With 29 heats to go and a sketchy forecast it’s a good call to go….SNN.
BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Wednesday, December 14, 2016) – The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), has been called ON in clean three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves with a NNW swell at Pipeline. Round 1 will kick off today at 8:20 a.m. local time with the Women’s Pipe Invitational on standby for a possible start today.
“It was a hard call today especially because the forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday will have unfavorable winds,” said WSL Deputy Commissioner Renato Hickel. “We are going to call the competition on today with the three-to-five foot conditions and the odd six foot sets. We are going to see mainly Backdoor and a lot of turns. We are going to see the odd barrel, I believe. We are going to start at 8:20 a.m. local time. Also, on standby today will be the Women’s Pipe Invitational.”
The world’s best surfers will battle to become the next Pipe Master and to to earn the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title. After the Pipe Invitational saw Finn McGill (HAW) and Gavin Beschen (HAW) claim the two wildcard entries, the final heat draw for the Billabong Pipe Masters is now set.
Newly crowned WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) will face Jadson Andre (BRA) and wildcard Beschen in Round 1 Heat 6. Hometown hero Florence will fight to claim his the CT victory here at Pipe in addition to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Round 1 Heat 5 will see Defending Vans Triple Crown of Surfing winner Gabriel Medina (BRA) surf against rookie Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and injury replacement Bruce Irons (HAW).
Up first this morning will be Julian Wilson (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and Ryan Callinan (AUS) in the opening heat of Round 1.
The Women’s Pipe Invitational is on hold for today, and will likely run between a Round 1 heat of the Billabong Pipe Masters. Four athletes will compete in a single-heat Final format, including defending event winner and three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), newly crowned WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS), six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), and World No. 2 Courtney Conlogue (USA).
“With Pipe being such an important place for surfing, we wanted to have a women’s presence here and continue to push the top 17,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL Women’s Commissioner. “It’s a challenging wave, and I think in the last few years the women have really stepped it up, especially given last year’s performance from Carissa Moore. The idea is for us to have a presence, but also for the women to have experience in the lineup since it’s a such a hard place to freesurf.”
Small leftovers from the NW prevail Wednesday as local wind improves (trades).
While uncertainty remains with specific details for the end of the week, confidence is increasing that we’ll see sizable swell and onshore wind Fri-Sat (and onshore wind is possible Thur-Sun). As we have mentioned the past few days, this will be from two sources: a more distant storm near Japan and a nearby low that will flare up very close to the islands later this week.
A broad spread of swell period and direction (300-350 at 9-16 seconds) is looking more and more likely to build primarily on Friday, before trending down on Saturday. We’re going to bump surf size up from the past couple days and look for solidly double overhead surf on Friday and likely into Saturday, with sets to triple overhead possible. At this point, poor quality surf is expected with the broad swell mix and onshore flow. Surfline.
The Billabong Pipe Masters will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com
Oceanic Time Warner Cable 250 & 1250
Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Match-Ups:
Women’s Pipe Invitational Final Match-Up: