Pipeline, O`ahu, Hawai`i (Friday, December 15, 2000) -- The Banzai Pipeline
lived up to its hefty reputation today, alternately dishing out punishment and
perfection as it saw fit for round one of the Mountain Dew Gerry Lopez Pipe
Masters. Waves got up to 10 feet today (20 foot wave faces), before doubling
over to offer tube ride after tube ride for the world's top ranked
Success stories were many Kauai's Andy Irons earning the only perfect 10 point tube, five-time Mountain Dew Pipe Masters champion Kelly Slater (Florida) posting the top heat score of the day, and trialists Bruce Irons and Pancho Sullivan making good of their wildcard entries. But for every success story there was a tale of major woe.
North Carolina's Ben Bourgeois felt the full brutality of Pipeline in his heat against Brazilian pair Neco Padaratz and Guilherme Herdy. Leading for the first 20 minutes of the 25 minute heat, Bourgeois' hopes came undone in just five minutes, suffering a serious wipeout on the biggest wave of the day. His competition jersey was ripped clean off his body, his surfboard was snapped in half, and he was pinned underwater. After surfacing and swimming to shore to obtain another surfboard, Bourgeois paddled back out only to suffer another horrible wipeout that snapped his legrope, sending another piece of equipment to shore. By his third and final attempt, the Brazilians had overtaken him and his shot at the Mountain Dew Pipe Masters was over for another year.
While defending champ Slater dominated the scores with 24.7 out of 30, local surfer Pancho Sullivan scored the hometown support after qualifying for one of two spots in the main event through a pre-trials. His run didn't end there as he went on to take down world champion elect Sunny Garcia (Hawai`i) in the first round. Garcia was down, but not out, still advancing from the heat in second place ahead of Luke Hitchings (Australia). Sullivan and Garcia will meet for a rematch in round two tomorrow.
"It's really, really dangerous out there," said Sullivan. "Pipeline's all about commitment so you pretty much have to stroke into that wave, step over the ledge and go for broke.
"To me, the Pipeline Masters trials is the Pipe Masters it's the best surfers at Pipe in the world, who surf here and stand out on a daily basis. So to be able to be put in that category and to advance in the main event feels really good. I'd like to win my first Mountain Dew Pipe Masters. It would just be a dream come true. I've been watching these events since I was seven years old. I appreciate every heat that I get to surf."
Australia's Luke Hitchings was one of the most courageous of today's eliminated surfers, instilling fear into the spectators as he was axed by the crashing lip several times during his heat with Garcia and Sullivan.
But if today was a fearsome day for waves, tomorrow could step up to a completely new level, with the swell forecast to reach up to 15 feet (30 foot faces).
The Mountain Dew Pipe Masters is the third and final stop of the 2000 Vans Triple Crown. The full waiting period for the event is December 9-21. As the final stop on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) for 2000, the Mountain Dew Pipe Masters will determine the elite WCT Top 44 competitor lineup for 2001.
The Vans G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing is made possible through the proud support of major sponsors Vans, Mountain Dew, G-Shock, Rip Curl, Quiksilver Roxy, Billabong, as well as PlayStation, Ford Ranger, Right Guard Xtreme Sport (Gilette), Rolling Stone, ESPN/ESPN2, Surfrider Foundation, the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, and the ASP.
MOUNTAIN DEW GERRY LOPEZ PIPE MASTERS RESULTS:
FINAL TRIALS RESULTS:
H2: Tamayo Perry (Haw) 19.1, Bruce Irons (Haw) 17.0, Braden Dias (Haw) 9.7, Joel Tudor (US) 9.5
Trials Final: Top 2 earn a berth in round one of the main event.
Main Event Round One Results at ASPLive
For further information:
ESPN AIR DATES
Thursday, 12/14/00, 3pm, G-Shock Hawaiian Pro
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Last Modified: Sunday - 20001217.11:52 EST
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