TheÂ 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 Â NNW swell at Pipeline. Round 1 will kick off today at 8:20 a.m. local time with the Womenâ€™s Pipe Invitational on standby for a possible start today.
â€œIt was a hard call today especially because the forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday will have unfavorable winds,â€ said WSL Deputy Commissioner Renato Hickel. â€œWe 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 Womenâ€™s Pipe Invitational.â€
The worldâ€™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 sawÂ Finn McGill (HAW)Â andÂ Gavin Beschen (HAW)Â claim the two wildcard entries, the final heat draw for the Billabong Pipe Masters is now set.
Newly crowned WSL ChampionÂ John John Florence (HAW)Â will faceÂ Jadson Andre (BRA)Â and wildcardÂ BeschenÂ 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 Â 5 will see Defending Vans Triple Crown of Surfing winnerÂ Gabriel Medina (BRA)Â surf against rookieÂ Kanoa Igarashi (USA)Â and injury replacementÂ Bruce Irons (HAW).
Up first this morning will beÂ Julian Wilson (AUS),Â Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)Â andÂ Ryan Callinan (AUS)Â in the opening heat of Round 1.
The Womenâ€™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 ChampionÂ Carissa Moore (HAW), newly crowned WSL ChampionÂ Tyler Wright (AUS), six-time WSL ChampionÂ Stephanie Gilmore (AUS),Â and World No. 2Â Courtney Conlogue (USA).
â€œWith Pipe being such an important place for surfing, we wanted to have a womenâ€™s presence here and continue to push the top 17,â€ said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL Women’s Commissioner. â€œItâ€™s a challenging wave, and I think in the last few years the women have really stepped it up, especially given last yearâ€™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 itâ€™s a such a hard place to freesurf.â€
Surfline, official forecaster for the WSL, are calling for:
Small leftovers from the NW prevail Wednesday as local wind improves (trades).Â