PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Saturday, December 12, 2009) – Solid five-to-seven foot (2 – 2.5 metre) barrels are steamrolling through the lineup this morning, prompting event organizers for the Billabong Pipe Masters to call competition on, with Round 3 commencing at 8am.
Stop No. 10 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pipe Masters marks the third and final event of the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series) and today's incredible conditions provide the perfect setting for what could potentially be the most exciting day of the year.
"We've got great surf today in the five-to-seven foot range," Randy Rarcick, Vans Triple Crown Contest Director, said. "We'll be getting underway at 8am and we're expecting to run Rounds 3 and 4."
The 2009 ASP World Title could be decided by day's end as Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, and Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, enter the lineup for the first time today.
Fanning faces giant-slaying wildcard Torrey Meister (HAW), 21, in Heat 2 of Round 3 while Parkinson takes on Gavin Gillette (HAW), X23, in Heat 15.
The scenarios for the 2009 ASP World Title heading into the Billabong Pipeline Masters are as follows:
– If Fanning finishes 17th through 9th at Pipeline, Parkinson needs a 3rd of better to overtake.
– Fanning finishes 5th at Pipeline, Parkinson needs a 2nd or better to overtake.
– Fanning finishes 3rd at Pipeline, Parkinson needs win the event to overtake.
– If Fanning finishes 2nd or better at Pipeline, he will clinch the 2009 ASP World Title.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pipe Masters, are calling for a prime 10-to-12 foot (3-4 metre) swell to build for tomorrow.
Up first this morning will be current ASP World No. 27, Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, up against fellow ASP Dream Tour competitor Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, in Heat 1 of Round 3.
The Billabong Pipe Masters will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com and www.triplecrownofsurfing.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Torrey Meister (HAW)
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)
Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Flynn Novak (HAW)
Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Michael Picon (FRA)
Heat 7: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Chris Ward (USA)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Hank Gaskell (HAW)
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Liam McNamara (HAW)
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 11: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Heat 13: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)
Heat 14: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 15: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Gavin Gillette (HAW)
Heat 16: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)