Pipe 04: WQT Trials Comp Report
posted by Mark Fordham on 7th January 2004
Pipeline Hawaii- The first day of the Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro, Pre Trials / Trials and into the Main event of the WQT produced some fun 6 - 8ft NW swell this morning, sunny conditions with off shore conditions. As the word got out the crowd started to fill the stretch of Ehukai Beach Park.
The Pre Trialists that are used to competing at locations such as Sandy beach or Turtle Bay welcomed the chance to surf at Pipe this morning, stand outs included Brett Lillyman form Australia, Jose Rutherford from Mexico and Kalani Kamaka from Hawaii in heat one, Heat two pre trialists to advance were Javier Garcia from Argentina, Simon Thornton from Australia and Joao Baggio from Brazil.
"It's is my first contest that I have had for a while" explained Australia's Simon Thornton. "I was pretty nervous out there, but I ended up getting a couple. The competition was pretty tense out there because there were six guys out in the line up all trying to get two good waves in 19 minutes, because it was not so big there were like lefts and rights so everyone was getting their fair share of waves".
The trials standouts included Mick Muir from Australia / Sasha Specker, Marc Jucker and Henkus Lobsure from South Africa and from Hawaii, locals Tyler Ching- Johnson and Micah Oh. All won their heats and automatically made it into the main event.
South African trialists Brandon Foster was eliminated by interference, "My heat sucked! I thought I was doing OK in the beginning and then I got this bomb backdoor one and I said to the guy, hey bro I am going to go and he look at me and said cool, and he did the Brazilian on me and paddled around me and as I was getting up drop knee I looked back and I was already up and the guy was calling out at me. I couldn't pull off otherwise I would have gone over the falls, so I dropped in and pulled of down the line. It all happened so quickly. That's the way the game flows. The best man always wins and I wasn't the best man today".
Coming into round one of the WQT Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro - standouts included Hawaiians Spencer Skipper, Paul Beco, Brian Wise and Eugene Texeira as well as Australians Tate Martin, Brae Pettiford, Simon Thornton and Simon Ormerod of which all one their heats respectively.
"It was a little tough out there" Skipper say's, "conditions seems to be getting smaller and shifting a lot on the reef, I was lucky enough to find a few little pockets out there that opened up so I was pretty stoked. The competitors in the heat were pretty mellow and focused which was cool; everyone just had respect for each other in the water.
Another Hawaiian local Eugene Texeira added. "It was pretty fun, there was some bomb ones out there though the medium ones seemed to be the ones to go. The bigger ones were kind of shutting down; there were a couple of backdoor barrels though. It was fun with only four guys out."
"It was a bit tricky out there, a bit wobbly and some were pinching on the end of, though definitely some good barrels out there", said Dave Hubbard as he came back from his heat. "The heat was good; Skippy seemed to be in the right position as always and scored the best ones. He should do well through out the rest of the event, like he should do because it's what he does best."
Round two, heat one saw Spencer Skipper again progressing to round three with a local upset coming in with Dave Hubbard coming in third behind Australian Jason Hazle. Heat two saw South African Ian Metcalf and Ruyman Rodrigues from the Canary Island progressing. Heat three saw Jono Bruce and Tate Martin from Australia dominated this heat and ended the run for fellow Australian Mick Muir and Christian Perez from Spain.
After his heat Muir said, 'I had a bad heat, the waves seemed to deteriorate with the wind and I couldn't get the ones that I wanted.
Heat four saw the continue dominance of local Hawaiian Brian Wise who managed to pick off the few sweet ones that crept into the sets. He and South African Sasha Specker advanced to round three. In heat five, Rui Ferreira from Portugal and Japan's Yoshitado Kondo advanced also into round three. In the last heat of the day as conditions were getting a little smaller Australian Liam O'Toole seemed to find all the good ones with a good pick of tubes rides and small boosts. He and Germany's Pablo Serrano will proceed to round three.
With the swell expected to drop over the next few days contest officials will be following two storm cells that are expect to push swell onto the North Shore of Oahu in the next few days.