|Jack Robinson Claims First Win of 2023 CT Season at Pipeline
A slow start to the men’s Final witnessed Jack Robinson maintain a slim lead over Leonardo Fioravanti heading into the back half of their battle. Fioravanti upped the requirement with a Backdoor runner, earning a 4.00 and pushing Robinson to need a 3.51. At the 11-minute mark, Robinson turned the heat, earning a solid 6.00 with a forehand, two-turn combination. Fioravanti followed with a quick Backdoor cover up, but only notched a 3.47.
Time expired before Fioravanti could get to his feet again, leaving Robinson to emerge victorious. This is Robinson’s first Billabong Pro Pipeline win and the fourth CT win of his career.
“I’ve dreamed of this for a long time, and Andy [Irons] was one of my favorite surfers ever, and it’s just an honor,” said Robinson. “To feel everything, all the emotions at the start of the year, you don’t know how you’re going to come back. I was feeling good, but you never know with this beast, with Pipeline. This one’s the most special. I’m super grateful for this start here in Hawaii, and I’m just getting myself ready to run that road. It was a low one last year, but I also learned a lot, and there’s no price on that.”
Robinson’s day started with a thrilling matchup against two-time World Champion and former event winner John John Florence (HAW). Both demonstrated expert barrel riding skills, making critical drops and finding near-impossible exits in their back-and-forth exchange. With just under three minutes left, Robinson found the score he needed, a 6.67, to overtake the two-time World Champion.
Robinson then met Brazilian star Joao Chianca in the Semifinals. Chianca came into the match with plenty of confidence after having just taken out current World Champion Toledo. After a slow start to the match, things heated up in the final 5 minutes. Chianca turned the heat on Robinson, finding a Backdoor barrel and finishing the wave with a fins-free maneuver. But Robinson instantly took the lead back, threading a long Backdoor barrel and slashing the end section.