2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters Day 2

The North Shore smells like charcoal right now as BBQ's up and down the seven-mile miracle fire up. After another long day at the Billabong Pipe Masters, it's looking like tomorrow will be a lay day for sure and the boys who lost are forgetting about their heats and the boys still going are no doubt celebrating the big scores that got them there. In a day that featured practically all Backdoor rights and was only 4- to 5-foot, there were still a lot of high scores making it a fun day to watch as the top seeds came into the game including Parko, Mick and Kelly as well as a rejuvenated Andy Irons.

After 8 hours of surfing, we've got a lot to talk about. Here's what's a buzz along the North Shore this evening after the day's action:

Joel Parkinson's perfect heat against his Triple Crown competitor Dusty Payne. In a true Backdoor shootout, Dusty Payne and Joel Parkinson put on a performance that had team houses erupting up and down the beach like it was a high school pep rally. Dusty managed to put in an incredible showing, looking cool, calm and collected against the smoothest operator in the biz, there's not much you can do when Joel Parkinson lays down two perfect 10s. Take you bow Dusty, that was a fine showing. As for Parko, something tells me he's got a few more where that came from. After his OTW showoff yesterday with Mick and Kieran, I'm quite convinced he's got what it takes to make it back-to-back Aussies wearing the crown and you know he wants it. “That was a big heat for the Triple Crown for sure," Parkinson said. "I have to start thinking more about the Triple Crown now. I have to forget about those 10s and start surfing heats from now on and not get too ahead of myself.”

Kelly Slater showed up riding a board that looked like Clark W. Griswold's sled in Christmas Vacation. A 5 foot something or other with fins. A Morey Boogie with glass on it. And the weird thing is he looked more comfortable on that alien biscuit in the tube than we are on Christmas morning at the house we grew up in. "I've probably gotten two hundred barrels in the last four days," Kelly said after arriving on the island overnight and it showed. The bald one continues to be one of the most interesting people to watch on a surfboard because you just don't know what the f--k he's going to do, ride or pull at any given time. And that's exciting for surfing.

Andy Irons made his triumphant return as well. After sitting out the last three contests, Andy Irons posted a comeback and it was rad to see. After a relatively wave starved heat and watching Dean Morrison pick off a couple of sevens, you started to wonder if he gave a shit still. But then, just as you turned your back on him, he stroked into a right with about two minutes remaining, threaded the tube like the Andy of old, kicked out with a f--k you board flick out and posted a 9.8 and the win. All I can say is that if Andy Irons finishes the year with a win at Pipeline, Kelly Slater may in fact have a tougher run at 10 than he might like. Or at least that's what I want to see.

In loser news, Dane Reynolds fell to Backdoor wizard Shane Dorian. A tough draw no doubt for someone after missing a few comps with injury. But Dane didn't look too interested in the mediocre Backdoor waves anyways, and with duct tape covering his ankle, he may have just been here kissing hands and shaking babies or something, because he definitely didn't come to surf Pipeline Masters. But it's all good. We'd rather he just get better and come out tail chucking at Snapper in February.

Bruce Irons lost to one of the year's stand out performers for sure in Tom Whitaker. Tommy Whits has been on tear up and down the beach and would not be a surprise to see his Oakley O in the Semis and beyond. It's shame Bruce couldn't go out on a win, but watching him take off the singlet for the final time didn't' make me sad it made me stoked. I can't wait to see what B.I. does in the next year.

And just like that the swell slacked and the wind got weird. Rain fell and the beers snapped. With another run of swell slated for Friday we could be looking at a firing finish to the Billabong Pipeline Masters, the final jewel of the {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown of Surfing. Stay tuned to SURFINGMAGAZINE.com for the latest from the couches of the North Shore as the Billabong Pipeline Masters nears its end.