Ryan Hardy wins the 2009 IBA Pipeline Pro

In clean 4-6 feet surf Australian Bodyboarding legend Ryan Hardy has won the first event of the 2009 International Bodyboarding World Tour in Hawaii.

The Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro was held over three days in what can only be described as “Perfect Pipe” with the worlds best riders all vying for the 2000 Championship points up for grabs.

"I am stoked to win the first ever Grand Slam with the guys standing next to me” said the elated Hardy. It can be pretty nerve racking sitting on the beach for a few days waiting for your heat to come up, watching guys getting the best waves of their lives. But surfing against guys like this made it easier to relax and push myself at the same time."

Second place went to Frenchman Pierre Luis Costes. He opened up the final with a solid mixture including an 8.50 that saw the other riders needing a two-wave combination to get the lead.

Hardy waited until the 18th minute of the half hour final to strike. A long deep tube ride followed by a gigantic roll netted him a 9.43 average that left him still lingering in second position and then within a few minutes he found another tube and this time back-flipped out of the end bowl.

From that point on he was always going to be hard to beat. Third place went to Brazilian Guilherme Tamega and fourth place was Dave Winchester from Australia.

The IBA World Tour now moves to Brazil in April for two events back to back.

Dave Hubbard

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.

2009 IBA World Tour

After an astounding opening day at Pipeline the event has been on-hold as organizers wait for the next swell to hit the North Shore of Oahu.

“We have most models pointing towards a significant swell event for the early part of the upcoming week and we feel confident that we will wrap up the final two days of competition by Wednesday” said IBA General manager Terry McKenna.

After an epic first day competitors of the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro have been making the most of fun sized Rocky Point and beach park but now it seems the bar is about to be raised as we head into the second day.

After the first four rounds of competition the Australian’s have dominated the field with two of the top three highest scores.

Chris Wilson from the coastal city of Newcastle (NSW, Australia) was the days top scorer posting a 9.40 in his round 3 heat.

“We get some big clean lefts around where I live so I felt at home out there. Big perfect Pipe is a dream with 4 guys out so I was loving it mate” said the elated Aussie.

Next best scores of day one went to Hawaiian Bud Miyamoto (9.33) and Simon Ormerod (9.10 Australia) but both fell before R4.

Oshi Grady (Hawaii) and Damien King (Australia) Rueben Quinones (PRC) were also standouts using their experience to flare up on day 1.

Round 5 will hit the water at 8am on the next day of competition and we will finish off R7 at 4pm.

All eyes will be on the wild cards for this event.

Sponsors wildcards Garth McGregor (Australia) and Andre Botha (South Africa) are two feared competitors and seasoned campaigners.

McGregor is completing an amazing return to the competition arena and is regarded as one of the most powerful riders in the world whilst former world champion Andre Botha is in a similar position after a year or two off the IBA World Tour.

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