PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Tuesday, December 7, 2010) -- The Billabong Pipe Masters, the final event on the 2010 ASP World Tour, is set to commence tomorrow with the world's best surfers facing off against one another and a bevy of Pipeline specialists in the 48-man draw.
The third and final stop on the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (an ASP Specialty Series), the Billabong Pipe Masters begins its waiting period tomorrow, December 8th, and has until the 20th to complete competition.
Kelly Slater (USA), 38, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion and former six-time Pipeline Masters Champion, secured his historic 10th ASP World Title at the previous event in Puerto Rico and open up his 2010 Billabong Pipe Masters campaign in Round 3 of competition.
Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, current ASP World No. 4 and defending Billabong Pipe Masters Champion, has posted another stellar year amongst the world's elite and would like nothing more than to cap off the 2010 season with a repeat victory in Hawaii.
"I'm just really happy to be back in Hawaii and to have it looking like there are going to be waves for the start," Burrow said. "Pipe is a special wave and winning there last year was definitely one of the highlights of my career. I just hope we can all get some big barrels and have a good event."
Burrow is seeded directly into Round 3 of the Billabong Pipe Masters.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 29, current ASP World No. 25 and current leader in the hunt for the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title, was sidelined with an ankle injury for the majority of the year but a win at his first event back, the Reef Hawaiian Pro, and an Equal 9th at the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset have the stylish natural-footer in the hunt for his second consecutive Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title.
"Defending the Triple Crown has been the goal since I found out when I could come back," Parkinson said. "To be honest, my ankle wasn't feeling 100% when I started back at Haleiwa and my confidence wasn't that high. Obviously things went really well for me at Haleiwa and I had an alright result in Sunset. The waves have been pretty slow since Haleiwa so hopefully we get some surf for Pipe."
Parkinson is seeded directly into Round 2 of the Billabong Pipe Masters.
Brett Simpson (USA), 25, 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 21, has safely requalified for the 2011 ASP World Tour and the young Californian is relishing the opportunity to compete in the Billabong Pipe Masters.
"Surfing in the Pipe Masters has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid," Simpson said. "I'm just excited to be here and pull into some barrels. Hawaii is a special place in the surfing world and to finish the year at Pipe is an awesome wave to do it."
Simpson is seeded directly into Round 2 of the Billabong Pipe Masters.
Surfline, official forecasters of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, are calling for solid overhead North swell on tap for tomorrow.
Event organizers will convene tomorrow at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
When competition commences, up first will be Adam Melling (AUS), 25, up against Kamalei Alexander (HAW), 32.
The Billabong Pipe Masters will be webcast LIVE via http://triplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters/
Andy Irons (1978 - 2010), three-time ASP World Champion and four-time Pipeline Masters Champion, tragically passed away on November 2nd of this year. A final celebration dedicated to the life and achievements of Andy Irons will be held in conjunction with the Billabong Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, on Saturday, December 11th, at Pipeline at 10am.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Adam Melling (AUS) vs. Kamalei Alexander (HAW)
Heat 2:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Clay Marzo (HAW)
Heat 3:Kai Otton (AUS) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 4:Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Kiron Jabour (HAW)
Heat 5:Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 6:Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Danny Fuller (HAW)
Heat 7:Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Jamie O'Brien (HAW)
Heat 8:Luke Munro (AUS) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 9:Gabe Kling (USA) vs. Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Heat 10:Rob Machado (USA) vs. Granger Larsen (HAW)
Heat 11:Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Joel Centeio (HAW)
Heat 12:Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2:Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBD
Heat 3:Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 4:Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 5:Taylor Knox (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 6:Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7:Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 8:Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 9:Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. TBD
Heat 10:Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 11:Brett Simpson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12:Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. TBD
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 3:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 4:Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 5:C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 7:Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 8:Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 9:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBD
Heat 10:Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 11:Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. TBD
Heat 12:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBD