Pipeline: respect this wave

The top bodyboarders have already arrived in Hawaii. The pro riders have been training hard for the 2011 IBA Pipeline Pro, the first world tour event of the year, to be held between 15th and 25th February.

The power and quality of the Pipeline wave will test the skills of competitors across four categories: Men's, Women’s, Drop Knee as well as a special Master’s category. The trials will be held at Sandy Beach on Oahu’s South Shore and everybody is anxious to hit the waves.

"Over the last two weeks the waves at Pipeline have been near perfect and we hope to see the same for the contest," IBA Tour manager Terry McKenna said. "Relaunching our revamped tour with our new TV documentary series and live webcast we hope to take professional bodyboarding to a new level."

The Pipeline Pro is the longest running world tour contest in the history of bodyboarding, dating back over 30 years. In 2011, there will be four generations taking the Hawaiian wave: the youngest is local kid Patrick Orr, 13, and the eldest is Mike Stewart, 47.

Add Amaury Lavernhe, IBA World champion and defending Pipeline Pro champion, Jeff Hubbard, Pipe specialist, bodyboarding icon Damian King and you'll be watching the perfect bodyboarding show.

The Pipeline Pro offers both GSS (Grand Slam Series) and GQS (Global Qualifying Series) points to the riders in the Pro Men’s division. GQS points will start from the trials and carry through to Round 6. From Round 7 on, the points will become GSS points. Because Hawaii will not allow for man-on-man heats, the format will be slightly different from the remainder of the IBA Series events this year.

ildcards into the event are local athletes Kainoa McGee and Jarret Lau. International wildcards include Alistar Taylor (SFA) and Jason Finlay (AUS). The Women’s wildcards are Lilly Pollard (AUS), Steph Pettersen (BRA) and Claudia Ferrari (HAW). Drop Knee wildcards are Mason Rose (AUS), Paul Roach (USA), Matt Lackey (AUS), Nick Trotter (HAW), Kainoa McGee (USA), Cassidy Sonoda (Haw), Jacob Pembroke (HAW), and Bud Miyamoto (HAW).