Bede Durbidge Wins 2007 Billabong Pipe Masters And Vans Triple Crown

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2007 Billabong Pipeline Masters, Bede Durbidge

They call the WCT the “Dream Tour on account of it going to some of the best waves on the planet at the peak times of the year. But this year, the waves gods didn’t entirely cooperate. You could blame it on global warming, or maybe just bad luck, but the locales at many events this year failed to produce many epic days. So in some ways, the sub-par conditions for the final day of the Billabong Pipeline Masters were an appropriate ending to a wave-weary WCT season.

Going in, Pipe didn’t look like it was going to buck that trend, with a beachhead of sand piled up on the reef creating some playful, though not terribly dramatic conditions. In the early rounds there were some overhead left barrels coming through, but for the final day, it was a mix of sandbar rights across Ehukai and Pipe, and some rippable faces at Off The Wall. Forget some overly wrought description of the conditions, all you need to do is have a gander at the scoring. See, usually laying down a few turns at Pipe–even huge ones–without a barrel in front of them would only get you 3 or so. But in the early minutes of the final of the 2007 Billabong Pipeline Masters, Bede Durbidge gouged a vicious top turn on a barely overhead Off The Wall runner, followed up with a few more lightening snaps, and the judges came back with a 9.5. Spitting tubes usually produce Pipe titles, but not this year.

That was all fine for Bede, who by winning his quarterfinal heat also clinched the Triple Crown title, and was met at the water’s edge by a huge contingent of Aussies complete with Australian flags who hoisted him up for a pre-final celebration parade.

Fine because despite the sub-par conditions for Pipe, Bede had already proved earlier in the winter that he was deserving of the Triple Crown title, earning a second place at the Reef Hawaiian Pro at monstrous Haleiwa, and a ninth at the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at dangerously large Sunset.

And the party would continue for Durbidge on into the finals, where he was up against fellow Australians Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison, and lone Hawaiian Pancho Sullivan. He set the tone by snagging that electrified OTW right, just under the noses of the other three finalists who were battling for position on it but all wound up too deep when the wave stood up on the reef and shifted over. Besides Dean Morrison posting a 7.8 late in the final, Bede seemed to have the event pretty well on lock after his big score. But for good measure he laid down another good right for a 7.17 with seven minutes to go, comboing the field, which sent the Aussie cheering squad into berserk mode, arms shot skyward in claim, beers exploding open, and the requisite “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! chants echoing over the tradewinds.

And for the second time in an hour, Bede was being carried up the beach on Aussie shoulders with a bustling cluster of friends and paparazzi swarming up to the Oakley house where Bede’s girl was watching in near disbelief. They met and exchanged an intense hug and kiss and someone in the crowd yelled out, “Bede! How do ya feel?!

As another person cracked a beer and showered him in foam, he belted out an emotional, “I’m frothing! With beers suds running down his face, it was the perfect comment for the biggest day of Bede’s career.

And yes, it was a highlight that the $75,000 of total payout was the richest one-day prize money score in surf history, but it was exponentially more interesting that it was Bede who won it, as he started off this season without a major sponsor after being dropped from Billabong. Ironic then, that it would be their contest where he would earn the history-making prizemoney.

Up on the podium Bede was just ecstatic, and even if the waves weren’t going to leave a mark in surf history, the result catapulted him up to a 5th place finish on the tour. “Obviously the conditions weren’t classic Pipeline, but the competition was still pretty intense. You know, we had the new dual heat format and lot of guys were on the bubble for qualification so there were a lot of hungry guys out there in this event. I’ve just tried to keep a cool head all season whether it be with sponsors or freesurfing or heats, and that was really my approach out there today. I’m absolutely stoked!

Bede’s performance was the good news for Aussie surf fans, and it’s pretty good considering it was Mike Rommelse back in 1997 who was the last Australian Triple Crown champ, and Jake Paterson’s 1998 Pipe win was the last there for the Aussies.

While the waves might not have provided their normal drama, the fact that it was the last comp of the year with a bunch of surfer’s careers hanging on a thin precipice usually adds another layer of spectacle to the event, and this year that ledge was extra icy.

If Bede’s win and the fact that four of the top five WCT surfers are Australian were the good news, the bad news is that out of the twelve surfers that fell off the WCT on Monday, half of them were Australian: Phil MacDonald, Troy Brooks, and Shaun Cansdell, plus three more who anticipated they’d be leaving the tour before Pipe even started; Mark Occhilupo, Josh Kerr, and Mick Lowe.

Lowey and Occy’s farewells were celebrated affairs, with commemorative shirts made and parties thrown. Kerr’s exit was less notable, though still expected. He was up against fellow Coolie kid Dean Morrison in Round 4, who put together a veteran heat against the rookie, doling out Kerr’s last WCT heat of his young career. After the loss, Kerr was ultra bummed and refused to give comment, ending what many hoped would be a long, successful, and performance-pushing career on the WCT. Though he finished the season rated 34, Kersy had probably the year’s most exciting heat, back in March against Mick Fanning in the quarterfinals of the opening WCT of 2007 at Snapper Rocks, where Kerr unleashed a mind-bending under-the-lip grab-rail reverse. Some felt it was underscored, and Mick mounted a miraculous come-from-behind assault, outscoring Kerr by little more than .4 points in one of the highest combined heat scores in history, with Kerr posting a 19.1, but Fanning besting him with a 19.53. Fanning went on to win the event, setting the tone for the rest of his world-title winning year. And looking back on that heat, it seemed to foreshadow Kerr’s year, too. It’s too bad, because had he made the cut and returned in 2008, it would’ve been absolutely riveting to see him meet up against fellow innovators Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith.

Besides the overly-reported duo of Dane and Jordy reporting for WCT duty, here are a few more names that will be joining or re-joining next year’s tour: Jay Thompson, Tiago Pires, Ben Bourgeois, Kieren Perrow, Roy Powers, Miky Picon, and Dan Ross. And there could be a few more after the official tallies are made. Bubble WCT surfers who qualified via the WQS are Adriano de Souza, Dayyan Neve, and Luke Munro.

And then there are the three possible injury wildcards. Timmy Reyes, Travis Logie, and Ben Dunn have applied for them, and though it’s far from official, it seems likely most or all of the three will receive them.

Well surf fans, even without all the events having mind-blowing conditions in 2007, it’s been an exciting year on the WCT, and next year already has enough hype built up on it to keep Don King’s hair going vertical–and here’s hoping it delivers every bit of that and more.

Billabong Pipeline Masters Final Scores
1. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.67
2. Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.00
3. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 9.60
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.43

Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.50 def. CJ Hobgood (USA) 13.73
Heat 2: Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.00 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.50
Heat 3: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 9.10 def. Chris Ward (USA) 8.70
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) def. Taj Burrow (AUS)

Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: CJ Hobgood (USA) 12.26 def. TJ Barron (HAW) 10.50
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.00 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 9.00
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.83 Ian Walsh (HAW) 7.40
Heat 4: Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.10 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.44
Heat 5: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.93 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 6.26
Heat 6: Chris Ward (USA) 12.33 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.50
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.90 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 12.17
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) def. Fred Patacchia (HAW)

Foster’s ASP World Tour Final Ratings (Top 27 re-qualify)
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 8136 points
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 7104 points
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 6516 points
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 6432 points
5. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 5774 points
6. Andy Irons (HAW) 5151 points
7. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 4938 points
8. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 4770 points
9. Dean Morrison (AUS) 4690 points
10.Bobby Martinez (USA) 4582 points
11. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4580 points
12. Kai Otton (AUS) 4563 points
13. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 4493 points
14. Taylor Knox (USA) 4309 points
15. Damien Hobgood (USA) 4274 points
16. Luke Stedman (AUS) 4177 points
17. Michael Campbell (AUS) 3987 points
17. Chris Ward (USA) 3987 points
19. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3982 points
19. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 3982 points
21. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 3934 points
22. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 3797 points
23. Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 3675 points
24. Bruce Irons (HAW) 3660 points
24. Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 3660 points
26. Daniel Wills (AUS) 3617 points
27. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 3612 points
28. Phil MacDonald (AUS)
28. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
30. Greg Emslie (ZAF)
31. Travis Logie (ZAF)
32. Dayyan Neve (AUS)
32. Bernardo Miranda (BRA)
34. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
34. Cory Lopez (USA)
34. Josh Kerr (AUS)
37. Ben Dunn (AUS)
38. Troy Brooks (AUS)
39. Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
40. Victor Ribas (BRA)
41. Luke Munro (AUS)
42. Gabe Kling (USA)
43. Trent Munro (AUS)
44. Michael Lowe (AUS)
45. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)

Surfers Leaving The WCT
Greg Emslie (ZAF),
Cory Lopez (USA),
Phil Macdonald (AUS),
Josh Kerr (AUS),
Troy Brooks (AUS),
Bernardo Miranda (BRA),
Gabe Kling (USA),
Shaun Cansdell (AUS),
Victor Ribas (BRA),
Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Plus retirees Mark Occhilupo (AUS) and Mick Lowe (AUS).oel Parkinson (AUS) 16.00 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 9.00
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.83 Ian Walsh (HAW) 7.40
Heat 4: Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.10 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.44
Heat 5: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.93 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 6.26
Heat 6: Chris Ward (USA) 12.33 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.50
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.90 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 12.17
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) def. Fred Patacchia (HAW)

Foster’s ASP World Tour Final Ratings (Top 27 re-qualify)
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 8136 points
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 7104 points
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 6516 points
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 6432 points
5. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 5774 points
6. Andy Irons (HAW) 5151 points
7. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 4938 points
8. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 4770 points
9. Dean Morrison (AUS) 4690 points
10.Bobby Martinez (USA) 4582 points
11. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4580 points
12. Kai Otton (AUS) 4563 points
13. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 4493 points
14. Taylor Knox (USA) 4309 points
15. Damien Hobgood (USA) 4274 points
16. Luke Stedman (AUS) 4177 points
17. Michael Campbell (AUS) 3987 points
17. Chris Ward (USA) 3987 points
19. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3982 points
19. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 3982 points
21. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 3934 points
22. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 3797 points
23. Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 3675 points
24. Bruce Irons (HAW) 3660 points
24. Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 3660 points
26. Daniel Wills (AUS) 3617 points
27. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 3612 points
28. Phil MacDonald (AUS)
28. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
30. Greg Emslie (ZAF)
31. Travis Logie (ZAF)
32. Dayyan Neve (AUS)
32. Bernardo Miranda (BRA)
34. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
34. Cory Lopez (USA)
34. Josh Kerr (AUS)
37. Ben Dunn (AUS)
38. Troy Brooks (AUS)
39. Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
40. Victor Ribas (BRA)
41. Luke Munro (AUS)
42. Gabe Kling (USA)
43. Trent Munro (AUS)
44. Michael Lowe (AUS)
45. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)

Surfers Leaving The WCT
Greg Emslie (ZAF),
Cory Lopez (USA),
Phil Macdonald (AUS),
Josh Kerr (AUS),
Troy Brooks (AUS),
Bernardo Miranda (BRA),
Gabe Kling (USA),
Shaun Cansdell (AUS),
Victor Ribas (BRA),
Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Plus retirees Mark Occhilupo (AUS) and Mick Lowe (AUS).

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