Australian Julian Wilson’s Billabong Pipe Masters defense starts this morning as well as his final campaign for the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Title.
Image: WSL / Masurel
BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Thursday, December 10, 2015) – The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour as well as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, has been called ON this morning with Round 1 commencing at 8am in wild eight-to-ten foot (3 – 4 metre) waves at the Banzai Pipeline.
“The swell is still holding in at the eight-to-ten foot range and there’re some good waves out there – it’s a little tough out there but the wind is supposed to improve so we’re on,” WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow said. “We may get into Round 2, we’ll see as the day goes on. The swell should bump up a little today with the reinforcing pulse from that same storm we saw yesterday. We’re hoping the wind turns more east, northeast direction which it’s already doing right now.”
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 2: Mason Ho (HAW), Jadson Andre (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Keanu Asing (HAW), Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Jack Robinson (AUS)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA), Taj Burrow (AUS), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA), John John Florence (HAW), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Josh Kerr (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Yesterday saw 17-year-old Australian Jack Robinson (AUS) take out the $100,000 32-man Pipe Invitational in stellar conditions, earning a spot into the main event alongside Runner-Up Jamie O’Brien (HAW).
The Billabong Pipe Masters will decide the 2015 WSL Champion after one of the most hotly-contested battles in the sport’s 40-year history. Three-time WSL Champion and current Jeep Rankings’ Leader Mick Fanning (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) and defending Pipe Master Julian Wilson (AUS) are all in contention for this year’s world surfing crown.
Owen Wright (AUS), WSL No. 5, has officially withdrawn from the Billabong Pipe Masters following a head injury sustained during a practice session yesterday. Wright remains in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
A full list of scenarios for the 2015 WSL Title bout can be found online HERE
Up first this morning will be 2015 WSL Rookie of the Year Italo Ferreira (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS) and Glenn Hall (IRL) in the opening heat of competition.
The Billabong Pipe Masters will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL app.
The world’s best surfing will also be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports in Australia, MCS Extreme in France, EDGE Sports in China, South Korea, Malaysia and other territories and on Globo TV in Brazil.