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Hawaii, Part 2: The Pipe Pro

After leaving Waikik for the second time I arrived at the North Shore just in time to witness the end of Pipeline Pro. I managed to watch Bruce Irons charge huge waves with no chance of making them in an attempt to qualify for the finals.

Bruce Irons, charging Backdoor.


After catching the semi’s there was a quick break before the final began, the 2 firm favourites with the crowd were John John Florence and Jamie O’Brien (personally I was cheering for John John).  Jamie was leading from the off, showcasing amazing style and composure in the intense Pipeline barrels, swapping between the lefts and the rights he was showing he was just as comfortable surfing Backdoor as he is at Pipe. Pulling out of deep barrels the crowd were cheering, almost certain that he had the win in the bag with his 2 best scores combining to just over 19.00.

Jamie O dropping into a Pipeline bomb.


Then John John paddled into a monster at Pipe. He had no chance of making it but somehow he exploded out of the barrel causing the crowd to go wild and the judges to award him a perfect 10.00. With 5 minutes left to go the contest was still up for grabs.

In the dying seconds it looked as though Jamie had it, but a bump of swell popped up, and both Jamie and John John paddled for it, John John making it. The wave was huge and Pipeline was out of the question so he dropped into Backdoor and disappeared into the barrel for what seemed like an age, only to emerge seconds later causing the crowd on the beach to go wild, everyone knew that would seal a win for him (making him back to back Pipeline Pro champ) you didn’t need the judges to tell you that.

Here’s the sequence of his final wave that I shot from the beach:

Dropping into Backdoor.


Look closely and you can still see his board.


At this point everyone thought he’d lost it in the barrel.


Only for him to emerge seconds later, causing the crowd to go wild.


The Pipe Pro champ 2012.


This was an amazing final to watch, the surfers were ripping and it was up for grabs literally until the last second.

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