Honolulu, HAWAII–(Tuesday, February 1, 2005) — The $75,000 Monster Energy Pro, presented by Billabong, will return to the famous Banzai Pipeline on February 15 through 28, 2005, and anticipates a re-run of the same conditions the event has enjoyed over the past two years. The late-February time slot for this event has dished up the most perfect and large surf possible at Pipeline. Last year, the event ran in an unheard of four consecutive days of huge, barreling rides in the range of 12 to 20 feet, show-casing world class talent at the world’s premier surf location.
An Association of Surfing Professionals (A.S.P.) 4-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, the Monster Energy Pro will offer critical points to professional surfers looking to qualify for the elite World Championship Tour (W.C.T.). It is only through strong performances on the W.Q.S. tour that surfers can graduate to the W.C.T. — the tour that crowns surfing’s world champion each year. For Hawaii surfers in particular, this event is one of their best chances of securing points on home ground.
The Monster Energy Pro will feature 144 of the world’s top professional surfers from 11 countries. Hawaii’s own Jamie O’Brien will head the field. O’Brien was recently victorious at Pipeline when he won the W.C.T.-rated Pipeline Masters in December. Literally raised with Pipeline in his backyard, O’Brien is now world-renowned for his flawless tube-riding and acrobatic aerial maneuvers that have seen him become unbeatable at this venue. His success began back in 2003, when at the age of 19, O’Brien won this event, then named the Hansen’s Energy Pro. This year, Hansen’s will be promoting their Monster Energy brand, hence the slight name change.
“To be able to compete in my own backyard is incredible, said O’Brien. “I’ve had the best results of my career at Pipe, so to have it count towards my goal of qualifying for the WCT tour this year is great.
Surfers from Hawaii, the U.S. Mainland, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Puerto Rico, France, Venezuela, Great Britain, South Africa, and Puerto Rico will make up the mix for this year’s Monster Energy Pro. Headlining surfers include former world champion Tom Curren (California), undisputed master of the Pipeline Derek Ho (Hawaii), defending event champion Tom Dosland (Maui), charging Japanese pair Masatoshi Ohno and Naohisa Ogawa, former world No.2 Rob Machado (California), and local Pipe aficionado Jamie Sterling.
The Monster Energy Pro will be broadcast live on the web on days of competition. The event will be held on the four biggest and best days of surf during the period of February 15 to 28, 2005. To watch it unfold live, tune into either of the following sites on contest day: