement their spot on the 2009 tour. Only 27 of the Top 45 surfers on the ASP World Tour requalify at year's end with the remaining 18 competitors earning spots via finishing Top 15 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) or receiving one of three ASP wildcard spots.
The scenarios for the 2008 ASP World Tour ratings possibilities can be found here: http://www.aspworldtour.com/2008/pdf/2008_aspwt_possibilities.pdf.
For more information please visit www.aspworldtour.com and www.triplecrownofsurfing.com.