Pipe Masters Final Day

Upsets and underdogs dominate the final day of the Pipeline Masters

| posted on December 16, 2010

Jeremy Flores stalled his way into some deep tubes and onto the podium in one of the world's most prestigious competitions. Photo: Glaser

With 4- to- 5-foot clean Backdoor peaks on tap, the call was made to run the final day of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. The early morning heats saw a spattering of excellent tuberides, and yesterday’s trend of dramatic last-minute victories continued to entertain. As the day progressed, Kelly Slater appeared to be cruising to yet another Pipe Masters title by threading numerous pits and finishing them off with his incredible patented sweeping roundhouses. But in his semifinal against Jeremy Flores, Slater made an uncharacteristic mistake by gifting the Frenchman a wave under his priority. To be fair to Slater, the wave didn’t look conducive to a high score, but Flores earned just that by riding the wave to perfection, making yet another dramatic exit on the shallow inside reef.

On the other side of the draw, Kieren Perrow was boasting similar heroics as he found solid barrels and got the scores needed to take out much higher seeds. The pieces on the board were set for a thrilling final between two first-time Pipeline Masters finalists, as they would be competing for the hefty $75,000 first-place check.

With such a massive sum of money, and just as much prestige on the line, Kieren came out strong and put Jeremy in a very tight combo situation. But Flores, as he had done the entire event, fought his way tooth-and-nail back into contention with only three minutes to go and in need of another big score. Kieren held priority though, and with the majority of the quality barrels only coming in one-wave-sets, Jeremy’s situation looked more desperate than ever. Suddenly, a stretched-out wall appeared and Kieren took the bait and fell inside a crumbly tube, relinquishing priority. In a rare twist for the day, Jeremy paddled into the second wave of the set and one of the best tubes of the day. The rest is history–Jeremy Flores became the 2010 Billabong Pipeline Masters Champion by never giving up and fighting for the win until the final horn, just as Andy Irons had done so many times before. Andy would of looked down from the heavens today, very proud of the young Frenchman for a job well done. Congratulations Jeremy Flores, you are a Pipeline Master.

Dejection and exuberance juxtaposed after the Pipe Masters final. Photo: Joli

Jeremy Flores was in top form and kept his composure through a few incredibly unlikely heat wins. Photo: Joli

Before the event was even over, Joel Parkinson was busy celebrating his third consecutive Triple Crown title after his contenders were defeated. Photo: Joli

The day was an emotional rollercoaster for Pipe Masters runner-up Kieren Perrow, who surfed amazingly well all the way up to his shattering loss. Photo: Joli

Kelly Slater suffered the biggest upset of the event when a miscalculation cost him the semifinal against Flores. Photo: Joli

Owen Wright was on fire with his backside surfing at Backdoor, until he hit the brick wall that was Jeremy Flores in the quarterfinals. Photo: Joli

A win at Pipeline is a life changing feat, and the dramatic final day culminated in a historic win for the young French surfer. Photo: Joli

Jordy Smith looked poised to go the distance until his close fought battle with Kieren Perrow. Photo: Joli

Not since Napoleon Bonaparte's crossing of the Alps has a Frenchman stood so victorious. Photo: Joli

  • Stu beeef

    A Billabong pipeline master, not a pipe master.

  • bert

    Thanks to Mr Lopez, a fair review of the comp! No, it wasn’t a Pipe masters since it was on Backdoor, no, it wasn’t a big Backdoor either, but conditions were the same for all surfers, and the kid deserves his win, since he surfed brilliantly, showed great skills both for barrels and tactics!
    Most of the reviews in anglo-saxons magazines are not kind to Flores, who deserves much better…

    PS: BTW, Cory deserved his spot on the CT next year, too bad!

  • Froggy

    Ca leur fait bien mal au cul aux Ricains qu’un Frenchy gagne à Pipeline!
    La mauvaise foi n’a pas de limite…
    Je suis le premier supporter de Slater mais ça ne m’empêche pas de reconnaitre la supériorité de Jérémy sur ce contest. Comme l’a dit Slater c’est un trés bon tube rider, lui au moins a l’élégance et l’intelligence de le reconnaitre, ce qui est loin d’être le cas de nombre de ses compatriotes.
    P.S : j’écris volontairement en Français, si vous prenez la peine de traduire, vous aurez au moins appris quelque chose aujourd’hui.

  • Froggy

    Mon intervention n’est pas relative à cet article mais à de nombreux commentaires lus sur le net.

  • jummy

    good on ya ,florès ,people from reunion are proud also the surfers , it proves that anyone can do it with good support and motivation ,i saw him in get pushed by his father in 3 bass cause he couldn’t paddle strong enough when he was 6 or 7 then few years later near tuléar where is familly was ,and now he made a name for himself , and is father so it’s a double win ( also a sort of revenge for his father, which was a good competitor in réunion ), so well done boys
    stay humble
    see you in tahiti

  • Napoleon Slater

    Bravo Jeremy, well surfed. Froggy, I speak french and your ps comment is a perfect example of arrogance personified. Humility is a great human quality, sadly lacking in people like yourself.

  • Froggy

    Qu’est ce que tu veux, il faut bien entretenir la réputation des Français à l’étranger.
    Fais nous grâce de tes jugements de valeur à l’emporte pièce et utilise plutôt ton énergie pour aller défendre Jérémy auprés de tous ceux qui l’attaquent injustement depuis sa victoire (pourtant indiscutable).
    Nul doute qu’avec tes grandes qualités humaines, tu sauras les convaincre.
    Sinon, pour un mec humble, tu as bien choisi ton pseudo…

  • richy

    I kind of feel like Kelly gave it to him, that’s an unusual mistake giving someone a wave when Kelly had priority?

    • dirk

      Kind of like when the formula one guys let their teammate pass them to take the victory?

  • christian 13

    teammate bussiness ???? what about the 9,8 of kelly , not even 3 s in the barrel , and the 9,5 of jeremy , nearly 6 s in the barrell , what about that 9,97 vs taj should be a 10 ,jeremy won ,that it …… it was a good technical backdoor , and I am sorry to tell you that it could be 5 or 10 feet , jeremy is ready to beat anyone , he is a tube rider , cause he come from reunion island and madagascar , and not from a small puffy beach break . kelly did`nt give him , he made a rare mistake , thinking about a best second wave …….but just think about that heat in hossegor when jeremy was 16 , who gave to who ????? proud to be french !!!!!

  • Richy

    Jeremy’s a great surfer, be proud but he has a ways to go to match Kelly seems to be a real decent person and very smart, I think Kelly cut him some slack. As far as puffy beach breaks maybe a few on the tour should try them because it sure worked for Kelly . I have lived in Florida and Santa Cruz and though the surf is a little bigger and more consistent in Santa Cruz the warm water allows for a whole lot of waves ridden on any given day where in Santa Cruz the cold water cuts down on time in the water.

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