2005 Rip Curl Pipeline Masters – Day 2: Round 1 Completed

SURF: trade-hacked, four-foot leftovers
NATURE'S CALL: Surf it and like it
PREDICTED: One stacked Loser's Bracket

You mean I've been training all this time, surfing hard all year, to prepare for this? Taylor Knox probably wasn't the only one saying this before his Round One heat at Pipe today. After a high-strung, heavywater trials yesterday filled with thrills, spills and chicken skin, today opened up to a 66 percent swell decrease and stubborn, north/northeast trades, causing most of the medium- to smallish- barrels to crumbulina into mushballs.

It's the kind of day most of the real Pipe surfers would have headed to Ala Moana Center anyway, letting the touring pros battle it out for the scraps. But since everyone wins in the first round of the WCT (it's just that the first-place finishers win a litttle bit more), {{{Vans}}} Triple Crownn executive director decided, Hey, our limited days here at Pipe are precious. Let's get the formalities out of the way and be ready for when the serious stuff hits.

And so, the world's best paddled out for their first heats of this year's Pipe Masters in less-than-coveted conditions, and it obviously caused some problems for a few who are usually automatic. Knox : a heat score total of 3.14. Seven-time world champ Kelly Slater, logging in his competitive debut on the North Shore this year with a loss to Danny Wills. And Mick Fanning, currently second in the Vans Triple Crown title marathon, going down hard against Brazilian wildcard Bruno Santos and Mark Occhilupo with the wipeout of the event - a sledgehammer piledrive from the top floor the basement. “Go, Eugene!” yelled his mate, Tom Whitaker, who watched in horror from Off the Wall.

Of course, not everyone let the imperfection throw them off. Andy and Bruce Irons, masters of Pipe Pits, breezed through their first test. Damien Hobgood, who's hoping for a big result to catapult him to third in the world, started off on the right foot forward after packing one of the best ones of the day. And in the last heat, HB's Timmy Reyes, who needs a quarterfinal finish to qualify the proper way, shocked the Big Dogs by comboing soon-to-be-retired Sunny Garcia and Luke Egan. His best wave, an out-of-nowhere Backdoor freight train, scored the only perfect 10 of the day.

Still, Round One of this year's Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters will likely go down as forgettable. As Rip Curl's Neil Ridgeway said, “We have to get rid of this courtesy round. The WCT has to have winners and losers in every heat, and it has to reward the winners.”

Fortuntaely, there'll be no more freebies this year at Pipe.

With nine days left in the waiting period and only two full days left of competition, plan on seeing some serious quality over quantity. And that quality will likely arrive on Tuesday, as yet another 10-foot, WNW swell is on the menu. Beginning with eight Loser's Round heats, expect everyone to be on ledge. Starting with heat one, which will see Mr. Kelly Slater try to end his dream season on a dreamier note.

(1st place advances to Round 3; 2nd & 3rd go to Round 2)

Heat # 1: 1st – Cory Lopez, 2nd – Shane Beschen, 3rd – Darren O’Rafferty
Heat # 2: 1st – Trent Munro, 2nd – Shea Lopez, 3rd – Troy Brooks
Heat # 3: 1st – Nathan Hedge, 2nd – Renan Rocha, 3rd – Taylor Knox
Heat # 4: 1st – Joel Parkinson, 2nd – Richie Lovett, 3rd – Bernardo Pigmeu
Heat # 5: 1st – Jamie O’Brien, 2nd – {{{CJ}}} Hobgood, 3rd – Travis Logie
Heat # 6: 1st – Bruno Santos, 2nd – Mark Occhilupo, 3rd – Mick Fanning
Heat # 7: 1st – Damien Hobgood, 2nd – Pancho Sullivan, 3rd – Peterson Rosa
Heat # 8: 1st – Danny Wills, 2nd – Kelly Slater, 3rd – Kalani Chapman
Heat # 9: 1st – Andy Irons, 2nd – Tom Whitaker, 3rd – Makua Rothman
Heat #10: 1st – Paulo Moura, 2nd – Dustin Barca, 3rd – Phil MacDonald
Heat #11: 1st – Jake Paterson, 2nd – Kirk Flintoff, 3rd – Marcelo Nunes
Heat #12: 1st – Bruce Irons, 2nd – Raoni Monteiro, 3rd – Tim Curran
Heat #13: 1st – Fred Patacchia, 2rd – Bede Durbidge, 3rd – Greg Emslie
Heat #14: 1st – Victor Ribas, 2nd – Michael Lowe, 3rd – Luke Stedman
Heat #15: 1st – Lee Winkler, 2nd – Kalani Robb, 3rd – Dean Morrison
Heat #16: 1st – Tim Reyes, 2nd – Luke Egan, 3rd – Sunny GarciaUPCOMING ROUND 2 HEATS:
(1st & 2nd place advance to Round 3; 3rd & 4th finish =33rd)

Heat # 1: Kelly Slater, Raoni Monteiro, Bede Durbidge, Kalani Chapman
Heat # 2: Phil MacDonald, Marcelo Nunes, Michael Lowe, Makua Rothman
Heat # 3: Mick Fanning, Darren O’Rafferty, Sunny Garcia, Dustin Barca
Heat # 4: CJ Hobgood, Troy Brooks, Kalani Robb, Pancho Sullivan
Heat # 5: Dean Morrison, Taylor Knox, Luke Stedman, Bernardo Pigmeu
Heat # 6: Luke Egan, Richard Lovett, Greg Emslie, Renan Rocha
Heat # 7: Tom Whitaker, Travis Logie, Tim Curran, Shea Lopez
Heat # 8: Peterson Rosa, Mark Occhilupo, Kirk Flintoff, Shane Beschen