The 2016 Billabong Pipe Masters kicked off in small surf

December 15, 2016 | Surfing
Kelly Slater: the Pipeline can be fun, even when barrels are scare | Photo: Heff/WSL

It was not classic Pipe, but time is running out. Round 1 of the 2016 Billabong Pipeline Masters has been concluded in four-to-five foot surf.

The barrels were rare, and the stakes were high. The last event of the pro season kicked with unusual ocean conditions. Judges were looking for powerful carves and vertical lip attacks.

John John Florence surfed relaxed and had the highest two-wave total of the event so far. The newly crowned 2016 WSL champion is through to Round 3.

"It is nice to have all of my family and friends here, and I feel comfortable. Jadson has been ripping and surfing really well in the past events at Haleiwa and Sunset. He has been fun to watch," commented Florence.

Gabriel Medina was on fire, too. The Brazilian eliminated two strong opponents. Kanoa Igarashi and Bruce Irons were not able to stop Medina's backside game.

"I got here just before [the Vans World Cup at] Sunset, but it feels like I have been here for two years. I cannot wait to go home after this event and hopefully the waves will get better. It would be great to make the final here at Pipe," added Gabriel Medina.

Kelly Slater has reasons to be happy, too. The veteran managed to find a couple of good waves and skipped the repechage round.

"First off, congratulations to Finn McGill for his performance the other day and making it into this. I could feel that stoke like when I was 17 and got to go against Barton Lynch in Florida. Obviously, I am feeding off of the young guys, not the old guys, and I am getting glimpses of that same feeling when I first started," concluded Slater.

In the Women's Pipe Invitational, Stephanie Gilmore put on a spectacular display of smart surfing. The Australian defeated Tyler Wright and Carissa Moore in the single-heat final.

"It is cool to win this; I mean I waited all year to do it, but I am really happy to finally win something and against Carissa and Tyler. They are both the best surfers in my eyes.

2016 Billabong Pipe Masters | Round 2 Matchups

Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Gavin Beschen (HAW)
Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Finn McGill (HAW)
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
Nat Young (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)

Women's Pipe Invitational | Final

1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.00
2. Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.00
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 7.23

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