Sacha Specker is 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge DK Champ

posted on 19th February 2012

As the only non-Hawaiian in the dropknee final, South African Sacha 'Spex' Specker, was a clear underdog. He had been in a final twice before but never tasted victory, until now.

In the lead up to the final, the four finalists went about proving they were the were the men to beat. Pipe legend Kainoa McGee proved he hadn't lost a thing - navigating late drops with ease, driving through heavy sections and on some small inside running tubes defied all logic as to how such a massive unit like Kainoa could negotiate such tight tubes.

Miles Kauhaahaa proved his final appearance at last year's event was no fluke. This guys got skills and proved it with the highest scoring wave of the event - a long barrel at Backdoor. In the semi-final he launched a crazy inverted DK reverse air which he came close to completing rotation on and setting himself up for a landing. On the way to the final Miles won every one of his heats, giving Shaggy plenty of practice to pronounce his surname during heat winners interviews.

Bud Miyamoto is always dangerous and made a clean sweep of his run to the final and would have been a favourite amongst locals and pundits. Equally proficient on his forehand and backhand, his scoring rides came from both Pipe and Backdoor.

Specker's run to the final was as impressive as it was busy. With the exception of his semi-final where he was wave starved for the first half of the heat, Spex seemed to have the conditions worked out and when the waves did come his way, which seemed more often than not, he would negotiate the late, wind swept drops with style and ease, set himself up for a tube or trademark gouging turn. He may not have picked up the highest heat scores but he rode a lot of waves and he rode a lot of them impressively in the trying wind chop which was getting the better of many of the other contestants.

Pipe DK Final Heat 2012

In the final, Spex got out the gate first and posted a 7.8 and did not look back from there. He sat slightly wide of the Hawaiians and went about picking off waves that were running along the inside reef at Pipe and reminiscent of Jeff Hubbard in the mens final, with 12 minutes remaining on the clock Sacha had all the other finalists in combo land requiring 2 scoring waves to upset his lead. With 10 minutes to go Miyamoto picked off the highest scoring wave of the final - a long deep barrel at Pipe - punctuated with a cutback that threw buckets of spray over the back of the wave. He was unable to find a back up wave and came second by 3.91 points to Specker who had timed his run well and saved his best heat till last.

"It's an incredible feeling winning this event. It's a bit of a dream still. I think it'll kick in tomorrow, when we play the Aussies in cricket", said Specker.

The next DKWT event is the Peruvian Inka Challenge which takes place from March 1st-4th.

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