Kelly Slater wins the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters

CONDITIONS: Willy Wonka's 8-foot chocolate shack factory
HEATS HELD: Round 4 to the finals
NATURE'S CALL: Time for some crowd control. Rain should do it.
PREDICTIONS: Parko's limo is as long as Ke Nui road to celebrate his {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown win. Yeah, that should be fun…

A few days ago Kelly Slater said he was kind of hoping someone else would win Pipeline Masters this year. And with about five minutes remaining in semifinal number one, that looked like it might be the case as Huntington Beach's Timmy Reyes sat in the chocolate milk water –– thanks to a full 24 hour downpour the day before –– with the nine time world champ in combo land. And then, like a horrible recurring dream/nightmare, Kelly Slater slipped into a left at Pipe under Timmy's priority, got spit out for a 9. But with very inconsistent surf, the chances of him grabbing another were slim, right? Wait, we've seen this before. Before anyone had time to calculate the logistics of a Kelly comeback, a wave at shifted into the channel at Pipe and Kelly raced across the entire reef for a perfect 10-point ride at Backdoor. 19 points in 30 seconds. Only Kelly. All hopes of an all California final vanished. And no I didn't just copy and paste our Boost Mobile Pro at Lowers coverage and change the names. That all really happened. Even when Kelly roots against himself he wins.

On the other side of the draw, Chris Ward and Ace Buchan squared off in the semis. Wardo –– who has surfed one of the best contests of his career, consistently posting 9s –– threw the DVS house a shaka and paddled out and dominated from the get-go. Then word came out that Wardo could win the Vans Triple Crown with a win at Pipeline things got a little more interesting. Unfortunately though, that stat lost him a cheerleader as Joel Parkinson would win the Triple Crown title as long as Wardo didn't win the contest.

In the final, the wind got weird and the waves didn't do much. Kelly got a few Backdoor gems on his 5'11" egg and displayed a whole new way to ride Pipe and Backdoor. It was good to see Wardo get close, but it just wasn't in the cards. So, in rather uneventful fashion, Kelly won…again. He got carted up the beach again. He won Pipe Masters again. And it's raining here again. Wardo missed winning the the Vans Triple Crown by a spot. And Timmy Reyes missed making the final at the Billabong Pipeline Masters by three minutes.

"I almost beat Kelly which is pretty rad," Reyes said after. "I can’t get mad losing at someone who has nine world titles and it was good to win a couple of heats out here in all-time conditions at one of my favorite waves in the world."

As for Parko, he was probably celebrating the moment he knew Kelly was in the final.

"I've come runner-up to the Triple Crown a couple of times," Parkinson said afterwards. "Andy nabbed it from me both times, so no hard feelings to Wardo, but I really didn't want that to happen again. It feels amazing to actually take it home this time."

And just like that, as Kelly was crowned, Valient Thorr lit up the Volcom house. Beers snapped and the groms assaulted Pipe –– which turned on, glassed off and pulsed following the final as Nat Young, Conner Coffin, Tyler Newton, Kai Barger and a whole host of young chargers put on a good little sideshow as Kelly accepted his 6th Pipeline Masters trophy, which included a Gerry Lopez designed board. "I'll cherish that thing for sure," Kelly said.

And as much as you want to see new faces on the podium, it's pretty amazing to watch Kelly continue to revolutionize the way we ride waves as he did today on his 5'11". Let's just hope out there in the pack of groms at Pipe is a kid paying close attention. Kelly can't do this forever, can he?

World Nos. 1-27 and requalifying for the 2009 ASP World Tour are:
1. Kelly Slater (USA)
2. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
3. Taj Burrow (AUS)
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
5. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
6. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
7. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
8. Mick Fanning (AUS)
9. Bobby Martinez (USA)
10. Jeremy Flores (FRA).
11. Luke Stedman (AUS)
12. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
13. Andy Irons (HAW)
14. Chris Ward (USA)
15. Kai Otton (AUS)
16. Tim Reyes (USA)
17. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
18. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
19. Dayyan Neve (AUS)
20. Bruce Irons (HAW)
21. Mikael Picon (FRA)
22. Dane Reynolds (USA)
23. Taylor Knox (USA)
24. Damien Hobgood (USA)
25. Heitor Alves (BRA)
26. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
27. Ben Dunn (AUS)

The Top 15 ASP World Qualifying Series who qualify for the 2009 ASP World Tour are:
1. Nathaniel Curran (USA)
2. Chris Davidson (AUS)
3. Michel Bourez (PYF)
4. Gabe Kling (USA)
5. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
6. David Weare (ZAF)
7. Josh Kerr (AUS)
8. Nic Muscroft (AUS)
9. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
10. Greg Emslie (ZAF)
11. Tim Boal (FRA)
12. Dustin Barca (HAW)
13. Tiago Pires (PRT)
14. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)
15. Drew Courtney (AUS).

The three 2009 tour wildcards, as decided by the ASP in conjunction with the surfer's union, went to injury applicants Dean Morrison (AUS), Aritz Aranburu (EUK) and WQS NO. 16 Marlon Lipke (DEU).

** – Note that these final ranking do not take into account for any pending retirements from the current crew of qualifiers and could possibly change.