Pipeline, O`ahu, Hawai`i (Friday, December 17, 2000) -- After almost a
decade in the shadow of close friend and five-time Mountain Dew Pipe Masters champion
Kelly Slater at the Banzai Pipeline, California's Rob Machado has had his day
in the sun. Machado, 27, posted a brilliant win late this afternoon and the
only thing overshadowing his performance were the multitude of 10-12 foot (20
foot face) barrels he rode inside of to win.
Australia's Michael Lowe was a force to be reckoned with en-route to his final with Machado, but couldn't keep it together in the ultimate heat. Despite a brilliant start, Lowe suffered several horrific wipeouts that left him short on time and back-up scores.
Today's conditions have already been hailed as the greatest the Mountain Dew Pipe Masters has seen in its 30 years. The waves poured in non-stop for eight hours straight, some thundering through to wipe the competition zone clear of competitors, and others offering a surfer's ultimate experience - all under a blazing hot sun.
"I look back at '95 and all the battles I've had with Kelly and I guess it just makes you stronger," said Machado. "I knew my time would eventually come around and today was my day."
"I would have to say this is one of the greatest days of Pipeline I've ever seen. It was just absolutely perfect all day. To be able to surf out there all day long was an extra bonus and to win a Pipe Masters with it that good makes it that much better.
Lowe got off to a raging start in the 30-minute final, scoring one of the best tube rides of the heat for an excellent 8.75 points. But his dream unraveled as the clock wound down, spending more time under the weight of tons of water than on top of it. A final perfect 10 point tube ride for Machado did nothing to help his cause. The final scoreline showing 26.7 out of 30 for Machado, and 19.75 for Lowe.
"I don't think any average person could survive those wipeouts," said Lowe, 23, of Wollongong, Australia. "By the end of the heat it felt like I was spending all my time just trying to get my head up for a breath of air. It was a bit of a disappointment because I'd started out great. I just couldn't hold it together as well as Rob did, but I'll cherish a second place at Pipe. No-one can ever take that away from me."
Equal third after semi-final losses today were Hawaii's Bruce Irons (Kauai) and Renan Rocha (Sao Paulo, Brazil). Irons had a great run through the event, earning a wildcard from a pre-trials event first off, then going to eliminate Luke Egan (Australia), 1998 Pipe Masters champion Jake Paterson (Australia), Damien Hobgood (Florida, USA), and Kalani Robb (Hawaii) before losing to Lowe in the semi-final. Rocha also carved a solid reputation for himself, taking out Shea Lopez (California, USA), Shane Beschen (California), Pancho Sullivan (Hawaii), and Guilherme Herdy (Brazil) on his way to a semi-final clash with Machado.
World champion elect Sunny Garcia (Hawaii) was officially awarded the 2000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title, making for a record total of five Vans Triple Crown titles since 1992. Garcia takes home a Ford Ranger pickup truck and $7,500 for his outstanding performance throughout the series which saw him win the G-Shock Hawaiian Pro and Rip Curl Cup, and place 17th in the Mountain Dew Pipe Masters.
The Mountain Dew Pipe Masters was the third and final stop of the 2000 Vans Triple Crown. 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.
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all at the Vans G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing.
For media information: Jodi Young
ESPN AIR DATES
Thursday, 12/14/00, 3pm, G-Shock Hawaiian Pro
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