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Kelly into Pipe Quartz; Mick is not

The seeds we’ve been waiting for, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning, pulled on jerseys today at the Pipe Masters. As you’re well aware, for Kelly Slater to steal the world title from Mick Fanning, Kelly must win the event with Mick in third or worse. And as he’s so good at, having won six Pipe […]

// Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The seeds we’ve been waiting for, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning, pulled on jerseys today at the Pipe Masters. As you’re well aware, for Kelly Slater to steal the world title from Mick Fanning, Kelly must win the event with Mick in third or worse. And as he’s so good at, having won six Pipe Masters in his career, Kelly made life easier for himself today by bouncing straight into the quarters. The Floridian posted to combined heat totals in the 17 point range, in rounds three and four, and looked pretty goddamn electric. “I was worried this morning about the conditions,” Kelly said. “John John and I were out trying to catch a couple of waves and I kinda thought ‘maybe we shouldn’t run, maybe we should wait and hour or two until it gets better.’ It seemed like it turned on during my heat and some kind of energy came through for me. I knew I had to make that heat, you can’t let those things escape your mind, that was the reality of the situation, but it’s not going to change how you go out there and perform. I had to go out there focused.”


Mick was strong in round three against Kaimana Jaquias, but had the unhappy task of toppling John John Florence in round four – which he couldn’t do. John put a quarters ticket in his back pocket, and Mick slipped out the side door into the round five room. At the end of the heat, Mick thought he was in third, which’d mean he would face CJ in round five. So, he didn’t think twice about what seemed like a friendly drop in on John John. However, Mick had in fact been sitting in second, which would mean he’d have been facing Julian Wilson in round five. Round three today was the first time Jules has won a heat at Pipe, and CJ is a seasoned vet, this being one of the few events where he really shines. If the swell forecast comes true then we could be staring down the barrel of a Pipe-centric final day, with nothing much goin’ on at Backdoor. Suffice to say, Mick couldn’t leave the beach quick enough. He now faces CJ Hobgood in the first heat of the day when competition resumes.

Oh, and Dusty Payne lost today and has lost a concrete place on tour next year. He’ll now be one of the men scrapping for an injury wildcard next year. And unfortunately for Dusty’s often-roommate, Joel Parkinson, had to knock his friend out. “There were a couple waves out there that we didn’t make, but to be put in a position where you have to surf against a friend that you want on tour, and I want dusty on tour more than anything, it’s horrible,” said Joel. “I really wanted him on tour, he’s such a good talent and a good guy and a good friend. I told Dusty I wasn’t going to hassle him on any wave that I didn’t have priority for and I was even looking for waves for him when I didn’t have priority, thinking ‘maybe this one.’ I wasn’t going to just roll over though, you don’t really get many chances to win a Pipe Masters and you’ve got to have a go while you’re there.”

Now, here’s a bunch of other awesome things you should know about the Pipe Masters…

  • Pipe’s better suited for Natural footers. They can get deeper on the lefts and backdoor is way too tricky for goofy footers.
  • If Kelly wins Pipe, he’ll have a dozen world titles and half a dozen Pipe Masters.
  • A Brazilian has never won Pipe. Every other country on tour has got one. Michel Bourez falls under Europe and Micro ain’t Irish.
  • John John doesn’t hustle or show strong arm out at Pipe. He just puts himself in the perfect spot every time.
  • People say Pipe is best on a big west swell, but it’s actually better on a north west swell. This will get lefts and rights firing.
  • Pipe goes offshore every evening when it’s firing, like Uluwatu in Bali.
  • Both injuries at this year’s event have happened above the water. Spit blew Kieren’s shoulder out (dislocated), and a lip caught Bede’s ear (busted eardrum).
  • A goofy footer has not won pipe in 12 years, Rob Machado being the last.
  • We won’t see Dusty Payne on tour next year thanks to his loss to Joel Parko.
  • With Dusty Payne not re-qualifying, there are now four surfers going for two injury wild card spots. Dusty, Tiago Pires, Micro and Owen Wright.
  • John John and Jamie O’Brien have an inside bet to see who can win the most Pipe events. Jamie’s leading right now.
  • Gerry Lopez never went right at Backdoor.
  • The house directly in front of Pipe actually belongs to the Coffin family.
  • Pipe should be the first event of the year. The waves are better every year for the Volcom five-star than the Pipe Masters.
  • The surf industry loses five million per day when the Pipe comp runs because no one works*. (*May not be true.)
  • Pipe is the only WCT that has first round elimination.
  • Bruce Brown named the Pipeline in ’61.
  • You can’t run the event after 5pm in Hawaii, or start before 7:30am
  • Winners at Pipe: 16 Hawaiians, 15 Australians, nine Americans.
  • Pipe has the strongest current on the North Shore. You’ve gotta paddle out way up the beach to get out on the shoulder.
  • The further you make it in the tube at Pipe, the safer it is. It runs onto sand.
  • John John doesn’t live at Pipe no more. In fact, his new home spot is Log Cabins. His mom still lives at Pipe, though. He moved away ’cause Kelly moved in next door.
  • The Pipe Masters has almost twice as many online viewers than any other world tour event.
  • The Brazilians claimed more waves today then the rest of the WT combined.
  • Despite not free surfing out at Pipe, it’s Dane Reynolds’ favorite wave.
  • The first rodeo attempted in competition was at the Banzai by Kelly Slater.
  • The Pipe post show is actually pretty good. Hang out and watch it for Occy alone.

Heat 1:
 Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.66 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.66
Heat 2: CJ Hobgood (USA) 11.33 def. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 7.13
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.97 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.33
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 14.97 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.40
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 16.23 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.00
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.63 def. Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 6.27
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.76
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.77 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.17
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.66 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 3.30
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.33 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 10.96
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.10 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.67
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.56 def. Dusty Payne (AUS) 7.33

Heat 1:
 Yadin Nicol (AUS) 14.83, Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.96, CJ Hobgood (USA) 11.84
Heat 2:John John Florence (HAW) 16.37, Nat Young (USA) 14.00, Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.51
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.56, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.17
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.77, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.57, Kai Otton (AUS) 7.60

Heat 1:
 CJ Hobgood (USA) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)

Current Vans Triple Crown Top 5:
1 – 
John John Florence (HAW) 10,600 points
2 – Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10,400 points
3 – Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10,100 points
4 – Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9,300 points
5 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 8,400 points


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