World Title race narrows to two on day two of Pipeline Masters

No matter which plot line, underdog story, dark horse, or comeback you are subscribing to, Sunday was a huge day in pro surfing, with perhaps the most important news of the day being the narrowing of the World Title race to two.

Mick Fanning was eliminated from the Billabong Pipeline Masters, the last event of the World Tour, in round three by wildcard/event commentator Shane Dorian in a well-fought battle, decided in the end by 0.5 points. Now Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater stand as the last remaining horses in this year’s race.

Slater had a convincing victory over Billy Kemper in round three, setting up a three-man heat with Josh Kerr and Gabriel Medina in round four. Joel, however, has already won his round four heat over Kieren Perrow and CJ Hobgood, putting him straight into the quarterfinals. If Kelly is also able to get into the quarters, and by doing so begin to better his low score on the season, Joel will need to out-place him to hang on to the title. Considering their respective records at Pipeline, this would inarguably swing the odds in 11-time world champ Kelly Slater’s favor.

In other news, ultimate dark horse Sebastian Zietz clinched the Triple Crown and locked in a spot in the quarterfinals.

The current 6- to 8-foot swell is forecasted to hang around but invariably drop off over the next day, leaving event officials with a tough decision. They could either gamble and wait for the few possible swells on the long range charts for the end of the waiting period or take advantage of the declining swell on offer. A call will be made at 7 a.m. Monday, local time.

Photo of Kelly Slater courtesy of ASP

Heat 4:
Shane Dorian (HAW) 13.77 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.10
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.60 def. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 12.76
Heat 6: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.73 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.17
Heat 7: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.00 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.26
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.66 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 9.90
Heat 10: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 14.17 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.17
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.47 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 3.83
Heat 12: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.33 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 7.12

Heat 1:
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 7.83
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.10 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.83
Heat 3: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.83 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8.50
Heat 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.16 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.17
Heat 5: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.60 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.87
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.17 def. Kalani Chapman (HAW) 13.50
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.50 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.06
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 18.13 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.13
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.63 def. Billy Kemper (HAW) 15.50
Heat 10: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.83 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.66
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.83 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.10
Heat 12: Shane Dorian (HAW) 15.67 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.07

Heat 1:
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.40, Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.17, Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.96
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.10, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 6.20, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 5.83

Heat 3:
Gabriel Medina (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Shane Dorian (HAW)