Billabong-Pipe-Masters-2.jpg ASP Association of Surfing Professionals

A big swell is looming on the horizon for the opening day of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons and the world’s best surfers are gearing themselves up for a big battle...

For the final stop on the 2011 ASP World Title Series, the freshly crowned 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater may be safe in the knowledge that he's been named this year's gold medallist, but at the pre-event press conference he admitted to being a little anxious about tackling the dangerous Hawaiian barrel.

“In theory, having won the title in San Francisco takes the pressure off a lot, but there’s a big swell coming,” said Slater. “There’s been nothing to prepare on and I haven’t been there even if there was. It’s going to go from zero to 10 here pretty quick in the next few days and there’s not going to be a whole lot of waves to free-surf beforehand.

While Kelly frets about not having had enough time on the waves, 2009 Billabong Pipe Masters Champion Taj Burrow has been busily preparing for this year’s contest: “It looks like the surf is only going to get better, so I’m getting excited,” he said. “I’ve been surfing out there a lot but it’s mainly only been rippable little turns, so I’m looking forward to getting some barrels.”

Hawaiian local John John Florence, the winner of the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach and current rankings leader of the Vans Triple Crown, is chomping at the bit to compete in front of his home crowd: “It should be fun, we haven’t really had a pipe swell this year and it’s looking like this will be the first real swell, so no one has had the chance to surf it yet,” he said. “There’s definitely pressure. I live there and surf there everyday and I don’t want to lose the first heat.”

 

null (c) Red Bull Contentpool / Craig Kolesky
 

Upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Match Ups:

Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Marcus Hickman (HAW)
Heat 2: CJ Hobgood (USA) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 3: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Evan Valiere (HAW)
Heat 4: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 5: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 6: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Kai Barger (HAW)
Heat 7: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Aamion Goodwin (HAW)
Heat 8: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Laurie Towner (AUS)
Heat 10: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 11: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 12: Mason Ho (HAW) vs. Hank Gaskell (HAW)

Upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters Round 2 Match Ups:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 4: John Florence (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. TBD

Upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters Round 3 Match Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 5: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD

The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons will run from December 8-20, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE here.

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