11-time World Champion Kelly Slater Wins Billabong Pro Pipeline
Today, 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater won the Billabong Pro Pipeline, the first stop on the World Surf League 2022 Championship Tour.
With a near-perfect score of 18.77 (out of a possible 20), Slater earned his 8th CT win at the world-renowned Banzai Pipeline, marking his 56th CT victory.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Slater. “I was out there just telling myself to be in the moment, no matter how much tension there is. Just breathe. So I was just breathing, being in the moment. I thought Seth (Moniz) broke the combo because of the crowd and I said, ‘Just stay in the moment, soak it up.’ But I just savored this and this is the best win of my life.”
Both Slater and Moniz wiped out on their first few rides in the Final. Ten minutes in, the 49-year-old turned the heat up with an extra-long forehand barrel at Backdoor for a 9-point ride and a commanding early lead, according to the WSL. Slater continued to build momentum with a 7.17 to put Moniz in a combination situation needing two scores to challenge him for the title.
With two minutes on the clock, both surfers locked into back-to-back 9+ point barrels.
Earlier in the day, Slater won heats against Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) and Miguel Pupo (BRA). Igarashi had a 3-0 record against the now eight-time Pipeline event winner until their Quarterfinal bout.
In only his third season on the CT, Moniz continued to impress with a massive result, a runner-up finish on his home turf, according to the WSL.
“We had a special moment before our Final and it was really special sharing a Final with him out there,” said Moniz. “Honestly, I felt like I was just out there watching him surf underneath me and every time he got a wave it was an eight or nine, and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, here we go.’ I took some beatings in the heat before and I was really tired and making some big mistakes, but it was an honor to surf against him.”
Despite falling short of a Pipeline title, Moniz earned a career-best CT result with a runner-up finish.
Potential for Women’s Final Tomorrow
With the winds continuing to create less optimal conditions throughout the day, the WSL consulted with the surfers and decided to hold the remaining women’s heats for another day. When the competition resumes, Moana Jones Wong (HAW) takes on two-time WSL Champion, defending Pipeline victory, Tyler Wright (AUS), in Semifinal Heat 1 before California’s Lakey Peterson does battle with five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW).
Billabong Pro Pipeline Men’s Final Results:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.77
2 – Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.53
Billabong Pro Pipeline Men’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 9.76 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.58
HEAT 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) 13.50 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 6.33
Billabong Pro Pipeline Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.17 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 7.50
HEAT 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.10 def. Lucca Mesinas (PER) 6.00
HEAT 3: Seth Moniz (HAW) 17.93 def. John John Florence (HAW) 16.67
HEAT 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 11.67 def. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 1.73
Billabong Pro Pipeline Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Moana Jones Wong (HAW)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
The next call for the Billabong Pro Pipeline will be on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 7:50 a.m. HST. The Billabong Pro Pipeline will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com.