The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT) starts today Saturday, December 8, with to competitive window through Thursday, December 20, 2018.
The Billabong Pipe Masters will cap off the season to determine the 2018 Men’s World Champion and the winner of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS).
Only three athletes remain in contention to claim the 2018 World Title: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), and Filipe Toledo (BRA).
The Men’s World Title Scenarios going into the last event of the season, the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii, are as follows:
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he wins the World Title;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need to finish 1st;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th-25th, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need a 2nd or 1st at Pipe.
Medina, 2014 WSL Champion, comes into the final event of the 2018 season ranked first on the Jeep Leaderboard. Medina has a 4,740-point lead over his only two challengers, Wilson and Toledo, leaving him little room for error if Wilson and Toledo find their rhythm at Pipe.
Wilson is the only 2018 World Title contender who has previously won the Billabong Pipe Masters (2014). Having already proven himself at the famed venue, the 30-year-old is Medina’s biggest threat to winning the Championship.
Toledo’s best result at the Billabong Pipe Masters is 5th place, but now he will need to make the Final at Pipe to even have a chance of winning his maiden World Title.
This year Toledo competed in the VTCS, deciding that more time in Hawaiian waters could help his ultimate cause. So far, he was eliminated in the Quarterfinals of the Hawaiian Pro and Round 4 in the Vans World Cup.
Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Frederico Morais (PRT), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 3: Italo Ferriera (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS), Tomas Hermes (BRA), TBD
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)