The Rip Curl Code STL Trials go off without a stitch


Some dreams do come true.

And had you been in the dreams of Mikey Bruneau or Bruno Santos last night you’d have seen a preview of what went down at Pipeline this afternoon—spitting tubes galore for the one/two spots respectively in the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters. And we do mean respectively. In the hammering 8-10 foot sets with a double sucking northwest bend, this was Pipeline best left to a master.

But who is Mikey Bruneau or Bruno Santos? Neither name appears very high up the Pipeline macho man status ladder, so how are they now set to compete against the top 45 in the most prestigious surfing competition in the world? Well, let’s check out a few of their defining moments within the days events.

Around 10:30 am local boy Bruneau sneaks an inside tube to beat three-time world champ, Tom Curren, in the last thirty seconds of their heat. This savvy move is huge considering the craziness that’s happening in the water. With the morning high tide only adding to the thick amounts of water that are moving in every direction at one million miles per hour this is not your kinder, gentler Pipeline. Third reef sets are rolling over these guys at the speed of Mack trucks every few minutes. Maui madman, Tom Dosland has already “fallen from the sky” to reserve worst Backdoor wipeout of the season honors. Pipe legends Braden Dias and Tamayo Perry have already fallen victim to the unusually shifty peaks, being eliminated in the first round.

Noontime and the onshore winds have come making things even nuttier. It’s here that Brazilian tube dude Bruno Santos really starts to turn it on. Advancing to the quarters alongside ’00 Masters champ Rob Machado, the 21 year-old from {{{Rio}}} de Janeiro, rated 114th in the world, is starting to look anything but that. Incredible displays are being aced by plenty, including local Jason Fredrico’s THICK LIPPED 9.83 and Shane Dorian’s 9.60 Backdoor bonanza, but surrounded by all of this the Brazilian’s stylish subtleties become only more apparent.


3:30 pm and the trials final start. Ten seconds later and 21 year-old Mike Bruneau, who normally makes his cash working construction between good swells, is being blown out from five seconds within a sick Pipeline pit. His score: 8.83. Two minutes more and he does it again for a 7.5. Then Bruno goes soul arch through a ten-footer to death closeout and solid 6.8 just for the axe. Veterans, Shane Dorian and Brian Pacheco are also out there and looking like potential winners of any other Pipe Masters trials, but then, this just isn’t their dream. The two underdogs are HOT! HOT! HOT! Bruneau tops his 7.5 with an 8.0-spitting beast, while Santos drains another 7.5. Amazing.

As are the looks on the two winners after it’s all done, when Bruneau is practically speechless in his extensive bliss. So Bruno Santos sums it up for them both in saying:”When I woke up this morning I’d never have expected this.”


Next up is the main event. This is where we see the world’s best, which hardly seems possible after what went down in the trials. But this is where we’ll get to see Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater. And these dudes rip. Which means you won’t want to miss heats 7, 8 and 9. Heats 8 and 9 should be especially interesting as that’s where our two trials winners have landed. Also make sure you watch heat 6 with {{{CJ}}} Hobgood—he loves it back in the green room. And check off heat 12 on that must see list. Aussie power bowler, Phil MacDonald is in contention for his first ever {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown title and he needs your support to do it to it. Then finally comes heat 15, the one we’ve all been waiting for. Bruce Irons, kid bro to the world champ, is close to being knocked off the world championship tour, making a big result at Pipeline mandatory for keeping his chances alive. It’s a good thing that he’s arguably the greatest Pipeline surfer alive. So grab a seat in the sand and watch for these cool bros finding ample space behind the Banzai amusement ride. This stuff is gonna blow your mind.

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