On day #4 of the waiting period for the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro –
presented by Billabong – officials elected take a page out of the
recently completed Pipeline Master's playbook, offering a smallish 4'
swell to the competitors with the option of Pipe lefts, Backdoor and
Off-The-Wall. High winds and constant rain have pounded these
islands for weeks, last night dumping inches of snow on Maui and the
Big island's volcanic peaks. The forecast 8' swell arrived a day late
and 3' short, but no one was walking away from it. A handful of late
drops, the every-now-and-then free fall from getting hung up at the
top and then there was your classic doggy-door escape from a fast
exploding Backdoor screamer. The first heat of the morning saw 4
Hawaiians, including Pancho Sullivan, who paddled 30 yards over to
Off the Wall and squeaked out of his heat, thankful for the extra
line-up to rack up a winning total. He's still in the running at the
end of day, having made it through the later Round of 96
The 3-star rated WQS event, the first of the year for Hawaii saw
it's first 2 rounds completed, 3 heats into the 3rd and draws in
competitors from around the world, this year including Japan, Peru,
Mexico, Puerto Rico, Australia, Brazil, mainland USA and the dozens
of Pipe Specialists of Hawaii.

The long range forecast for the event isn't too bright, a massive
high pressure to the north giving Hawaii its worst winter season in
over a decade. Officials are gung-ho to get another day in on the
backside of the swell and slightly calming trade winds before
the next flat session slides in and after that, maybe another small
northwester will arrive right at the end of the holding period. It's
going to be a tough fight getting through this winter's Monster Pipe
Pro though everyone's ready to battle it out in some not-so-pretty
wind 'n water conditions – the early season rating points are just
too valuable to walk away from, no matter how bad it is out there.