16 Year-Old Finn McGill And 40 Year-Old Gavin Beschen Will Surf The Pipe Masters
On a day when 3.57 could win you a heat.
So a 16-year-old and a 40-year-old are through the Pipe Invitational and into the main event. You can fact check me if you want, but I’m saying it was the youngest and oldest guys in the draw that made it.
First, the 16-year-old. Finn McGill’s been a fixture on the North Shore his whole life, but no way was he supposed to breeze through heats against guys like Jamie O’Brien and Nathan Florence. And he certainly wasn’t supposed to win the trials. But he did, and now his mom is shedding tears of joy while young Finn’s rendered speechless.
“I can’t even speak right now I’m so stoked,” stammered Finn, who’s the youngest Pipe trials winner in who knows how long.
“I heard I was in this contest and I was in my bedroom screaming, so stoked. I’ve been wanting to be in the Pipe Masters my whole life,” he gushed like the teenager that he is. “I’ve been coming down here since I was like three years old. I went to school right across the street. I remember sitting in class listening to the scores. I’m so stoked right now!”
And because he’s a grom, and groms will be groms, as he was getting chaired up the beach there was a steady chorus of, “Throw him in the tide pool! Throw him in the tide pool!”
Then there was “the Alien,” Gavin Beschen. At 40 years old he found a way to stave off kids more than half his age and finish runner-up in the finals with a 6-point heat score.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to get to ride waves with these kids,” he said, considerably more reverential than wee Finn.
Enroute to the final old man Beschen defanged Jack Robinson, who seemed like the man to beat. He also took out Pipe stalwarts like Kalani Chapman and Eli Olson. We’re used to seeing Gav on the bombs, but who knew he could get the job done against the next gen when it’s only head-high?
McGill will have Keanu Asing and Jordy Smith in Round 1, while Beschen gets John John Florence and Jadson Andre.
The waves weren’t pumping at Pipe today, but a nice little north pulse filled in for the final. The conditions were clean. The skies were blue. And as Finn said, “that was so sick.”
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