North Shore, Oahu; Hawaii — After five days on hold, competition resumed at the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro, as the gods smiled upon the world’s best in epic conditions at Pipe.
With perfect three metre feet sets wrapping along the famed reef, it was evident that competitors were in for something special, as the swell pounded the hallowed coastline.
With a large crowd on hand, the event started with round five; and from the get go the seeded surfers set a blistering pace.
Damien King (Australia), Toby Player (Australia) and Rueben Quinones (Puerto Rico) were the standout’s of the round taking giant drops and scooping perfectly into the massive barrels with style and finesse.
“Its so perfect out there, I am just having fun,” said Player.
“I just want to make it through as many heats as possible so I can surf big, empty Pipe with three other guys,” he proclaimed, with a massive smile.
With officials, spectators and competitors all reeling from the previous round’s electrifying action, round six took the event to a whole new level.
Alistar Taylor (South Africa), Dave Crowley (Australia), Spencer Skipper (Hawaii) and Gustao Entrudo (Portugal) blew minds with a combination of high-flying moves and deep tube rides.
Skipper, on his opening ride, drilled his head into the reef and came up with his face in tatters.
However, the highlight of the day was the amazing comeback of former childhood prodigy Garth McGregor (Newcastle, Australia).
As a youngster McGregor was touted as a potential world champion, but he decided that he wanted to chase big waves instead of the fame and glory of the world tour.
“Its been almost 10 years since I was last in Hawaii” said McGregor.
“I’ve been hanging for that heat for a long time and that first wave was just what I needed. After that I could relax a bit and just surf.”
“Its good to get the first heat out of the way” said the humble McGregor.
The event now moves into the third and final day of the contest, which starts with the IBA top 16 taking on the inform qualifiers in round eight, followed by the opening rounds of the LMNOP Drop Knee Invitational.
Forecasters are all calling for another perfect day with a bigger swell predicted.
Competitors will be on standby from tomorrow morning for a possible 8am start.
The waiting period continues until February 27 2009 – with the best three days being used for competition.
The Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro presented by Senor Frogs is being webcast at www.ibaworldtour.com/live
For more information be sure to log onto www.ibaworldtour.com