John John Wins Fifth Pipe Pro
Yesterday, John John Florence claimed his fifth Pipe Pro title.
It's the sort of record observers were expecting of John John at the Pipeline Masters - the premier Pipe event - yet despite consistent results he's only held that trophy aloft once in twelve efforts.
At 29 years of age it's highly unlikely, John John will threaten Kelly Slater's record of seven Pipe Masters titles. At the same age, Slater had already won five.
With organisers having to wait till the very end of the waiting period, Pipeline finally turned on with a six-to-eight foot WNW swell and light trades.
Even with four-man heats, John John won every single heat he was in.
“It feels so amazing just to win this event, especially after Haliewa too,” said John John. “Coming into this event I was actually a little bit nervous. There’s a lot of really good surfers in this event. But, it was fun to get back into the rhythm and be competing out here again and getting ready for what’s to come in the next few months. I was really stoked, it was a great final. And to win like that is always really fun. Last second, it was all building up for those last seconds."
By coming second, Barron Mamiya scored a spot in the upcoming Pipeline Masters.
“Yah I’m super psyched to get into the CT,” said Barron. “I love Pipe and I grew up surfing this wave, can’t wait to go surf with the best surfers in the world out there and see how I do. It’s definitely a little bittersweet, it’s all good though, I’m stoked to get into the Final and get into the CT. At the end of the day I made the Final, I didn’t really have a good year so it’s super sick to make the Final and get second.”
On his way to third place, Ivan Florence surfed three heats with his oldest brother, including a Quater Final where he scored the event's only ten-point ride.
“Probably the most fun I’ve had at Pipeline in so long, just being out there with my brother,” said Florence. “Being out there against him is really really cool, its so exciting, I love it. It’s just so much fun. Just making it through all the heats and stuff, it’s just so sick. Surfing Pipe with no one out, it’s unbelievable, it’s the best thing you can do”
Measuring 6'6" tall Kauai's Kainehe Hunt thanked "the little guy" - his dad - for being there to support him.
“I’m stoked and the main thing is my support crew,” said Hunt. “I know my family is always there for me. I overheated in the Final and I kind of crapped out, but it’s all good. I’m just stoked to come in and have all this support over here.”