After five days on hold the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro got underway again today and the gods were smiling upon us with perfect 8 – 10 foot sets wrapping along the famed reef.
It was evident the night before that we were in for something special when you could hear the swell pounding the coastline on the other side of the Kam Highway.
Organizers called the event on at 7am and by 8am the beach was packed with onlookers claiming the best vantage points.
The event started with round five and from the get go the seeded surfers set a blistering pace.
Damien King (Port McQuarie, Australia) Toby Player (Avalon, Australia) and Rueben Quinones (Puerto Rico) were the standout’s of the round taking giant drops and scooping perfectly into the gapping tubes with style and finesse.
“Its so perfect out there, I am just having fun” said Toby Player.
“I just want to make it through as many heats as possible so I can surf big empty Pipe with three other guys”
Round six took the event to a whole new level.
Riders like Alistar Taylor (Sth Africa) Dave Crowley (Australia) Spencer Skipper (Hawaii) & Gustao Entrudo (Portugal) blew minds with a combination of high-flying moves and deep tube rides.
On his opening rider Skipper drilled his head into the reef and came up with his lip in shreds, only to continue onto a win. He was eliminated in the next round after a quick trip to the doctor for stitches.
The day ended on a high when the IBA back 12 and the 4 Wildcard hit the water against the inform qualifiers.
The highlight of this round was the amazing comeback of former childhood prodigy Garth McGregor (Newcastle, Australia). As a youngster McGregor was touted as a potential World Champion but he decided that he wanted to chase big waves instead of the fame and glory of the Pro tour.
“Its been almost 10 years since I was last in Hawaii” said McGregor.
“I’ve been hanging for that heat for a long time and that first wave was just what I needed. After that I could relax a bit and just surf”
“Its good to get the first heat out of the way” said the humble McGregor.
On his opening wave he dropped down the steep face of a solid 8 feet beast, and using a scissor like stall, positioned him-self for the cleanest and longest tube of the day.
The event now moves into the third and final day of the contest which starts with the IBA Top 16 taking on the inform qualifiers in R8 followed by the opening rounds of the LMNOP Drop Knee Invitational.
The surf forecasters are all calling for another perfect day with a new bigger swell hitting late in the day.
The official call will be made at 7am for an 8am start so all competitors are being asked to be on standby.
The event is being webcast at www.ibaworldtour.com/live
SOURCE: IBA World Tour