SLATER WINS BILLABONG PIPELINE MASTERS
Australian Joel Parkinson Wins 26th Annual
Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series Title.
from the official ASP press release:
BANZAI PIPELINE, Hawaii (Thursday, Dec. 12, 2008) - Nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has won the Billabong Pipeline Masters a record sixth time today, defeating Californian darkhorse Chris Ward. The victory is Slater's sixth of the 11 event 2008 ASP World Tour season and provides him his first Vans Triple Crown of Surfing event victory since his last victory here at Pipeline in 1999. The Billabong Pipeline Masters is the third and final event of the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series.
Slater revolutionized Pipeline surfing today, winning on a 5'11" Merrick- a board many considered too small for the barreling, 6-to-8-foot waves. While other Pipe Masters competitors rode surfboards in the 6'4" to 7'2" range, Slater charged with relatively smaller equipment on the 12- to 18-foot wave faces.
This was Slater's sixth Billabong Pipeline Masters title, sixth World Tour event win and his 40th professional contest victory. He also captured his ninth ASP World Championship earlier in October at the Billabong Pro Mundaka.
Slater was also presented a 1970's replica surfboard shaped by Gerry Lopez with solid gold edging for his Pipe Master's victory. "It's inexplicable," Slater said of his win and banner season. "I'm just stoked. I wasn't even worried about surfing the event, so to surf it and win and get that board (a Gerry Lopez designed surfboard trophy). I'll cherish that for sure."
Slater has made the Pipeline Masters final 10 out of the 17 times he has entered the event; winning in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999 and again today.
"My season is all about nines," Slater said. "Winning this event nine years later, I needed a 9th in the ninth event of the year to win my 9th ASP World title, it's crazy."
Despite being mobbed by the media and a fan frenzy, Kelly took the time to chat with Philippine Star Lifestyle.
MD: "Hey Kelly, Now after winning your 6th pipemasters, and your 9th ASP world title, any chance you might slow it down and come surf the Philippine Islands soon?"
Kelly: "I would love to sometime, for sure. I know there is some amazing surf that people don’t even know about."
MD: "7000 islands brah, 7000."
Kelly: "Yah its crazy, peace to all the boys back in the Philippines."
With thousands of miles of empty coastline, empty lineups, and over 7,107 islands; One day in our near future we may be so lucky as to host Mr. 9X ASP champ himself with truly hospitable Pinoy style. Until then, we will continue to enjoy our pristine shores, hollow waves, and endless San Miguel. If the time ever comes, the spots shall remain secret, and no one will ever recall it ever happening.
Happy Surfing and enjoy this beautiful life. -MD