PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Thursday, December 9, 2010) -Although several of the North Shore's premiere breaks are seeing surf in the 10-to-12 foot (3 – 4 metre) range this morning, the steep northerly angle of the swell is offering only minimal surf at Pipeline, forcing event officials to call the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons off for today.
The 10th and Final Stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pipe Masters is also the final stop of the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series), and ratings leader Joel Parkinson (AUS), 29, will look to clinch his third Hawaiian series title when competition resumes.
"There's no shortage of swell on the North Shore this morning, but unfortunately it's not hitting at Pipe so we'll have to call competition off for today," Randy Rarick, Vans Triple Crown Executive Director, said. "We're expecting unfavorable winds and weather over the next few days, but will still return tomorrow morning to assess conditions."
Yesterday's Billabong Pipe Masters saw the world's best surfers battle a mass of Pipeline specialists in tricky conditions to complete Rounds 1 and 2 of competition.
With the narrowing of the 48-man draw down to 24, the qualification campaigns of the world's best surfers for the 2011 ASP World Tour are being solidified. ASP World Ranking campaigners Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 28, Josh Kerr (AUS), 26, Alejo Muniz (BRA), 20, and Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, have cemented their spots on next year's ASP Dream Tour.
Gabe Kling (USA), 30, remains the target at present with 17,163 ASP World Rankings points. Dusty Payne (HAW), 21, is the only surfer able to overtake him.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
When competition resumes, up first will be defending Billabong Pipe Master Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, up against Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 22, in the opening heat of Round 3.
Highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters will be available via triplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters/.
Surfline, official forecasters of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, are calling for the current swell to fade with foul winds and weather to move in throughout the remainder of the week.
Andy Irons (1978 - 2010), three-time ASP World Champion and four-time Pipeline Masters Champion, tragically passed away on November 2nd of this year. A final celebration dedicated to the life and achievements of Andy Irons will be held in conjunction with the Billabong Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, on Saturday, December 11th, at Pipeline at 10am. The tribute will include a paddle-out by competitors in the Billabong Pipe Masters.
For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 2:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 3:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 4:Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 5:C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 7:Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8:Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 9:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. David Wassell (HAW)
Heat 10:Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11:Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 12:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)