It All Comes Down To Pipeline

Finished. Fin. Fine. Slutt. Fim. However you wanna say it, the 2009 ASP World Tour season ends at Banzai Pipeline amid the Billabong Pipeline Masters. Pipe hasn’t played host to deciding the ASP World Champion in a few years, so everyone is brimming with excitement at the return of the verdict being drawn on the sands at Ehukai Beach.

But Pipe will also play dream maker or dream breaker, as it does every year. A few big names on Tour are in desperate need of putting up a big finishing result to keep themselves on for 2010—Chris Ward, Josh Kerr, and Dustin Barca to name a few. And guys like Adrian Buchan and Timmy Reyes are playing bubble boys and still need to get through a few rounds to requalify. Head to the ASP ratings here to see where everyone stands.

The real points scenario though lies between two of the Coolie kids: Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning. They both want it, but for different reasons. Joel to show that his dominance for the first half of this season wasn’t a mistake, and to snag his first World Title. Mick to show that he is surfing’s greatest athlete and put his name in the books as champion more than once.

It all comes down to this. Photo courtesy ASP

It all comes down to this. Photo courtesy ASP

With Mick’s lightning storm of three wins in the last four events, he’s taken the lead from Parko. It is now Mick’s to lose. Here’s a look at the possibilities for deciding who will be carried from the waters of Pipe:

Mick Fanning: 7140 points
Joel Parkinson: 6772 points

  • If Mick finishes 33rd to 9th, Joel will need a 3rd or better to win the World Title.
  • If Mick finishes 5th, Joel will need a 2nd or better.
  • If Mick finishes 3rd, Joel will need to win the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
  • If Mick finishes 2nd he will clinch the ASP World Title even if Joel wins the last event.

Good mates, yes. But come December 8th it’s all business. One will be crowned champ and the other will say they’re happy for their best mate. Lives will be changed. Champagne and beer will shower the podium. Deep down the man who finishes second though will cringe at their not finishing first.—Ryan Brower

Be sure to tune in to all the action live starting December 8th at triplecrownofsurfing.com or check it out LIVE on Fuel TV.

To check out our picks for Vans Triple Crown winner, head here.
And make sure to get your Fantasy Action Sports League team solidified. Who you got on your teams? This is who we’re going with. Chime in in the comments below and vote for who you think will be crowned champ. We’ve even got Mick’s take on it all below.

From Mick Fanning’s website:

This is the big one, the most important event on the World Tour, and this year it’s even more crucial. A Pipe Masters title is more important than a win in any other event. Pipe’s the most treacherous and most difficult wave on tour. Most of the guys that have won this contest are surfers I looked up to as a kid. There’s no contest I’d like to win more and a big result this year could get me a second World Title. I’m confident I can perform my best under pressure so I’m crossing my fingers for big clean swells this winter. Wooo!

Danger Men

Kelly Slater: He’s won it five times. What more do I need to say?

Andy Irons: Andy’s not doing the tour this year but I’m almost 100% sure he’ll be a wildcard in the event. He’ll no doubt enjoy some Pipe swells during the year so he’ll be very in tune with the place once the event rolls around.

Kai Otton: Kai’s my darkhorse pick to do well at Pipe this year. He loves a big pit and his performances in some of the thicker slabs on tour have been solid.

Chris Cote

Winner: After watching some recent footage of Parko at Backdoor, I gotta say, the man is on a mission. I’m going to say Parko is gonna take it.

Best rookie performance: I hope I haven’t been jinxing Barca when I pick him for this thing. Either way, He’ll do well at Pipe if Backdoor is cracking. It would be so nice to see him slide hands free into a few big Pipe bombs as well—come on Barca, let’s do this!

Shocker: Kelly will come out of a tube and high five Adriano De Souza, the two will become best friends and go on a golf trip to the big Island together.

World Champ: Well, like I said before, if Parko wins the Pipe Masters, he’ll be world champ. I actually don’t care at this point. I’m just hyped it’s going to be a close and exciting finish—everybody’s getting amped to see what happens, and that’s a good thing.

Casey Koteen

Winner: Bobby Martinez. He’s one of the highest rated goofy foots, and is one of the most underrated Pipe guys on tour.

Best rookie performance: Michel Bourez will redeem his 33rd at Teahupoo with a big result at the second heaviest wave on tour.

Shocker: Chris Ward will make the semis and keep his dream tour career alive.

World Champ: Mick. Parko has made the finals at Pipe multiple times, but he’ll need to finish a few places higher than Mick to take the title. It’s possible, but Fanning has the momentum and seems to have the motivational edge, too.

Aaron Checkwood

Winner: Who’s the trialists and wildcards? I’m gonna say Freddy P. Why not?

Best rookie performance: Barca.

Shocker: I think it’s time a Hobgood made the final…

World Champ: Mick…he’s spent a lot of time at Pipe this year in the offseason.

Justin Cote

Winner: CJ Hobgood. He’s been close all year and with his smart equipment choice, superior heat tactics, and plenty of experience,  he’ll finally seal the deal at solid Pipeline.

Best rookie performance: Backed into a corner, Dustin Barca is in need of a big result like the 5th he got in Brazil. He’s easily capable of that and more at Pipe and Backdoor.

Shocker: The waves will be firing on all cylinders, separating the men from the boys.

World Champ: Joel Fanning.

Carl Steindler

Winner: Slater. Been quiet over the last few events and is ready for the spotlight to shine back upon him. Plus he knows the wave extremely well and is just as comfortable on his forehand as he is on his backhand…maybe even a little better on his backside at Pipe.

Best rookie performance: Michel Bourez will apply his Teahupoo tactics to Pipe and prevail over the other freshman class whether its small or big.

Shocker: Mick will lose early on and open the floodgates for Parko to seal the deal. It won’t be as exciting as we think…

World Champ: Parko.

Ryan Brower

Winner: CJ Hobgood still hasn’t had a double-digits finish this year. But he also hasn’t gotten a win either. I’m going with CJ to finish his quietly consistent season off properly with a victory.

Best rookie performance: Dustin Barca is backed into a corner. If he wants to stay on Tour he’s gotta surf like he’s never surfed before—and Pipe/Backdoor is the perfect place for him to do that. Don’t forget about Kekoa and Bourez either.

Shocker: Chris Ward made the finals last year and almost grabbed the win from Kelly. This year he needs to have a very similar performance to stay on Tour for a sixth year.

World Champ: I’d love to say we’re gonna see a head-to-head showdown in the final, but I just don’t think it’s gonna happen that way. Joel’s head seemed somewhere else for a while there, but now he appears to be focused on one thing. Mick is gonna go down to one of the wildcards (Andy or Jamie O) and Parko will do what he needs to.

Who will win the 2009 ASP World Title?

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