- 16 November 2016 | Surfing
John John Florence and Kelly Slater won their Round 3 heats at the 2016 Hawaiian Pro, in Haleiwa.
The newly-crowned World Surf League champion surfed his first heat since he raised the trophy in Peniche, Portugal. Florence never won at Pipeline, but he also has his eyes on a third Triple Crown of Surfing.
"Winning Pipe would top my year off. Winning the Triple Crown and Pipe would really do it for me. But I'm just taking the whole thing relaxed. I feel like that's what I did this year, I felt relaxed and focused, finding that balance between the two," said Florence.
"Having no pressure and being able to surf these events is really cool because you're not sitting out there nervous or anything like that. You're not thinking about falling or anything. I'm just having fun. I'm just going to keep this mindset through Sunset and then get ready for Pipe."
Slater is not a frequent customer at the Hawaiian Pro, but he returned to Haleiwa with a clear message - he wants to do well in the Triple Crown, and win its golden gem.
"More than anything I want to win Pipeline. Triple Crown is second to that. To me, Pipeline is the one you want to win of any contest in the world, that or The Eddie. That's going to be where my focus is. But if I can do well in these first two events and then have a shot at Pipe, obviously if you win any of these contests, Triple Crown is in the conversation," stated Kelly Slater.
Griffin Colapinto rode the wave of the day. The American surfer landed an outstanding hail mary air reverse and advanced through to Round 4.
"I've got the most confidence in the world right now. I just beat Jordy Smith; he's one of my favorite surfers. I always love watching him surf before I go free surf, like in 'Modern Collective,' so to beat him at a good wave feels really good," concluded Colapinto.