WQS Update With Al Hunt

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Pancho Sullivan, since winning the 2005 Monster Energy Pro at Pipeline, has been on a mission to take as many titles as possible at Pipe. Unfortunately, just over a month ago his dream faltered when he was pushed to third place in the 2007 Billabong Pipeline Masters after leading for most of the final and looking unbeatable.

A month or so later in the 2008 Monster Energy Pipeline Pro after a late entry, a wait on the alternate list for cancellations, finally getting a start in the first round and then eight heats later, Pancho blitzed the final, showing he is a Pipeline Master, scoring a perfect 10-point ride while doing so.

The other finalists were fellow ASP Top 45 surfers, Fred Patacchia in second, Roy Powers in third and ASP WQSer Dustin Barca in fourth. The only other Top 45 surfer in the event was Andy Irons who suffered an unexpected loss in his first heat.

Although this was only a ASP WQS 3-Star event and the points may not mean much, especially to Pancho, this event was extremely important for the local Pipeline hotshots as wildcard slots into the end of year Billabong Pipeline Masters were up for grabs.

The criteria for these 16 slots that end up competing against the ASP Top 45 is:

Triple Crown Pipeline Masters Wildcards
1 – Tahitian
1 – Monster Pipe Champion 2008(any region)
1 – Triple Crown Contender 2008
(13) Remaining votes to Hawaiians in the Quarters or better of Monster Pipe 2008

Any remaining slots will go to Pipeline Specialist, advancing minimum of 2 rounds, by final placings in Monster Pipeline Pro.

Ties will be broken by total heat score.

So I guess, along with a Tahitian and a possible Triple Crown contender, the top 14 finishers from this event will qualify as Pancho is already seeded as one of the ASP Top 45.

That means that the following ten will be some of the wildcards with the remainder to be decided from the highest non quarterfinal specialists: Dustin Barca, T.J. Barron, Makuakai Rothman, Marcus Hickman, Ian Walsh, Kekoa Bacalso, Nathan Carroll, Ola Eleogram, Jesse Merle-Jones and Daniel Jones.

The ASP WQS 5-Star PRIME Hang Loose Pro in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil is on this week, and this will be the first event of the year where the points will definitely be worth keeping. 2,500 for first place all the way down to 17th, which is worth 1,125 will be keepers.

Just the one junior event this week at North Straddie Island on Australia's Gold Coast where local hottie {{{Lincoln}}} Taylor was victorious.

That's all for now. Until next week.

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