Kelly Slater WINS 6th ASP World Title
AND 2nd Triple Crown Championship

Jake Paterson WINS Pipe Masters

Also SEE Story on prev days action at Honolulu Star Bulletin

ASP Official
Complete Pipe Masters Results

Banzai Pipeline, Hawai`i (Dec 19, 1998)--In one of the most exciting Pipe Masters contests ever held, defending world champion Kelly Slater made surfing history today by cinching his 6th Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Title in a quarter final heat which West Australia's Jake Paterson won. Paterson then went on to win the Pipe Masters with a tube ride just eight seconds before the final heat ended.

It was just part of a very complicated day at the $120,600 Mountain Dew Gerry Lopez Pipe Masters, the final jewel in the Vans G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu's North Shore. Surf was a clean, windless, 8-10 feet from the west which allowed surfers to choose either the classic left hand Pipe tube or the equally challenging Backdoor rights. It was considered some of the best surf ever seen during a Pipe Masters final day.

Paterson's win brought him $15,000 plus 1000 points. Second was Hawaii's Bruce Irons who won $8,000 and 860 points. Equal third went to Slater and Hawaii's Ross Williams, who was defeated by Bruce Irons in the second semi final. They each got $4,000 and 730 points.

Also at stake was the Triple Crown of Surfing Championship Title - a contest within a contest led by Hawaii's Shane Dorian -- until Slater advanced into the quarterfinal and Dorian did not. By advancing, Slater earned enough points to secure the title for the second time -- his first was in 1995, when he also won the Pipe Masters and World Championship Title all on the same day.

Points gained through placement in all three men's contests determine the Triple Crown title. Slater received a bonus $7,500 and accumulated 2,285 points; Dorian had 1,970. The Championship is considered by many pro surfers to be the most prestigious title that can be won, since it takes place on Oahu's North Shore in big waves. Only eight surfers have won it since its inception in 1983.

Slater's defeat in the semi-final came at the hands of an on-fire Paterson in a closely contested battle that saw Paterson winning 20.50 to 20.25 to advance into the final against Kauai's Irons.

Irons, not in the Top 44, surfed his way through from the trials, winning the wildcard position. In the final Irons charged, thrilling the crowd with superb tube rides and led the heat. On his last wave he came in to the beach still leading, with about 10 seconds to the end of the final.

As he was turning in his competition jersey Paterson picked a left, got tubed and earned a 9.60 score that catapulted him in to first place. The final heat scores were Paterson 33.10 (the highest heat score of the contest) to Irons 30.10.

"With 10 seconds to go I was pretty sure I would get into the wave on time. I had priority and Bruce went in to the beach. Pipe is pretty good for pulling things out at the last minute, and unless you need a combination wave score you've always got a chance. Even a little wave can turn into something magical and give you a huge score.

"I had to make that wave," said Yallingup's Paterson, 25. "Even to get a chance was a miracle. When I came out of the barrel there was this huge crowd cheering on the beach. It was the best I've ever done in a Triple Crown contest. Normally I don't do all the Triple Crown of Surfing contests because home is too good, but I always come for Sunset and Pipe."

Paterson's contest was dedicated to his late grandfather Paterson, who passed away this week while undergoing surgery. "I found out just before the contest began on the day the surf was so big, that he had passed away," said Paterson. "It inspired me to win. I went out there and did my best and hardly thought about it except for him. I was winning for him instead of myself."

Paterson worked his way through the rounds, defeating in the process world number 1 Mick Campbell in Round 1, world number 4 Shane Beschen in Round 3 and world number 3 Slater, in the semi final.

"The last thing I really wanted to do was knock Campbell out contention," Paterson said. "I took a few big waves and he was going for title and I was going for my grandfather. If he were going to win the title he would have won it on his own merit."

Campbell had to surf in the losers Round 2 heat where Irons knocked him out contention for the world title. He finished the year in second place, followed by Australian Daniel Wills.

It was a big win for Kauai's Irons, surfing his first WCT event. " I was stoked to surf pipe every single day and find a barrel. Even on the really big days you could sneak around and get the perfect 10."

Irons, like Slater, took advantage of the longer Backdoor rides. "I had no worries on position. I didn't' really care. Those guys had more to worry about than me as far as qualifying and I just took it man-on-man, surfing Pipe. In the final I caught that first ride and then another one. I was just super confidant and stoked." Irons now plans to surf the World Qualifying Series (WQS) beginning in Argentina, to try and qualify for the WCT.

While on the beach he heard the crowd cheering Paterson's late ride and turned around to watch. "I was hoping the lip was going to clip him," Irons said.

World champion Slater was just glad the whole day was over. "I really feel relieved. About three days ago I was wishing it was already the 20th and we were at the awards banquet. But by the same token I wanted to live the day to see what would happen."

Slater and good friend Rob Machado met in the second quarter final in yet another exciting heat, with Slater getting a total of seven back door rides in one heat. I fell in one or two of them."

When asked if he plans to pursue his 7th title next year, Slater answered: "Next year? I'm not sure at this point. I feel like something is kind of pulling me to take some time off."

More News and PHOTOS here later.... stay tuned.

ASP Official Complete Pipe Masters Results

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Last Modified: 19981220.1019 HST Sunday
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