Australian Julian Wilson has won both the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing after defeating World Champion elect Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the closest Pipe Final on record. The victory marks his only win of the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) and his second CT win of his career. He pocketed $100,000 for the event win and a bonus $50,000 for the Triple Crown series.
The result is Wilson’s best of the season, bettering his third place finish at Bells Beach, and sees him end the year with a ranking of 14th on the WCT, marking him as a solid starter for 2015. It was a life-affirming moment for the 26-year-old who built momentum in the barreling 8-foot waves and overcame Medina’s inspired, pressure-free performance in the Final.
It was easily the most dramatic day in the 44-year storied history of the Pipe Masters; 20-year-old Medina winning the first ASP men’s world surfing title for Brazil, pulling out the impossible along the way to reach the final, and posting the only perfect 10 of the event. A dynamic crowd that included thousands of flag-waving Brazilian fans chanted a patriotic national song and shared the emotion of every round with Medina’s victorious entourage. Medina surfed a total of five 30-minute heats today, while Wilson surfed six during the eight hour day.
It all came down to pure, deep, committed tube riding. The pair of goofy-footers opened the Final going different directions on the same wave for tube rides and ended it with a brilliant exchange. Final scorelines showed 19.63 (9.93 and 9.70) for Wilson, to Medina’s 19.20 (10, 9.20).
Fanning’s Round 5 loss ended his hopes of claiming a fourth World Title and sees him take home a 9th place finish and end the year in second place on the WCT rankings.
Although Medina’s Round 3 win over lethal wildcard Dusty Payne (HAW) saw Slater out of the title race, the 7-time Pipe Master was still in contention for the event, until a last-minute 9.50 from Muniz saw him steal the win from the 11-time ASP World Champion.
The Billabong Pipe Masters marks the final Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event in history, as the governing body of professional surfing has been named since 1983. The ASP will become the World Surf League (WSL) in 2015, delivering the athleticism, adventure and competitive drama of the world’s best surfing to fans from around the world.
Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 19.63
2 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.20
Billabong Pipe Masters Semi final Results (1st to Final, 2nd = 3rd):
Semifinal 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.60 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.43
Semifinal 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.16 def.Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3.17
Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results (1st to SF, 2nd = 5th):
Quarterfinal 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4.30 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 3.27
Quarterfinal 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 4.04
Quarterfinal 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.17 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 3.77
Quarterfinal 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.83 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 2.77