It’s been a week since the IBA GoPro Pipeline Challenge crowned it’s three winners… and the week certainly has seemed less exciting without the buzz and excitement of this prestigious bodyboarding event!
Spectators were kept on the edge of their towels throughout the day, with some solid waves and even during the slower heats (in terms of the quality and consistency of waves) the competitors were able to keep it exciting with their elite athleticism and display of technical wave-riding skills.
The Mens Semi-Final Heats were clearly dominated by Jeff and Dave Hubbard – the brothers were on top form with their skilled barrel riding and huge aerial manoeuvres. My body kinda hurt just watching them, but they were just fine and both confidently rode their way into the Final Round with Jeff scoring a total of15.93 and Dave a 17.25. Jeff and Dave Hubbard are both from Hawaii and have recently started a local bodyboarding company called Hubboards, so watch out for that name!
The waves started pumping right from the start of the Women’s Final heat and it was a real treat to watch the Women competitors making the most of the West swell barrels coming through and riding Pipeline without fear. Brazilian’s Isabela Sousa absolutely dominated the heat, getting deep barrels with confidence and style. Fellow Brazilian and former World Champion Karla Costa Taylor rode all her waves with signature style and power securing third place in this years Pipeline Pro. Japan was well represented by Minami Hatekayama who did some big rolls and came in second, as well as Sari Ohhara in fourth place.
The Dropknee final was no less exciting with South Africa’s Sacha Specker having a great time getting barrelled and landing almost all of his clean, critical manoeuvres. Former DK World Champion Dave Hubbard, who was in the final round for two divisions, came in second, Dave Winchester in third and Cesar Bauer in fourth. All four of these competitors surfed so well throughout the event, but it was Specker who took a clean win over the others. Stay tuned for an interview with Specker on his secrets to success.
The Mens final started off with some solid sets, with Jeff getting off to a good start with a solid score, and leading the heat for most of the twenty five minutes. But, anyone who has ever been a competitor or spectator of a wave-riding sport knows that the situation can change at anytime! And that’s exactly what happened in this Final heat – Australia’s Ben Player had a strong score on his first wave and then waited patiently before getting a beautiful barrel and big close out roll, right at the end of the heat, sealing his win over Jeff Hubbard in second, France’s Pierre Louis Costes in third and Dave Hubbard in fourth.
Thank you to everyone who made this great event possible. Big Mahalo to all the sponsors, organizers, competitors and everyone who came out to support the event. Highlights of the final day of competition can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=PkoNRwMZsDk&list=SP67_V5nXTA_pXeGerR6tr2BW8xY4cVFzQ.