Pierre-Louis Costes has taken out the 2019 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational, in Hawaii.
The French bodyboarder defeated Sammy Morretino, Jeff Hubbard and Nakana Rivera in a four-man final held in challenging conditions at Banzai Pipeline.
Despite the strong winds and choppy waters, the one-day event got underway, and riders were forced to adapt to the shifty lineup and constant closeouts.
Finalists had to surf five rounds in powerful surf but proved it was possible to run the show in eight hours. But make no mistake: there were 10-foot bombs exploding slightly above the infamous reef.
The truth is that Costes was, by far, the most competent bodyboarder in the 30-minute final, throwing impressive airs above the rough seas.
The ocean conditions were so tricky that the safety patrol jet skis got wiped out twice.
"For me, Pipeline is and will always be the most prestigious event in the world, and when the opportunity comes to be able to compete, it's really hard for me to resist. There's an atmosphere here that you don't get anywhere else," expressed Costes.
Pierre-Louis Costes has been traveling to Oahu for 15 years, and never missed a season. This time, it was special. Not only because he is a father now, but also because of the waves he found out the back.
"When you devote yourself to bodyboarding and competition, winning Pipeline must be the ultimate achievement. But if I truly feel blessed, it is because I managed to win the Pipeline invitational for the second time in my career in front of my family. And that is hard to beat."
"We can't control Mother Nature. We had a window and, today honestly seems like the best day. It was big and hard for most competitors. For me, it was probably the hardest day I've ever surfed. There were really good moments, though."
In the drop-knee division, Mack Crilley took top honors; Ayaka Suzuki was the best female performer of the event.
2019 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational | Final
1. Pierre-Louis Costes (FRA) 14.77
2. Sammy Morretino (HAW) 10.90
3. Jeff Hubbard (HAW) 9.16
4. Nakana Rivera (HAW) 6.17
1. Mack Crilley (HAW)
2. Sammy Morretino (HAW)
3. Dayton Wago (HAW)
4. Kawika Rohr-Kamai (HAW)