2005 Rip Curl Pipeline Masters: Event Preview

2003 Pipe Masters champ Andy Irons is sure to be gunning for the win – especially since the world title has been taken from him
Well, the world championship hype is over. The world title has been sealed by Kelly Slater before the tour even made it to Hawaii. So I guess the rest of the tour is just pretty boring and hum-drum from here on out, right?


We still have one of the greatest surf contests that ever existed to run. The 2005 Rip Curl Pipe Masters may not have a world title decided at it this year, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any edge-of-your-seat drama.

With four-man heats, lots of local wildcards, and some of the most intense pressure to perform, you can surely bet that there are going to be some memorable moments from this year’s event.

Who could forget Bruce Irons needing to make last year’s final at Pipe in order to qualify for the 2005 WCT tour? If you {{{recall}}}, Bruce had a horrible Round 1 heat, only to come back in the rest of his heats and make a unforgettable run to the final. Oh, and did we mention that he also won the Eddie in between heats? Yeah, it was a great run for Bruce last year.

But for every awesome Bruce Irons story, there is also the tale of the small-wave warrior who is in WAY over his head at Pipe. The guys who have no experience in big Pipe conditions and end up paddling around the lineup dodging sets for their entire heat. Laugh at them if you like, but it’s a daunting task paddling out at Pipeline with your entire WCT requalification on the line. Just be sure to keep an eye out on the score cards for that one surfer who is sure to not catch any waves during his heat. It’s bound to happen.

Does 2004 Pipe Masters champ Jamie O’Brien have another mythical run in him this year?
So who looks good this year?

You could never go wrong with some of the proven Pipe experts such as Bruce Irons, Andy Irons, Kelly Slater, Jamie O’Brien or Sunny Garcia. They are all sure bets to finish strong at the event, and you can be darn sure that they will charge on anything that looks makeable (and a few that aren’t as well).

Local surfer Pancho Sullivan has had quite a run during this year’s Triple Crown of Surfing, so don’t rule him out as well. You can never underestimate local knowledge at a tricky spot like Pipe.

Will Kelly Slater be motivated at Pipe this year since he has already sealed his 7th world title?
Any way you look at it, the Pipe Masters is sure to be filled with drama regardless of Kelly Slater already clinching the world title. So sit back, tune in and watch as the ultimate gladiator pit serves up some of your favorite surfers for lunch.

Log on to www.TripleCrownofSurfing.com/Pipeline for all the action at the 2005 Rip Curl Pipeline Masters.