After a quiet word with Kelly Slater the name Bocas del Toro - Spanish for the mouth of the bull - was thrown about. So, fresh after escaping the horns of the bull in Pamplona, Mick Fanning ran straight into its mouth.
A six-to-eight foot north-west swell kicked off competition on the first day of the Pipe Masters.
The opening day of the Billabong Pipe Masters commenced today in firing six-to-eight foot waves and the world’s best surfers put on an incredible display of technical barrel riding at Pipeline and Backdoor.
The first day of the Pipe Masters hummed along just swimmingly - coupla barrels here, coupla barrels there - as Pipe and Backdoor put on their friendly faces. Any drama came from the qualification shuffle as surfers fought for the last few places on next year's tour.
The weekend's swell on the East Coast was one to keep the working man happy; it hit Friday, built Saturday to an overnight peak, then tapered slowly on Sunday.
With the passing of anti-Apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela, it is worth thinking about some of ways in which the surfing world has been entangled in apartheid.
On the eve of the Pipe Masters a clean mid-range swell gave competitors a last chance to fine tune equipment before competition began.