John John Florence: he claimed back-to-back world titles| Photo: Poullenot/WSL

And the 2017 Championship Tour (CT) world surfing champion is John John Florence.

The Billabong Pipe Masters is over. The finals day went underway in four-to-six-foot surf, and a packed crowd of surf fans witnessed a tense title race unfold in front of their eyes.

Once again, the mother of all waves delivered the goods and played a crucial role in the global equation. The Banzai Pipeline arena crowned a new world champion on the last day of the competitive season, in the dying heats of the year.

Gabriel Medina, who needed to win the event to clinch his second world title, ended up in a do-or-die Round 5 clash against an in-form Kelly Slater.

The duel included paddle battles, deep barrels, and fist claims. But the Brazilian proved he would do whatever he could to get his hands on the prestigious trophy.

Medina beat Slater and advanced through to the quarterfinals knowing he still had three more shoot-outs ahead, and hoping Florence didn't reach the final. However, the Brazilian lost to Jeremy Flores, who would conquer this year's Pipe Masters, and the JJF camp started the celebrations.

"To be honest, I don't like to be that guy that's deciding titles. It should be a showdown between John and Gabriel. That's why honestly when I beat Gabriel I felt bad. It's been an emotional day and yesterday was stressful. I had to make one heat to re-qualify pretty, and I made it with a 4 and a 2," underlined Flores.

The blue skies of the North Shore of Oahu have once again seen the Hawaiian flag raised high, as the blue, red and white colors invaded the natural amphitheater, and the locals rejoiced.

John John Florence: he dreamed of winning the world title at Pipeline | Photo: Cestari/WSL

"It's been my dream to win here at home. There's been a nervous build up to this event and I just don't know what to say, I'm shaking. So many people have been here for me this year and it's been awesome. It's been an awesome year and I'm just so stoked," expressed John John.

"I think I learned a lot about myself this year competing with all the pressure, especially coming from last year's win. It's been a hard year and I've had some ups and some downs, but mostly I had a lot of fun."

Florence, 25, locked his second WSL title, the sport's highest honor, after securing his maiden trophy last year in Supertubos, Peniche, Portugal. He is the first surfer to win two consecutive world titles since Slater in 2011.

Last but not least, Griffin Colapinto became the first ever Californian to win the Triple Crown of Surfing.

2017 Billabong Pipe Masters | Final

1. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.23
2. John John Florence (HAW) 16.16

2017 World Surf League | Top 5

1. John John Florence (HAW) 59,600 pts
2. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 53,700 pts
3. Julian Wilson (AUS) 48,650 pts
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 47,600 pts
5. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 40,700 pts

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