Pipeline Invitational: opening the 2017 APB Tour season in grand fashion | Photo: Noyle/APB

It's been confirmed. The waiting period for the 2017 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational kicks off on February 17.

The first event of 2017 APB World Tour season will, once again, get underway in the most prestigious surf break in the world - Banzai Pipeline. And there are a few subtle changes to its format.

The organization's Plan A is to run the event without the classic trials contest. In this case, there will be a mix of the top 24 APB Tour athletes with a substantial number of invitees (22), wildcards (2), and riders from the Hawaii Bodyboarding Pro Tour (16).

However, if possible, the competition supervised by the nine-time world bodyboarding champion may run the trials and open eight spots for the main event. In this case, the number of Mike Stewart invitees decreases to 14.

The 2017 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational will crown champions across four divisions: Men's Pro, Drop-Knee Pro, Junior Pro, and Women's Pro. The contest gets the green light when the conditions align somewhere between February 26 and March 2017.

Check out the APB World Tour calendar for the 2017 season.

A beautiful chaos, the ultimate surfing wave, a freak of nature, the advanced surfer's testing ground, a specialty wave, the premier tube riding arena, and, ultimately, the Mecca of surfing.

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