Kelly Slater Wins The Volcom Pipe Pro
Victory marks his 66th ASP World Tour win; 8th win at Pipeline
After three long days of intense competition spread out over an 11-day waiting period, it was Kelly Slater who proved yet again, that he is the master of Pipeline. Slater battled an insanely talented field and wild conditions to take the title of Volcom Pipe Pro champion. In its fifth year as a five-star surf event, the Volcom Pipe Pro was blessed yet again with phenomenal conditions for the final day of competition. The morning started with solid 8-to-12 foot surf, and building-sized waves crashed onto the reef in the form of perfect a-frame waves offering competitors and fans alike an exciting mix of big barrels and terrifying wipeouts. "Those were three of the best waves I've caught all season, " said a visibly excited Kelly Slater after surfing his way to a near-perfect score of 20 in his round of 32 heat, scoring a perfect 10, along with a 9.77. "This was one of those days at Pipe and Backdoor that we all wait for." Slater, who had a close call in an earlier round heat absolutely, crushed his competition through the final day.
The quarterfinals featured bone-crushing waves, and one competitor; Ola Eleogram suffered a fractured ankle after a bad wipeout. Eleogram was taken out the water on the sled of a jet ski, and whisked away to a local emergency room for x-rays and further treatment. Every heat seemed to come down to the wire with last second scores being the difference. Some surfers seemed to have Pipeline going against them, while others, specifically, Mason Ho, making it look easy even the wind whipped up and made conditions sketchy to say the least. "I'm just trying to have fun and get good waves," smiled Mason Ho after winning his round of 32 heat. Mason, who's father, Michael is a legendary Hawaiian surfer, used his innate local knowledge to pick off the best waves. "Mason reads the ocean better than anyone," said commentator Dave Wassel.
Throughout the day, the wind whipped and howled, but held steady offering perfect waves at both Backdoor and Pipeline. Contest Director, Marty Thomas said it perfectly, "We knew it was going to be a tough call, but waiting for this swell paid off huge--we couldn't be more happy with the waves we saw today."
The semifinals became total surf-war, eight surfers going blow for blow in conditions that had declined just slightly from the earlier heats, but still offered giant barrels and crazy rides. At the end of the semis, it was Kelly Slater, Mason Ho, Wiggoly Dantas, and Adriano De Souza, who battled through to the final.
Slater was on fire from beginning of the final, drawing first, second, and third blood, leaving the other three surfers playing catch up from the very start. Mason Ho made it interesting halfway though the heat, dropping a hefty score, with Adriano and Wiggoly both suffering from slow starts. But, like we saw time and time again, the last four minutes of the final heat offered up multiple opportunities for last second heroics. Wiggoly and Adriano both made a run for the top spot, but when the buzzer rang, it was Kelly Slater proving yet again that he is the greatest Pipeline surfer ever. "Today was a really special day at Pipeline," said Slater. "I caught some of the best waves I've had all year in my heats! This was a phenomenal event and it was really fun to surf against the best--I'm really stoked to win, but more importantly just happy to surf Pipeline at its best."
Slater set the bar high throughout the event. Not only scoring the highest heat score of the event (19.77), but also grabbing the only perfect ten of the entire contest. Congratulations to Kelly Slater and the rest of the field for making the 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro an event to remember...can't wait till next year!--Chris Coté
2014 Volcom Pipe Pro Final Results:
1st. Kelly Slater, USA – 15.7 (9.53, 6.17) $20,000 + 2000 ratings points
2nd. Wiggolly Dantas, Brazil – 13.77 (8.27, 5.5) $10,000 + 1500 ratings points
3rd. Mason Ho, Hawaii – 11.5 (7.7, 3.8) $6,500 + 1125 ratings points
4th. Adriano De Souza, Brazil – 10.7 (8.43, 2.27) $5,500 + 984 ratings points
1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=5th; 4th=7th
H1: Kelly Slater (USA); Wiggolly Dantas (BRA); Dusty Payne; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS)
H2: Adriano De Souza (BRA); Mason Ho; Kiron Jabour; Torrey Meister
1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=9th; 4th=13th
H1: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA); Mitchel Coleborn (AUS); Nathan Yeomans (USA); Olamana Eleogram
H2: Kelly Slater (USA); Dusty Payne; Brent Dorrington (AUS); Conner Coffin (USA)
H3: Adriano De Souza (BRA); Torrey Meister; Damien Hobgood (USA); Cory Arrambide (USA)
H4: Mason Ho; Kiron Jabour; Maxime Huscenot (FRA); Brian Toth (PRI)
ROUND OF 32:
1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=17th; 4th=25th
H1: Olamana Eleogram; Dusty Payne; Leandro Usuna (ARG); Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
H2: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS); Brent Dorrington (AUS); David do Carmo (BRA); Fred Patacchia
H3: Kelly Slater (USA); Nathan Yeomans (USA); Krystian Kymerson (BRA); Charles Martin (GLP)
H4: Conner Coffin (USA); Wiggolly Dantas (BRA); Chris Ward (USA); Kalani David
H5: Torrey Meister; Brian Toth (PRI); Kaito Kino; Evan Geiselman (USA)
H6: Damien Hobgood (USA); Maxime Huscenot (FRA); Parker Coffin (USA); Kaito Ohashi (JPN)
H7: Mason Ho; Adriano De Souza (BRA); Jamie O’Brien; Carlos Munoz (CRI)
H8: Kiron Jabour; Cory Arrambide (USA); Ian Gouveia (BRA); Guillermo Satt (CHL)