Stress tests get into play at the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters

December 13, 2014 | Surfing
Mick Fanning: chasing glory at Pipeline | Photo: ASP/Cestari

Perfect split-peak barrels opened the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. Medina and Fanning are through to Round 3; Slater is forced to surf Round 2.

The world title race is on. Mick Fanning was the first contender to hit the water. The Australian survived the first final with a relatively low total heat score.

"I was stoked (to get through) because that was a tight heat. I guess for me, the way I look at it is that Gabe is going to get through a few rounds, so I'm thinking about the final. My whole goal is to try to win this event," revealed Fanning.

Gabriel Medina managed to prevail in his Round 1 clash with one of the lowest winning scores of the Pipe Masters - 6.50 points. The Brazilian surfer seems ready to handle the title pressure.

"That was a good way to start it. I feel good. I love waves like this, just barrels, and some Backdoor and Pipe - I love to get barreled both ways and I feel comfortable. I have a good board under my feet, and I'm looking for a good result," adds Medina.

he three-man world title battle between Kelly Slater (USA), Mick Fanning (AUS) and ratings leader Gabriel Medina (BRA) got underway today with each of the contenders surfing in Round 1.

Kelly Slater missed a direct jump into Round 3 by 0.10 points. A last-minute barrel by Adam Melling sent the Floridian wave rider to a Round 2 do-or-die moment with Reef McIntosh.

"The heat could have gone either way. I'm just getting the rust and dust off a little bit. I had 36 days out of the water, and I've had four days back, so I'm stoked to be in the water. I was hoping Reef would take out Medina in Round 1, but he couldn't get a start. Now I'm hoping for him to not put a good heat together," jokes Slater.

John John Florence blasted the first day of competition. The Hawaiian charger attacked the double-overhead barrels to steal the day's scores with a two-wave total of 18.16.

"Oh, it's amazing. It's my favorite time of the year. It's the last event of the season. It's been a really long year and to finish it off at home is the best feeling in the world. It's really peaky out there now but when you get in the spot there's crazy good rights coming in," concludes Florence.

2014 Billabong Pipe Masters | Round 1 Results

Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.83; Glenn Hall (IRL) 4.26; Julian Wilson (AUS) 1.23
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.13; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 4.77; Michel Bourez (PYF) 2.90
John John Florence (HAW) 18.16; Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 3.34; Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 2.23
Adam Melling (AUS) 15.90; Kelly Slater (USA) 15.80; Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.84
Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.16; Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 9.27; Makai McNamara (HAW) 2.20
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.50; Reef McIntosh (HAW) 5.10; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 3.30
Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.30; Jadson Andre (BRA) 3.90; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 2.07
Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.77; Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 7.50; Travis Logie (ZAF) 0.00
Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.10; Brett Simpson (USA) 9.63; Kai Otton (AUS) 1.67
Owen Wright (AUS) 17.50; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.07; Mitch Crews (AUS) 8.50
Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.94; Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90; Nat Young (USA) 1.90
Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.20; Miguel Pupo (BRA) 3.23; Tiago Pires (PRT) 1.63

Billabong Pipe Masters | Round 2 Matchups

Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Makai McNamara (HAW)
Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Nat Young (USA) vs. Mitchel Coleborn (AUS)
Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)

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