Mixed Pipe Results For Kaua‘i Riders

There have been some solid northern swells, but overall, the winter has been a bit on the slow side. Many of the best surfers in the world have been on Oahu’s North Shore the past few months, but said there have been only a handful of proper Pipeline sessions. Nonetheless, they all took to the water Jan. 31 for the 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro and the start of the new Association of Surfing Professionals season.

The 5-star event got rolling under some tough conditions and had plenty of wipeouts along the way, but in the end it was John John Florence who continued his dominance of his backyard break with his third straight Volcom Pipe Pro victory.

The lineup was filled with Hawaii surfers, and a number of Kaua’i representatives with lots of success at Pipe made some deep runs.

Reef McIntosh built upon his impressive 2012 with a semifinal appearance. McIntosh started out in the Round of 112 and progressed all the way to the final eight. He had one of the best heats of the event in the Round of 64, tallying a 17.17 for first.

Sebastian Zietz, fresh off his Triple Crown championship, made it through to the quarterfinals before finding little in terms of scoring waves. “Seabass” found a few bombs in the Round of 64 and totaled an 18.93 to win his heat. Bruce Irons also made the quarters and fell out of the event in one of the most star-studded heats of the week. Irons, the 2001 Pipe Masters champ, paddled out with eventual champion Florence, McIntosh and Jamie O’Brien. All four men have won Pipeline titles before and are as familiar as anyone with the world-famous break.

Florence took first with a 13.60 total and Reef (12.64) just edged out Irons (12.40) and JOB (10.00) to advance.

Pancho Sullivan and Kaimana Jaquias made it to the Round of 32. Jaquias fell out in heartbreaking fashion as his 15.77 total was the fifth-highest combination score of the round, but third-highest of his heat as Conner Coffin (16.03) and Dusty Payne (15.94) also found big scores.

Kaua’i’s Stephen Koehne suffered a gruesome injury at last year’s Pipe Pro and needed 20 stitches on his knee. He was back in the action this year and reached the Round of 64.

There was very little on offer early in the event, when most surfers struggled to find scores in the four-man heats. Kamalei Alexander, Alex Smith, Danny Fuller, JD Irons, Dylan Goodale and Evan Valiere all failed to advance out of the Round of 96. Chris Foster, Roy Powers and Nathan Carvalho were all eliminated in the Round of 112.

The top eight placing Hawaii surfers not already part of the World Championship Tour all receive automatic entry into the year-ending Pipe Masters. Those who carved their way into those prestigious wild-card entries are McIntosh, Irons, O’Brien, Olamana Eleogram, Kahea Hart, Jaquias, Marcus Hickman and Joel Centeio.

The Volcom Pipe Pro was not part of the World Championship Tour schedule, so Florence will begin his quest for the yearly title at the Quiksilver Pro March 2 in Queensland, Australia.The Burton Toyota Pro, a 6-Star event with major qualifying points available, starts Feb. 18 in New South Wales, Australia.

The Women’s World Championship Tour featuring Kauai’s Malia Manuel and Alana Blanchard, opens with the Roxy Pro Gold Coast March 2 in Australia.

Oh, and in case you missed it, big wave specialist Garrett McNamara rode what is believed to be a 100-foot wave off the coast of Portugal, which would make it the largest wave ever surfed.