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Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons wildcard John Florence will battle 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater in Heat 6 of Round 3. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons wildcard John Florence will battle 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater in Heat 6 of Round 3. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Wednesday, December 15, 2010) – The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series), is back on this morning in building two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at the Banzai Pipeline after nearly a week of lay days.

“There is a new swell showing signs of life this morning and we’re expecting it to build throughout the day,” Richie Porta, ASP International Head Judge said. “We are planning on a full day of competition today and hope to run Rounds 3, 4 and potentially part of Round 5 before finishing with the women’s Vans Duel for the Jewel.”

The Billabong Pipe Masters jumped in to action on the opening day of the waiting period and witnessed reigning two-time Vans Triple Crown Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS), 29, move one step closer to clinching his third consecutive Hawaiian trifecta title by winning his Round 3 heat.

Parkinson will surf against Owen Wright (AUS), 20, in Heat 2 of Round 3.

While most of the 2011 ASP Dream Tour roster was decided on the opening day of the event, Maui’s Dusty Payne (HAW), 21, can still cement himself as a member of next year’s elite tour by winning his Round 3 heat.

Payne will battle two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, in Heat 12 of Round 3.

Wrapping up today’s events will be the Vans Duel for the Jewel, which will see the world’s best female surfers compete at Pipeline for the first time in Vans Triple Crown history to decide this year’s Hawaiian Series Champion. Tyler Wright (AUS), 16, will face off against Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, and Hawaiians Coco Ho (HAW), 19, and Alana Blanchard (HAW), 20, in the one-heat match up.

Surfline, official forecasters for the Vans Triple Crown are calling for a new swell to build throughout the day before peaking with head-high to overhead waves on Thursday.

The Billabong Pipe Masters holds a waiting period from December 8 through 20th and is webcast LIVE via triplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters/.

For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 5: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. David Wassell (HAW)
Heat 10: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)