By Wendy Osher
Wave-riders wrapped up competition at Pipeline this weekend, with Kieren Perrow taking the title at the Billabong Pipe Masters, and John John Florence winning the overall 2011 title for the Vans Triple Crown.
“The waves have been phenomenal. I haven’t surfed Pipe like that in my entire career. This is pretty much the pinnacle for me,” said Perrow, 34 of Australia.
The Pipe Masters title is the first ASP World Tour event win for Perrow, who finished ahead of fellow countryman Joel Parkinson in four to six foot waves on Saturday. Contest officials say Perrow commanded the final in a backdoor shootout to secure his maiden tour victory.
Meantime, American surfer, Kelly Slater, 39, finished third overall after taking a come from behind heat win in his Quarterfinal match-up against 19-year-old Pipeline local, John John Florence.
“It just came to me in last three-or-four minutes. I’m just trying to hold John John (Florence) at bay because he’s going to rule Pipe for the next 20 years. I just want to get a couple before I’m done. He’s been the man to beat out here. He’s had two 10s and a couple of high 9’s,” said Slater.
John John Florence (HAW), 19, found his way to the podium as the overall winner of the 2011 Vans Triple Crown, taking the event’s only two perfect 10-point rides in the Billabong Pipe Masters.
Florence’s performance at Pipeline, combined with a win at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, and a 5th place finish at the Reef Hawaiian Pro, secured him the triple crown victory this weekend.
At 19-years-old, Florence is now the youngest competitor to take the prestigious Vans Tripe Crown title.
“I’m so stoked to be here, I’ve been surfing these waves my entire life and watching everyone over the years,” said Florence. “I’m so happy that I won this and to have my name with everyone else who has won over the years,” he said.