Australian surfer Kieren Perrow has won his inaugural ASP World Tour event, taking out the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons over fellow countrymen Joel Parkinson in four-to-six foot waves...
The result came after three consecutive days of competition in some of the biggest, deadliest and best pipe conditions in history.
Perrow, who finished runner-up to 23-year-old Frenchman Jeremy Flores in last year’s Billabong Pipe Masters, returned to form again this year and charged the massive Pipeline conditions on the opening two days of competition to solidify his position on the 2012 ASP World Tour. The Australian was equally deadly in the smaller conditions on the final day and commanded the final against Parkinson in a backdoor shootout to secure his maiden ASP World Tour victory.
'The waves have been phenomenal. I haven’t surfed pipe like that in my entire career.'
“It took me up until now to get over getting second to Jeremy last year” Perrow said after winning. “It’s so good to get back here. I just felt so comfortable the whole time. I’ve had such a great event anyway and coming in to today, it was just amazing. The waves have been phenomenal. I haven’t surfed pipe like that in my entire career. This is pretty much the pinnacle for me.”
Parkinson, a three-time Vans Triple Crown Winner, came close to clinching his first Billabong Pipe Masters Title, but was unable to find a rhythm in the final against Perrow.
“It’s a hard one to lose because you’ve only got one guy to beat and you’ve beaten so many, but it’s the hardest one to win,” Parkinson said. “I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than Kieren. He’s a true pipe Master and one of the best guys out there.”
Parkinson battled his way into the Final with a hard fought victory over World Champ Kelly Slater in their semi-finals clash. After a series of exciting exchanges, the Australian was in need of an 8.21 with just minutes remaining and Parkinson drove through a barrel on his backhand to secure an 8.60 and his final berth.
Kelly Slater took an amazing come from behind heat win in his quarter-finals match-up against lethal Hawaii pipeline local John John Florence. The World Champ was in need of a combination of 16.70 to overtake Florence with just three minutes remaining on the clock, and maintained his composure, threading the needle on two back-to-back backdoor barrels for a 9.70 and a 7.83 to surpass the young Hawaiian en route to the semi-finals.
“I was just going to try and have some fun because I didn’t want to run and I thought we’d find another day,” Slater said. “I figured I’d try and get in that head space and I’d ride a short board and I actually got a really good left and my board was wrong for it. I thought it was going to cost me the heat. It just came to me in last three-or-four minutes. I’m just trying to hold John John at bay because he’s going to rule pipe for the next 20 years. I just want to get a couple before I’m done.”
Slater put on another strong effort in his semi-finals clash against Parkinson, but was unable to surpass the Gold Coast native and finished equal 3rd overall.
“Joel controlled it from the beginning with a 7 to start,” Slater said. “He was holding position from there. I got the 5 and we were in the cycle where he had priority besides that one that I got that 9 on. I’m surprised he got both of his good scores on the lefts because we’re usually looking at the right on days like today. He was just in sync with it and there’s not much you can do about that.”
John John Florence put on an amazing show at this year’s Billabong Pipe Masters, taking the event’s only two perfect 10-point rides, but fell to Slater in the quarter-finals. Florence’s overall effort including a win at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach and a 5th place at the Reef Hawaiian Pro secured his first Vans Triple Crown win, making him the youngest competitor in history to win the prestigious series.
“I’m so stoked to be here, I’ve been surfing these waves my entire life and watching everyone over the years,” Florence said. “I’m so happy that I won this and to have my name with everyone else who has won over the years.”
Billabong Pipe Masters final results:
1 – Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.17
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.00
Billabong Pipe Masters semi-finals results:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.23 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 16.83
SF 2: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.00 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 4.07
Billabong Pipe Masters quarter-finals results:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.00 def. Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 9.43
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.53 def. John John Florence (HAW) 16.70
QF 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.70 def. Evan Valiere (HAW) 3.66
QF 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 17.23 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.26
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