Everybody wins at Banzai Pipeline. At the annual Billabong Pipe Masters, the epic surf (high surf advisory) made for impressive conditions during the finals. The pros wanted to make it to the finals all the more, with the intent to surf the inspiring swell. The crowds were equally as large and rousing, as noted by Kelly Slater:
The crowd today is the biggest I have ever seen at Pipe. It's unbelievable. I woke up in the dark, and my friend Ross Williams was at my house saying he couldn't even get his bike on the road to ride over here. We're so excited to be here at Pipe, especially when the waves are good. All the people on the beach and online and watching on television make it that much more exciting.”
This backdrop capped off the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour. It was the landscape for Kelly Slater to swipe his seventh Pipe Masters, John John Florence to secure his second Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and Fanning to take hold of his third ASP World Title. USA’s Kelly Slater (41) won his seventh Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons after a day of incredible 15-foot waves at Pipeline. Slater defeated Pipe’s own John John Florence (some twenty years his younger) in a tight, 35-minute final. As it was a close final, they patiently awaited their scores. As the results poured in, it was discovered that Kelly defeated John John by less than half a point. Despite his injury earlier in the tour, the runner-up finish for Florence saw him crowned the 2013 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion. Slater added: "Last year, someone asked me what excited me in the end years of my career, and I said I would like to surf a final at Pipe against John John [Florence], so that's pretty special today." Florence also agreed that winning his second Triple Crown feels “pretty special.” While he is “stoked” about his victory, getting that close to a conquest at Pipe is bittersweet. It has definitely motivated him for the 2014 ASP World Tour.
It was Mick Fanning who took the highly coveted 2013 ASP World Title. Even though he was defeated by John John in the semis, Fanning finished third overall at Pipe Masters. Making it to the semis resulted in enough points for Mick to land his third world championship. On the final day of the competition, Fanning found himself trailing during both heats preceding the semis. But in each instance, he was able to pull it off. As a current triple title holder, the Australian now ranks among American champions of surfing like Andy Irons and Tom Curren. Fanning relishes:
I've never put myself in the same circles as Tom Curren and Andy Irons. Tom [Curren] is such an enigma and was so instrumental to injecting style into our sport. Andy [Irons]... what hasn't been said about Andy? He was such a legend, and he was such a good friend. I'm honored to be a part of this group. I was happy with one title, and I was overwhelmed with two. With three? I don't have words for that."
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Kelly Slater (USA) 16.37 - $75,000
2 - John John Florence (HAW) 15.90 - $30,000 + $10,000 VTC bonus.
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 18.30 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5.00
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.63 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.84
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.03 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.90
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.77 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.00
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.80 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.80
QF 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.83 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 6.00
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.00 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.50
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.67 def. Nat Young (USA) 7.26
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.60 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 4.33
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.76