World Surf League: Italo Ferreira Claims His First World Champion, Wins Billabong Pipe Masters
- World Surf Men's Championship Tour the final round, Billabong Pipe Masters took held at Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii between December 8th and December 19th.
In this event, the 2019 World Title race between 1st place Italo Ferreira (BRA) and 2nd place Gabriel Medina (BRA) on Jeep Leaderboard got attention.
Also, the two-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW) made a comeback to Jeep Leaderboard from injury of his knee in this event.
Both surfers of Italo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina advanced to the Final, especially Gabriel Medina tried to take the victory of Pipe Masters and getting the World Title following last year.
But Italo Ferreira earned 7.83 and 7.73 points with tube riding, and took down Gabriel Medina.
This result marks he is only the third Brasilian to win the World Title and Billabong Pipe Masters trophy. He celebrated the double-win with an emotional chair up the beach to the awards stage.
“I can’t believe it, it’s unreal,” said Italo Ferreira. “I’ve dedicated my whole life to get one trophy and I did. This is going to my grandmother and my uncle first. I came to Pipe a month ago to train and test my boards. This trophy means a lot to me and I just don’t have the words. Those were good heats against Kelly (Slater), Gabriel (Medina), Yago (Dora) and all the boys. You guys all give me a lot of energy and I just try to do my best every single day.”
Also, the 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) advanced to Quarterfinal, in this result he won 2019 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title.
“I’ve been planning this attack for 21 years [laughing],” said Kelly Slater. “The first two (Vans Triple Crown titles) that I won I really wasn’t even thinking about them because I was so focused on trying to win a World Title and focused on Pipeline at the time. I’m just stoked, I had a really fun finish to the year for me. I just want to say thanks to everyone, it’s been a super fun year and damn I wanted that thing today. If I got here this year and only caught that wave (the perfect 10-point ride during R/32 Heat 8) it would have been a success, so I’m stoked.”
John John Florence was choosed a represent the USA to the Olympics 2020. “It feels super good and that was the goal I set for this event and coming back for the Pipe Masters,” said John John Florence. “I’m fired up to accomplish that goal! I wanted to surf the least amount of heats possible for my knee and my recovery so I’m stoked. I am so happy to go to the Olympics and represent the USA and I couldn’t have done it without all the support here in Hawaii. A month ago I couldn’t even stand on my board so to be here today and surfing in the Quarters against Gabriel is more than I can ask for.”
F 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.56 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.94
SF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.77 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 2.57
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.00 def. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 7.10
QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.66 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 13.50
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.94 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 9.26
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.63 def. John John Florence (HAW) 12.33
QF 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 9.84 def. Michel Bourez (FRA) 8.77
- source : World Surf League