Jeff Hubbard wins 5th Pipeline title at Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational
posted on 7th March 2017
In 8-12 foot conditions at Pipeline today, Hawaii’s own Jeff Hubbard bested a talented field of competitors to win the 2017 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational.
“To win something like this in front of all your friends and family, and to get chaired up the beach, there’s nothing better,” Hubbard said after a champagne bath at the winner’s podium. “It’s what you dream of, and it doesn't get old. There’s nothing sweeter.”
In the action packed Final was Hubbard, Basque’s Iain Campbell, South Africa’s Alex Uranga and Australia’s Ben Player. Before the heat began, predictions as to who would come out on top was just as murky as the brown colored water on hand at Pipeline.
In the semifinals, Campbell and Uranga out surfed an on point Socrates Santana and last year’s champion Pierre Louis Costes, who wowed judges and fans alike throughout the day. In the second semifinal, Player and Hubbard defeated an on-fire Amaury Lavernhe and renown charger Guilherme Tamega.
In the Final, Hubbard set the tone with an early high scoring ride, hoping to use the score as as backup, and continued searching for another high-scoring wave without priority.
“After the first wave, I didn’t have priority, and I found a good wave that had a ramp. I landed that air reverse really clean, and another bowl section came at me so I did a big flip and landed that one clean,” Hubbard said.
The combinations of airs and deep barrels builds on an impressive 2016 campaign for Hubbard, where won the 2016 Hawaii Bodyboarding Pro Tour. The win today at Pipeline further cements his status as one of the best bodyboarders to enter the arena.
“The bodyboarders competing here today, they are the best of the best,” Hubbard said. “Pipeline is the highest echelon, it always has been. It’s the best place to bodyboard on the planet and it showed today with the level of talent incredibly high.”
Mike Stewart seconded Hubbard notion on the level of talent on display throughout the 3-day contest.
“These are some amazing wave riders,” Stewart said. “I was watching the Final thinking to myself ‘I have to do that to stay up with them!’ They’re the future of our sport and it’s awesome to see.”
Today’s action concludes the 3-day event that was slated to run in between Feb 25-March 10. On Day 1, in 6-10 foot conditions, early rounds of the Men’s division ran. The following day saw Miles Kauhaahaa win the Drop Knee Division, Ayaka Suzuki win the Women’s and Ezra Hill claim the Junior’s, all in 5-8 foot surf.