Pipe Masters Final Day

Upsets and underdogs dominate the final day of the Pipeline Masters

Jeremy Flores stalled his way into some deep tubes and onto the podium in one of the world's most prestigious competitions. Photo: Glaser

With 4- to- 5-foot clean Backdoor peaks on tap, the call was made to run the final day of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. The early morning heats saw a spattering of excellent tuberides, and yesterday's trend of dramatic last-minute victories continued to entertain. As the day progressed, Kelly Slater appeared to be cruising to yet another Pipe Masters title by threading numerous pits and finishing them off with his incredible patented sweeping roundhouses. But in his semifinal against Jeremy Flores, Slater made an uncharacteristic mistake by gifting the Frenchman a wave under his priority. To be fair to Slater, the wave didn't look conducive to a high score, but Flores earned just that by riding the wave to perfection, making yet another dramatic exit on the shallow inside reef.

On the other side of the draw, Kieren Perrow was boasting similar heroics as he found solid barrels and got the scores needed to take out much higher seeds. The pieces on the board were set for a thrilling final between two first-time Pipeline Masters finalists, as they would be competing for the hefty $75,000 first-place check.

With such a massive sum of money, and just as much prestige on the line, Kieren came out strong and put Jeremy in a very tight combo situation. But Flores, as he had done the entire event, fought his way tooth-and-nail back into contention with only three minutes to go and in need of another big score. Kieren held priority though, and with the majority of the quality barrels only coming in one-wave-sets, Jeremy’s situation looked more desperate than ever. Suddenly, a stretched-out wall appeared and Kieren took the bait and fell inside a crumbly tube, relinquishing priority. In a rare twist for the day, Jeremy paddled into the second wave of the set and one of the best tubes of the day. The rest is history–Jeremy Flores became the 2010 Billabong Pipeline Masters Champion by never giving up and fighting for the win until the final horn, just as Andy Irons had done so many times before. Andy would of looked down from the heavens today, very proud of the young Frenchman for a job well done. Congratulations Jeremy Flores, you are a Pipeline Master.

Dejection and exuberance juxtaposed after the Pipe Masters final. Photo: Joli

Jeremy Flores was in top form and kept his composure through a few incredibly unlikely heat wins. Photo: Joli
Before the event was even over, Joel Parkinson was busy celebrating his third consecutive Triple Crown title after his contenders were defeated. Photo: Joli
The day was an emotional rollercoaster for Pipe Masters runner-up Kieren Perrow, who surfed amazingly well all the way up to his shattering loss. Photo: Joli
Kelly Slater suffered the biggest upset of the event when a miscalculation cost him the semifinal against Flores. Photo: Joli

Owen Wright was on fire with his backside surfing at Backdoor, until he hit the brick wall that was Jeremy Flores in the quarterfinals. Photo: Joli
A win at Pipeline is a life changing feat, and the dramatic final day culminated in a historic win for the young French surfer. Photo: Joli
Jordy Smith looked poised to go the distance until his close fought battle with Kieren Perrow. Photo: Joli
Not since Napoleon Bonaparte's crossing of the Alps has a Frenchman stood so victorious. Photo: Joli