- 18 February 2012 | Bodyboarding
Jeff Hubbard has taken the 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge. The Hawaiian bodyboarder won the event in flawless 6-8ft barrelling waves, in what people are calling the best Pipe event of the last 15 years. "I'm on top of the world. I kept thinking all day, back-to-back, it's possible to win two in a row", said Hubbard.
It was an historic final, with some of the most experienced bodyboarders in the world, in some of the most challenging waves in the world. Jeff Hubbard, Mike Stewart, Dave Winchester and Sam Bennett wanted to take the iconic trophy to their homes.
Pipe and Backdoor were firing outstanding deep barrels. Scores went up in the sky. Mike Stewart suffered the first punch after failing to come out of a dangerous tube. Watch the final highlights.
Hubbard wanted a revenge from the last contest of the 2011 season, where he ended up delivering the world title to Pierre-Louis Costes. Jeff opens his Pipe Challenge show with the impossible ARS.
Bennett and Stewart got along and answered. Everybody was super-focused and not willing to give up. Although Sam scored a 8.25 point ride in his first wave and then 8, Jeff Hubbard quickly offered everyone a ticket to combo land.
A long lull finished all hopes. Jeff Hubbard was crowned Pipe Master and is now leading the 2012 IBA World Tour rankings. Mike Stewart finishes in second place and proves he is still surfing at the highest level. "The waves were awesome. I'm super stoked to be a bodyboarder today", said Mike Stewart.
Isabela Sousa, the 2010 world champion from Brazil, won the Women's 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge today, in fun three to four foot waves.
"It's my first final here at Pipe and it's my first win here. It's pretty incredible. I'm so happy", said Sousa, who defeated fellow Brazilians, Neymara Carvalho and Karla Costa-Taylor, and Japan’s Minami Hatakeyama, a finalist in last year’s event too.
As the only non-Hawaiian in today's Drop-Knee final, South African, Sacha Specker, was a clear underdog. He had been in a final twice before but never tasted victory, until today. He sat slightly wide of the Hawaiians and went about picking off waves that were running along the inside reef at Pipe.
"It's an incredible feeling winning this event. It's a bit of a dream still. I think it'll kick in tomorrow, when we play the Aussies in cricket", said Specker.