Having cracked his pelvis at Pipe last year, Bede Durbidge needed some time out and was hired by one man named John John Florence as a coach. Today, they met in round 3 of the 2016 Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons and the student mercilessly schooled his fully recovered teacher.
It was just one of the cheer charging happenings which went down today on the North Shore’s illustrious reef, having finally been dealt a chargeable swell after four more lay-days. 3-4 foot glass faces took the place of this week’s storm chop and Backdoor hosted a veritable playground of little barrels. It wasn’t classic Pipe, but it was enough.
Main contender for Rookie of the Year, Connor Coffin took on the first real round 2 brawl against Jack Freestone as they Chuckle Brother-ed the lead on back to back waves. It was close, but Coffin took the win after building on a narrow points lead and throwing huge barrel / hack combinations in his first Pipe Masters competition.
The young Californian had his grasp on the Rookie title but round 3 put Kelly in the way. With 90 seconds to go Coffin needed a 9.14 to regain advantage and dropped into a double Backdoor barrel on the inside, finding an exit through the spit and finishing with a close-out hack on the lip. The 9.07 score squeaked short of that required and Coffin lost his punt at Rookie Of The Year to Brazil’s Caio Ibelli, as well as the heat.
Matt Wilko was visited by the beer fairy after being punted out the competition by Jeremy Flores in heat one of round three. A drone dangling the can greeted him on the beach and brought a smile to the face of the defeated.
CT number 5 Kolohe Andino then tore a massive hole in Kai Otton’s to-do list, bettering the CT veteran’s total wave score by 0.76 and ensuring not only his departure from this event, but also cancelling his chances of re-qualification for 2017. The fearless and dry witted surfer will be back, but could it be in a commentator’s chair?
Big grinned Ryan Callinan is set to face Nat Young and Josh Kerr in round four, after he took down Medina with a huge wave score of 15.34. Medina snagged many a Backdoor barrel and threw some big air attempts, but didn’t stick the landings that would get him the points. The Brazilian goofy-footer is officially out of Pipe Masters 2016.
Jeremy Flores, Filipe Toledo and Kolohe Andino will kick things off in the first heat of round 4 and new world champ John John Florence will make an appearance in the following heat against Joel Parkinson and Michel Bourez.
Conditions for day three look similar to Sunday, with a small but rip-able swell predicted to stack Backdoor with more barrels.