The Super Bowl Of Surfing Does Not Disappoint
On the most historic day of surfing ever, Pipeline provided. Giant barrels were on tap all day on the final day of the Pipe Masters where Mick Fanning won his third ASP Word Championship, John John Florence sealed his second Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title, and Kelly Slater won the Pipe Masters. The surfing was simply masterful yet the star of the show was Pipeline. Its surfings ultimate arena, I don't even know why they bother running contests at waves like Lower Trestles. All day long, bus sized barrels steamrolled through the lineup causing carnage and creating glory. But you don't need me to replay the day—11 million people tuned into the live webcast. And while those aren't quite NFL numbers, those millions of people were glued to their monitors, soaking up the best day ever for professional surfing. Well done Pipeline, well done.
Below is everything you need to know, like who won what and who's going to be back on the ASP World Championship Tour come 2014… —JC
Kelly Slater Wins Billabong Pipe Masters Over Vans Triple Crown Winner John John Florence
BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Saturday, December 14, 2013) – Kelly Slater (USA), 41, has won his 7th Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons after a day of incredible 10-to-15 foot (three to four metre) waves at Pipeline today. Slater defeated John John Florence (HAW), 21, in a hard-fought, 35-minute Final that ended with less than half-a-point separating the two. The runner-up finish for Florence saw him crowned 2013 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion.
The final day of the Billabong Pipe Masters capped off the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season in fine style, with epic conditions providing the ideal backdrop for the crowning of Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, as the ASP World Champion. It also finalized the ASP Top 34 roster for 2014. Fanning finished third overall, defeated by Florence in their Semifinal.
"It was a strange Final," Slater said. "John John (Florence) and I both waited for a while and neither of us really got a score until late in the match. I knew it was going to be a sprint and it was probably a little advantageous not to have priority in the Final as I was able to go for a lot of waves instead of wait for those that took a while to eventuate." With tens of thousands packing the beach at Pipeline, and the gravitas of Slater's 56th elite tour victory apparent, the greatest athlete the sport has ever produced was emotional on the final day of 2013.
"The crowd today is the biggest I have ever seen at Pipe," Slater said. "It's unbelievable. I woke up in the dark and my friend Ross Williams was at my house saying he couldn't even get his bike on the road to ride over here. We're so excited to be here at Pipe, especially when the waves are good. All the people on the beach and online and watching on television make it that much more exciting."
Speculation surrounding Slater's eventual departure from the 'Sport of Kings' has been present at the season-ending event for the past several years, often supported by questions regarding motivation, legacy and physicality. The iconic American addressed these rumors unprompted today while on stage collecting his seventh Billabong Pipe Masters trophy.
"Last year, someone asked me what excited me in the end years of my career and I said I would like to surf a Final at Pipe against John John (Florence) so that's pretty special today," Slater said. "To win is even better. I want to surf against the best surfers at the best waves – that's why I'm on tour. I was obviously emotional today, especially after Mick (Fanning) clinched the title in the Quarters. I don't know what happens for me in 2014 but I think that has pissed me off just enough to come back."
"Today was one of the most special days in my life," Slater continued. "It's a day I have dreamed about since I was a little kid – big, perfect, West-angled Pipeline and a showdown at the Pipe Masters. If I had stepped away from the sport five years ago, I wouldn't have had today. I want more days like this so I'm definitely back next year."
Fanning's road to the 2013 ASP World Title was nothing short of spectacular on the final day of competition. Finding himself behind during both his Round 5 and Quarterfinals bouts, the iron-nerved Australian nailed huge Pipeline scores in both occasions to take the heat wins and his third world surfing crown.
"I've never put myself in the same circles as Tom Curren and Andy Irons," Fanning said. "Tom (Curren) is such an enigma and was so instrumental to injecting style into our sport. Andy (Irons)…what hasn't been said about Andy? He was such a legend and he was such a good friend. I'm honored to be a part of this group. I was happy with one title and I was overwhelmed with two. With three? I don't have words for that."
Today marked John John Florence's second Vans Triple Crown Title, but his runner-up in the final event forces him to hang on to his life-long dream of one day hoisting the Pipe Masters trophy. The youngster, who lives right here at Pipe, battled Slater with a series of exciting exchanges during the final 10 minutes, coming painfully close.
"This is my second Triple Crown but it feels pretty special," Florence said. "The first year, I wasn't really thinking about it. I was young and just having fun. This year, I came into the Triple Crown wanting to win it, but I honestly didn't think I had a chance until we got to the final day at Pipe. This result has me motivated for next year. It's eating my inside how close I was, but I'm still stoked."
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 32, defending Billabong Pipe Masters Champion, took a Quarterfinals victory over Brazilian Miguel Pupo (BRA), 22, but fell to Kelly Slater in the Semifinals. Parkinson posted two solid scores of his own in the bombing Pipeline conditions, but was unable to put a stop to a near-perfect heat from Slater.
"I would have liked to make it to the final just to surf more perfect waves," Parkinson said. "Kelly was always in the right place and no matter where he paddled waves were coming to him. I never ruled myself out, because I knew if I could find a 10, then it'd be game on again. It was one of those ones where the two best surfers of the whole event ended up in the final together."
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 16.37
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 15.90
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 18.30 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5.00
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.63 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.84
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.03 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.90
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.77 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.00
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.80 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.80
QF 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.83 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 6.00
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.00 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.50
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.67 def. Nat Young (USA) 7.26
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.60 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 4.33
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.76
Mick Fanning Claims 2013 ASP World Title at Billabong Pipe Masters
BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Saturday, December 14, 2013) -Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, has claimed his third ASP World Title today in epic conditions at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons.
The final event of the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season, the Billabong Pipe Masters is culminating today in solid 10 to 15 foot (three-to-five metre) waves at the infamous Banzai Pipeline and Fanning's last-minute heroics in both Round 5 against C.J. Hobgood (USA), 34, and the Quarterfinals against Yadin Nicol (AUS), 28, has sealed his campaign for this year's world surfing crown over an rampaging Kelly Slater (USA), 41.
"It wasn't easy," Fanning said of his morning Round 5 bout with Hobgood. "If you want to win a world title, you have to put it all on the line. I basically got flogged for 28 minutes of that heat before that gem came through. I heard from all the boys whistling on the beach and I knew it was going to be a good one when it came in. I got a roll in off of second reef and it set up for a really good section on first reef. Came through at the right time and that was definitely a magic moment for me."
Drawing compatriot Nicol in the Quarterfinals, Fanning once again found himself at a disadvantage early in the heat with his West Australian opponent racking up a number of high scores on his backhand at Pipeline. Needing an excellent score in the dying moments of the heat, Fanning dropped into on a second reef set, setting up for a tremendously deep backhand barrel before being spat out into the channel. With throngs of fans and media swarming him on the beach, Fanning awaited judgment of his final wave – a 9.70 out of a possible 10 for the heat win and the 2013 ASP World Title.
"The world title is something that takes a whole year, but sometimes it can feel like it boils down to the final day and the final heats," Fanning said. "I'm sure I gave my wife Karissa and my mum enough stress today to last a lifetime. I was never worried myself now that I think of it. I knew what I needed to do and if the opportunity came, I knew I could do it. That opportunity came in both heats today. It's an incredible feeling. I've been having fun all year and to clinch on a day like this at Pipeline makes it that much more special."
MICK FANNING 2013 ASP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR RESULTS:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Equal 3rd
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Equal 5th
Billabong Rio Pro: Equal 3rd
Volcom Fiji Pro: Runner-Up
Oakley Pro Bali: Equal 5th
Billabong Pro Tahiti: Equal 3rd
Hurley Pro at Trestles: Equal 9th
Quiksilver Pro France: WINNER
Rip Curl Pro Portugal: Equal 5th
Billabong Pipeline Masters: TBD
Slater followed up Fanning's clinching of the 2013 ASP World Title with a clinic in his Quarterfinals against Sebastian Zietz (HAW), 25, and was congratulatory of his Australian title opponent post-heat.
"I'm excited for Mick (Fanning) – it was an exciting finish," Slater said. "Mick has been focused all year. It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly where my year didn't stack up. I got hurt in Tahiti and probably should have rehabbed more before Trestles. I didn't surf very well through Europe. A world title is a yearlong thing. It was a great year for surfing and I'm excited we get to wrap up in great waves at Pipeline."
ASP Top 34 Finalized for 2014 ASP World Championship Tour Season
LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Sunday, December 15, 2013) – With the completion of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii yesterday and the crowning of Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, as the 2013 ASP World Champion, this season's ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) has drawn to a dramatic close.
In a year that witnessed the world's best surfers compete at Snapper Rocks, Bells Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Tavarua, Keramas, Teahupo'o, Trestles, Hossegor, Peniche and the Banzai Pipeline, 2013 not only hosted an incredible battle between Fanning and 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 41, for the world surfing crown, but also a fierce fight in terms of qualification and requalification for next year's elite tour.
The 2014 ASP Top 34, the most elite surfers on the planet, will be comprised of the Top 22 finishers on the 2013 ASP WCT rankings, the Top 10 finishers on the ASP Qualification Series (QS) rankings (barring surfers who have already qualified through the Top 22 on the ASP WCT rankings) and two ASP wildcards.
2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) Top 22:
1. Mick Fanning (AUS)
2. Kelly Slater (USA)
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
5. Taj Burrow (AUS)
6. Julian Wilson (AUS)
7. Kai Otton (AUS)
8. Nat Young (USA)
9. Josh Kerr (AUS)
10. John John Florence (HAW)
11. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
12. Michel Bourez (PYF)
13. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
14. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
15. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
16. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
17. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
18. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
19. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
20. Fred Patacchia (HAW)
21. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
22. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
2013 ASP Qualification Series (QS) Top 10 (barring double qualifiers):
– Adam Melling (AUS)
– Kolohe Andino (USA)
– Alejo Muniz (BRA)
– Jadson Andre (BRA)
– Mitch Crews (AUS)
– Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
– Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
– Travis Logie (ZAF)
– Dion Atkinson (AUS)
– Brett Simpson (USA)
– Owen Wright (AUS)
– Tiago Pires (PRT)
ASP Replacement Surfers:
– Glenn Hall (IRL)
– Mitch Coleborn (AUS) – next in line on 2013 ASP QS rankings
– Patrick Gudauskas (USA) – next in line on 2013 ASP WCT rankings
– Willian Cardoso (BRA) – second in line on 2013 ASP QS rankings
The ASP Wildcards for the 2014 ASP WCT have been allocated to Owen Wright (AUS), 23, and Tiago Pires (PRT), 33.
Due to the large number of deserving surfers requesting wildcards for the 2014 season, the ASP Commissioner's Office has allocated the first replacement spot for next season to Glenn Hall (IRL), 32, who sustained a significant back injury last June in Fiji.
The first stop on the 2014 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast from March 1 – 12, 2014.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com