John John Florence: he will defend his maiden world surfing title at Pipeline | Photo: Poullenot/WSL

The 2017 World Surf League (WSL) champion will be decided at the Pipeline Masters, in the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Four surfers remain in contention for this year's world surfing title. Who will raise the most prestigious trophy in professional surfing?

Will John John Florence reconquer his 2016 crown? Can Gabriel Medina get his hands on the second trophy of his career? Are Jordy Smith and Julian Wilson able to do what it takes and conquer a maiden world title?

The heat is on, and the WSL statisticians have already done the math and, apparently, there are five main scenarios for one one world champion:

1. If Florence gets first or second, he will clinch the world title;
2. If Florence finishes a third, Medina will need a first to win the world title;
3. If Florence gets a fifth, Medina will need a first to win the world title;
4. If Florence finishes ninth, Medina will need a second, and Smith a first to win the world title;
5. If Florence gets 13th or 25th, Medina will need a fifth, Smith a second and Wilson a first Pipeline to win the world title;

The four world title contenders are heading in the final event of the season with only 8,150 points separating the leader and the fourth-placed surfer in the rankings:

1. John John Florence (HAW), 53,350
2. Gabriel Medina (BRA), 50,250
3. Jordy Smith (ZAF), 47,600
4. Julian Wilson (AUS), 45,200

The 2017 Billabong Pipeline Masters, the third jewel of the Triple Crown of Surfing, runs from December 8-20, in Hawaii.