Andy Irons Wins The 2005 Rip Curl Pipeline Masters And 2005 Triple Crown Of Surfing

Andy Irons makes it a triple.

Andy Irons capped off the final with a perfect ’10’

SURF: One swell, two directions; six-foot and pretty good
EVENTS HELD: Quarters to finals, and victory dance
NATURE'S CALL: Everybody's working for the weekend
PREDICTIONS: Multi-tasking da parties

Andy Irons is dancing on the victory stand. He's got his arms around his younger brother Bruce and his good friend Mick Fanning. He's got three ASP world titles, three {{{Vans}}} Triple Crowns and three Rip Curl Pipe Masters. And the soundbites are dripping off his tongue like vanilla ice cream. "I'd like to dedicate this win to Malik, we'll never forget you, and to the guys retiring, Luke and Sunny especially, to my girlfriend Lindy and the WolfPak…" It goes on like this. Gripping stuff really. He's goofing for the cameras, he's stoked as hell, over the moon and yadda yadda yadda…plus a mumbled thanks to Kelly Slater and a visibly obvious statement that, "This definitely eases the pain for me."

Ah yes, the cooling salve of $30K and big friggin' trophy. The lesson here is don't back an injured wolf into a corner; especially if that wolf is Andy Irons. Andy's Rip Curl Pipe Masters campaign was ruthless and decisive. Totally unflinching. He didn't lose a single heat. But more than that, it wasn't ever even close. Even when he lost his board and took three Second Reef bombs on the head swimming to the channel, he still won. In the early minutes of the final with Bruce, Mick and trialist Kalani Chapman, Andy ripped open a long double-barrel at Backdoor with a giant flyaway cherry-on-top for the last Perfect Ten left in the ASP's formerly overstocked warehouse. At that point, based on the onshore winds and failing swell, he was pretty much impossible to beat. Bruce started blasting his signature "I don't give a f–k" airs, then paddled over splash water in Andy's face and tell him to F-Off. Mick kept trying, as he does, but the waves just weren't there. Solid effort though. What else wasn't there was Kelly Slater. The much-anticipated final showdown between pro surfing's most dynamic rivals never quite materialized, and Andy was left standing at the top of the heap, banging his chest and gripping his closest mates, with big check, big trophies, big smiles and everything…but will he be satisfied in the morning? Or is it back to black against white next year?

So where was Slater? He seemed so fired up earlier. What happened?

Well, let's go back. Back before Kelly even arrived on the island. Back to the best surf and some of the best surfers of the whole event. Back to the Trials. And back to Kalani Chapman.

Kalani Chapman began the process of trying to step into his brother Shaun Briley's Pipe shoes when he was just twelve years old, but he didn't score a real solid bomb until he was seventeen. Since then, he's just been building his rep out there one wave at a time. Aside from scoring an early season wave that Pipe locals are already calling the Bomb of the Year, in the trials he dropped the three highest wave scores of the whole event, including a Perfect Ten, and won every one of his heats in the maxed out Second Reef conditions. Going into the actual event, his first ever 'CT event, Chapman surfed against the seven-time world champ four times in a row, beating him twice and losing to him twice. In virtually every heat it seemed the two were hassling for waves, splitting the peak, sneaking inside each other and working every possible angle against the other. Kalani never gave Slates an inch. Kelly who?

So there they are in the semi together, their fourth face off, and Slater's in last place, needing a big score to sneak back into the final. The wave's coming and they're both in position, both paddling…Kalani wants the left, Slater's eyeing Backdoor. They both make the drop but are forced to straighten out. Chapman was up first, so interference is called on Slater. Nail in the coffin. Later, champ.

Andy Irons claims his third Pipe Masters title
From there, twelve guys paddled out into the Fosters Expression Session (including a helmeted and much-bandaged Tamayo Perry, still sporting nearly fifty staples to the head and just going crazy to surf), allowing just enough time for the wind to crank up and ruin the final (Makua Rothman, by the way, took away Tube of the Day honor). Dopey onshore burgers, long painful lulls, one Perfect Ten, one pissed off younger brother, a frustrated Mick Fanning (his second runner-up finish of the Vans Triple Crown) and a couple well-muscled closeouts for Kalani and it was all over. Yippee.

So Andy won it all today and hell, everyone knows he's an animal, one of the best surfers EVER, but the real winner of this event was Kalani Chapman, who, after surviving NINE full heats this contest was the first to the victory stand on the shoulders of Jason Frederico and Jamie O'Brien to ask, "What'd I win?" Well, aside from the $9K, he won plenty of respect today. And that goes a long way at Pipe these days.

Bruce grumbled for the cameras about crappy waves, packed his golf clubs and hit the links. Mick dropped a couple back-up vocal soundbites and took his six-pack back to the gym. And Andy, pausing for a victory party on his way to Sunny's retirement party tonight at the Hard Rock Caf, promised to stay, "one step ahead of the rest of 'em next year."

Until then…looks like we made it. One more year in the can. Merry Christmas everyone, happy new years and thanks to my sponsors.Congrats to Kelly on his Seventh World Title. Congrats to Andy on his Vans Triple Crown and Rip Curl Pipe Masters wins.And congrats to Kalani for refusing to pull back.

2005 Rip Curl Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Andy Irons – 17.33 pts
2 – Mick Fanning – 12.33 pts
3 – Bruce Irons – 11.33 pts
4 – Kalani Chapman – 6.37 pts