Local boy Mikey Bruneau defeated an extremely talented field today, including former Pipe Masters Rob Machado and Derek Ho, to win the Rip Curl Code STL (stitchless) Trials today in bombing 8-10 foot surf at the fabled Banzai Pipeline. Bruneau, who was born and raised on the Big Island but now lives on the North Shore, hooked into to some heaving barrels and ran away with the final, outscoring Bruno Santos from Brazil, Westsider Brian Pacheco, and Shane Dorian, also of the Big Island.
After a week of below average surf, North Shore dwellers awoke to a bombing, eight to ten foot swell out of the Northwest. Eight to ten Hawai’ian, that is, so do the math and you’ll come up with nearly twenty foot faces, at Pipe, over razor sharp reef, and in front of what seems like the entire surfing world (except Joel Patterson and Chris Coté). Basically, the trialists scored one of the best days of the winter, and Mikey Bruneau stepped up huge with his relaxed and confident barrel riding. Yeah Mikey!
Now that the trials are over, the weather has gone to shit again and forecasts are calling for it to be windy and rainy for a couple days. The ‘CT boys got a good warm up session last night at Pipe after the trials though. As usual, Bruce and Andy got the bombs and Cory Lopez reportedly got a really heavy barrel right after the sun went down.
Over on Maui, the ladies of the WCT are in the waiting period for the Billabong Pro Maui held at legendary Honolua Bay. With plenty of swell lining up, it should be quite an event for the ladies, and while there is no world title drama (Sofia Mulanovich wrapped that up weeks ago), the women will be ripping the Bay. The Billabong Pro Maui has a waiting period from December 8-20. Stay tuned for results and reports.
On the media front, TransWorld Surf has set up a portrait studio literally spitting distance from Pipeline, with a working title of “Portraits From Pipe, and is looking really cool. Keep an eye for your favorite Pipe surfers, pros, legends, and misfits in a future issue.