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The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), has been called ON in clean three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves with a  NNW swell at Pipeline. Round 1 will kick off today at 8:20 a.m. local time with the Women’s Pipe Invitational on standby for a possible start today.

“It was a hard call today especially because the forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday will have unfavorable winds,” said WSL Deputy Commissioner Renato Hickel. “We are going to call the competition on today with the three-to-five foot conditions and the odd six foot sets. We are going to see mainly Backdoor and a lot of turns. We are going to see the odd barrel, I believe. We are going to start at 8:20 a.m. local time. Also, on standby today will be the Women’s Pipe Invitational.”

The world’s best surfers will battle to become the next Pipe Master and to to earn the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title. After the Pipe Invitational saw Finn McGill (HAW) and Gavin Beschen (HAW) claim the two wildcard entries, the final heat draw for the Billabong Pipe Masters is now set.

Newly crowned WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) will face Jadson Andre (BRA) and wildcard Beschen in Round 1 Heat 6. Hometown hero Florence will fight to claim his the CT victory here at Pipe in addition to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Round 1 Heat  5 will see Defending Vans Triple Crown of Surfing winner Gabriel Medina (BRA) surf against rookie Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and injury replacement Bruce Irons (HAW).

Up first this morning will be Julian Wilson (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and Ryan Callinan (AUS) in the opening heat of Round 1.

The Women’s Pipe Invitational is on hold for today, and will likely run between a Round 1 heat of the Billabong Pipe Masters. Four athletes will compete in a single-heat Final format, including defending event winner and three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), newly crowned WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS), six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), and World No. 2 Courtney Conlogue (USA).

“With Pipe being such an important place for surfing, we wanted to have a women’s presence here and continue to push the top 17,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL Women’s Commissioner. “It’s a challenging wave, and I think in the last few years the women have really stepped it up, especially given last year’s performance from Carissa Moore. The idea is for us to have a presence, but also for the women to have experience in the lineup since it’s a such a hard place to freesurf.”

Surfline, official forecaster for the WSL, are calling for:

Small leftovers from the NW prevail Wednesday as local wind improves (trades). 

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Michael Sandoval

Michael created MUSE/MUSE TV after a career in professional sports and journalism. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Don Bosco Technical Institute in which he studied Electronics and Computer Science and California State University, Fullerton in which he graduated with a degree from the College of Communication in Journalism. He is a big Foo Fighters fan, loves Star Wars and loves photography.