Vans Triple Crown of Surfing -- 2013 Pipeline Masters highlights
With an incredible finish to the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Mick Fanning claimed his third world title, Kelly Slater took home his seventh Pipe Masters trophy and John John Florence won his second Triple Crown title. Needless to say, it was a good day.
Sometimes waiting is the hardest part. Mick Fanning had to hold his breath to see if he got the score he needed to clinch the title. He did and the rest is history.
Slater hinted at the upcoming year. "I was obviously emotional today," admitted Slater, "especially after Mick clinched the title. I don't know what happens for me in 2014, but I think this has pissed me off just enough to come back."
"Today was one of the most special days in my life," said Slater. "It's a day I have dreamt about since I was a little kid -- big, perfect, west-angled Pipeline and a showdown at the Pipe Masters."
Kelly Slater & John John Florence
"Last year, someone asked me what excited me in the end years of my career and I said I would like to surf a final at Pipe against John John, so that's pretty special today," said Slater.
"I'm sure I gave my wife Karissa and my mum enough stress today to last a lifetime," said Fanning. "I was never worried myself now that I think of it," he added as he broke down on the beach.
"I've been having fun all year and to clinch on a day like this at Pipeline makes it that much more special," said Fanning.
Just another day in paradise.
The master at work. When the surf is epic and the pressure's on there is nobody in the world better than Kelly Slater. (Alright, maybe there's one guy.)
You have any idea what this guy's trophy case at home looks like? This bronze sculpture will go with the other six he's collected at the Pipe Masters.
John John Florence
At only 21 years old, John John Florence now owns two Triple Crown titles. There's no telling where the kid's going to go from here.
John John Florence
"This is my second Triple Crown but it feels pretty special," said Florence. "The first year, I wasn't really thinking about it. I was young and just having fun. This year, I came in wanting to win."
John John Florence
A lot of people would be happy with a runner-up finish at the Pipe Masters and Triple Crown title. Not Florence. "This result has me motivated for next year. It's eating my inside how close I was."
When they say "playing to a packed house," this is what they mean. There was hardly an open grain of sand during the final day of the Triple Crown.
Going into the dying minutes of Round 5, C.J. Hobgood had Mick Fanning beat and Florida was happy. Then Fanning flipped the script and sent Hobgood packing, dashing Kelly Slater's title hopes in the process.
Yadin Nicol gave it a good run for the money. Like C.J. Hobgood in the heat before, Nicol almost had Mick Fanning beat but couldn't finish him. Nicol needed to win the Pipe Masters to stay on tour.
"I would have liked to make it to the final just to surf more perfect waves," said Parkinson, who went down to Kelly Slater in the semis. "Kelly was always in the right place and no matter where he paddled waves were coming to him."
2013 Rookie of the Year Nat Young proved that he belongs in the big leagues, and he can very much handle himself at Pipe. The only question remaining: Why do goofy-footers have such good style?
Slater has a few fans ... and they were all on the beach at Pipe.
In surfing terms "falling from the sky" means to go for broke on a late drop. Kai Otton sporting a pair of wings.
Miguel Pupo gave Brazil something to cheer about as he carried himself well in some very trying conditions.
Former Pipe Master Jeremy Flores had a good run at Pipe, and as he and every other competitor noted, when you get waves like these to yourself, you're already winning.
"If I had stepped away from the sport five years ago, I wouldn't have had today," Slater said. "I want more days like this, so I'm definitely back next year."
When the spray finally settled and the last waves were ridden, in the history books 2013 will belong to Mick Fanning.