February 11th, 2016
Posts Tagged ‘andy irons’
John John scores 10s, Slater nails buzzer-beater comebacks, and Kieren Perrow (literally held together by duct tape) redeems last year’s finals fail. Pipemasters 2011 was the culmination of a record year of amazing surf on the World Championship Surfing Tour, and most surfers have the scars, staph, and cover-shots to prove it.
After the opening ceremonies came a special blessing in memory of Andy Irons, and a first birthday cheers to his son Axel Irons smiling on the beach with mom Lyndie. The wave gods proceeded to put on a spectacle of bombing surf that continuously drenched spectators like the Shamu Show.
Surfline predicted the swell would break at second and third reef pipeline during the first day of competition, something we haven’t seen since the 97′ Pipemasters. An irregularly sober mood swept the field of surfing’s favorite jokers. Perhaps out of fear for his riders, Jeff Hurley suggested starting to run heats a day early in more contestable conditions. But Slater said “There’s about 100 yards of sand that still needs to wash off the reef, and the wave doesn’t know where to go until this first pulse can push it off” and everyone reluctantly agreed.
Round 1 started with pipe-savvy Hawaiian wildcards like Marcus Hickman, Ian Walsh, and Jamie O’Brien winning 8 of 12 heats, while the visiting CT boys were just happy to make it back to the sand.
Here’s a few post comments that surfers told the SWELL team after their round 1 heats:
“Those were the worst beatings I’ve ever taken in a contest” -Ian Walsh
“Has anyone seen the other half of my board?” -Jamie O’Brien
“I was praying they would postpone the heats until the swell died down” -Kolohe Andino
“I got slapped around so hard, and had no idea which way I was paddling” -Bruce Irons
In Round 2 John John Florence continued his triple crown campaign scoring a perfect 10 and a 9.93 in round 3. But who other than Slater to nearly dash his lifelong hopes of a triple crown title in their quarter final face-off. From the beach it appeared the judges would be accused of another scoring scandal, but decide for yourself in this heat recap.
After losing to Slater, Michel Bourez had to make the finals to steal surfing’s second highest honor, but honorary Hawaiian Kieren Perrow weaved through backdoor to keep the crown in Hawaii with John John Florence.
Kieren earned his first elite victory after 20 years as a touring pro. Only a day earlier he was facing elimination from next year’s tour, but went on to beat Taj, Dorian, Gabriel Medina, Michel, and finally Parko, to become the 2011 Billabong Pipemasters Champion. This smiling 34 yr old Aussie is the surfer’s representative to the ASP, a respected big-wave charger, and a role model family-man.
Even Slater teared up as he announced the victory over the live webcast. Everyone was “over the moon”
Watch thrills and spills from the first day of firing surf.
Get your piece of Pipemasters history at SWELL
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Last night’s Surfer Poll Awards celebrated the year’s standout performances in the world of surf. Instead of rating surfers for their contest results, Surfer Magazine tallies the votes from fellow surfers and fans voting online. Criterion usually encompasses style and personality in and out of the water…and the awards show had plenty of both.
With the buzz from the richter scale swell due to detonate on the opening day of tomorrow’s Pipemasters, nervousness and gitters added to the pressures of speaking to the crowd of over 1,000 legendary attendees. Security was tight, but any north shore security guard gets distracted by hot chicks just long enough to slip past. Peligroso tequila loosened up the nominees, and the speeches ranged from shy, to high, and hilarious.
Emcees Sal Masacala, and Freddy Pattachia didn’t hold back any punches as they used the industry’s inside jokes against everyone on stage. Carissa Moore dedicated her award to WCT mens surfer Dusty Payne, and the gal pal jokes kept coming. But he wasnt the only super fan of the womens tour, many speakers mentioned their displeasure of not having a Womens Triple Crown of Surfing on the in Hawaii this year.
The big suspense of the evening was whether Dane Reynolds or Kelly Slater would take the No.1 prize, but Dane settled for second yet again. All awaited his quirky, awkward comedy relief and he didn’t disappoint, ” I surfed pipeline today…that was a humbling experience. I saw the Pipemasters heat draw today…that was also quite humbling. Jamie (O’Brian -Pipemaster) have mercy on my soul, please. Thanks to everyone who voted for me because lets face it, I’ve made it pretty hard to be a fan of me this year.” Dane also took the award “Best Digital Short” for his aptly named flick “Lost Interest” shot during his no-show period on tour this year.
Kelly accepted his 17th poll-topping award, thanking the Miller family, cracked what we think is a joke, then gave his expert analysis the conditions for the 2011 Pipemasters, “I saw Jamie O’Brian at pipe today and he said if WaveJet paid him 20K, he’d surf their motorized surfboard during the conteest. But, there’s about 100 ft of sand on the reef that shouldn’t be there. Hopefully it get washed away before the swell, because right now the wave doesnt know where to go.”
After the show, everyone headed over to the new Surfer Magazine bar at the Turtle Bay Resort where the girls again stole the spotlight…this time on the dancefloor.
Here’s the final results from the 2011 Surfer Poll Awards
Top 10 Male Surfers
1. Kelly Slater
2. Dane Reynolds
3. Owen Wright
4. Julian Wilson
5. Taj Burrow
6. Mick Fanning
7. Joel Parkinson
8. Jordy Smith
9. Andy Irons
10. Bruce Irons
Top Five Female Surfers
1. Carissa Moore
2. Coco Ho
3. Stephanie Gilmore
4. Alana Blanchard
5. Sally Fitzgibbons
Movie of the Year
Alex Gray -Teahupoo Uncut
Come Hell or High Water
Best Digital Short
Josh Kerr -Kerrazy Kronicles
A.I. Breakthrough Performer Award
John John Florence
Heavy Water Award
Nathan Fletcher -Teahupoo Uncut, Get-N-Classic
Rodrigo Koxa -Teahupoo Uncut
Watch the 2011 Billabong Pipemasters live Dec 7 here
San Francisco – Exactly one year after the passing of A.I. (the driving force behind Slater’s comeback) Kelly clinched an unprecedented 11th world surfing title. With the first world title ever won on American Soil, KS10 just evolved into KE11y.
After cruising through a breezy bumpy first round, the winds switch off-shore for his second round bout against Aussie Dan Ross. The rifling barrels were shutting down on surfers all morning and his heat was no exception. After a few closeouts, he threw down some of his signature snaps for a come-from-behind victory over Rossy by a single point.
As Kelly delivered his victory speech, world #2 Owen Wright posted the highest wave scores of the event. A respectable response for losing the title race by the second year pro.
The second oldest guy on tour was chaired up the beach for something that we’ll never see again. Statistical probabilities like winning his 11th title on 11/11/11, and dangers like Dusty’s shark sighting enhanced the drama. But the only special coincidences came when he clinched on the one year anniversary of AI’s passing.
A moment of silence for Andy Irons
Kelly published a story this morning about the heavy experiences he and Andy went through.
“I’ve been asked for many opinions and interviews about Andy Irons and the situations and decisions that lead to his early departure from our world. It’s not something I take lightly. I have my own opinions about not only Andy’s choices and how he ultimately got to the place he did”
Read the whole passage on The Initertia
The Rip Curl Pro Search cemented its claim to hosting a historical series of events with their “floating license” to hold a world tour event in a different location each season. The critics of this year’s big city venues are eating their words with the epic conditions we’ve seen in during this year’s world title race.
And of course people were already asking about his race for #12 during his acceptance speech.
“It was the biggest fin I’ve ever seen, and it was coming straight towards me” gasped surfer Dusty Payne after retreating from the competition area in San Francisco’s Ocean Beach surf zone. The surfer hailing from Oahu is no stranger to surfing in the water with sharks and other sea creatures, but he claimed he’d never seen anything on this scale.
After spotting the 12ft great white shark, Payne warned his fellow competitor and photographer, then quickly surfed his way to the sand. The threat was serious enough to make him forget about the $425,000 of prize money up for grabs at the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco. In order for the competitors to re-enter the line-up, lifeguard boats stood guard just outside of the breakers, but claimed they only spotted some dolphins. But who knows…reporting shark sighting is not good for tourism.
A rule was recently drafted to stop competition when sharks are sighted in the line-up, but the local photographer in the water remained, and remarked “Its San Francisco…what do you expect?” On Saturday a surfer was attacked by 9ft great white shark, and survived thanks to the use of surfboard leashed used as tourniquets.
Watch this video edit of the encounter with reactions to the shark toward the end.
The Rip Curl Pro Search is located in a new location each year to test the limits of the world’s top-rated surfers, and shark threats only add to the already dangerous surf of Ocean Beach. During last years competition in Puerto Rico, 3x world champion competitor Andy Irons passed away. Today marks the first anniversary of his passing, and his memory is present in the minds of the competitors.