This is the first event on the International Bodyboarding Association Men’s World Tour for 2009 and carries a Grand Slam status as well as double points towards the championship.
International General Manager of the IBA Terry McKenna says that O’Brien started his surfing career on a bodyboard as a kid before making the transition to fibreglass.
“Apparently Jamie was into it when he was younger and still feels keen enough about it to have a start in the event. Word on the street is that he can still hold his rail in and ride deep in the barrel at Pipe, so it will be amazing to watch ” said McKenna.
“Jamie is one of the most innovative surfers in the world and an astounding waterman so I would not put it past him to blow some minds at his home break.”
“I can only imagine that this will be one of the most highly anticipated heats of the year and watched by everyone in the surfing community. It’s a bold move and a first for the IBA ” said McKenna.
Jamie O’Brien had a different sort of sandpit to play in as a child. His backyard was Pipeline and no one knows this break better than him. This is supported by the fact that he was the youngest surfer to ever win the Pipeline Masters ASP event and recently won the backdoor shootout.
O’Brien will be seeded into the rounds 33-80 in a field of 144. The waiting period begins on Feb 17th and continues till Feb 27th with the best three days being used for competition.