It’s been a hell winter in the islands so far. Endless rain/floods, on-shore winds for weeks, ragged-at-best surf conditions since the end of 2004. A surf season that has had more downs than ups, but the littlest guy on the block – the 2005 PATAGONIA PIPELINE BODYSURFING CLASSIC – only by luck stroked into one of the best – and few – clean west swells of the second half of the 04-05 North Shore season.
37-year old Todd Sells, Sunset Beach resident/stuntman/waterman/model won his first Pipeline Body Surfing Classic in close-to-epic double overhead Pipe, beating out past 10-time winner Mike Stewart. Sells, who trains regularly for his “jobs” working out on the beach and bodysurfing for fun, put the pedal to the metal in his bid to yank Stewart off his lofty throne-of-champions (includes 4-straight titles). Sells had previously placed in the top six at the Classic twice in the last four years with a in 2001 and a 5th in 2003.
Conditions for the Classic were superb for the entire day, the 6-10 foot swell just coming down off a second-reef blow-out the day before that forced the event to pull back 24 hours. Honolulu lifeguard lieutenant Mark Cunningham pulled in to 3rd place, Oregon’s Phillip Deras shed the full suit life-style for 4th, Rogerio Sheffler nailed 5th and Keith Malloy locked up 6th. – BERNIE BAKER
Additonal Results: 7th tie: Matias Hegoas/Jeff Johnson
9th tie: Stephane Clement/Kai Santos
11th tie: Steve Kapela/James Comfort