What an amazing day of surfing. The waves were fantastic in the morning and watching Kelly Slater master them all was a fantastic thrill. It looked like it was his day. He was the king of the world famous bonsai pipeline (“pipe”) throughout the morning and it looked as if no one could take that away from him. No one except the fickle waves of the North Shore and Taj Burrow, who was able to take the crown by doing something extraordinary at pipe during the winter…surf on small waves.
Who would have imagined that only days after the running of the Eddie Aikau (waves 20 foot plus Hawaiian) that pipe would be settled in the finals on waves that are more common along the California coast in the summer than the North Shore of Oahu during the winter?
But that is what happened. Kelly Slater, probably the world master of pipe’s renowned barrels, ended up having to compete in the finals on turns instead of barrel runs. In the end, “it was strictly turns….I dropped down to my shortboard and my plan was to just to let loose.” Burrow’s stated. “It was tough because I knew Kelly could do anything.”
In the end, it was Burrow’s turns on normal surf that won pipe…not the flying out of the tunnel that would crush most mortals we are accustomed to seeing Kelly Slater do.
So the final event of the 2009 ASP World Tour season and the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing is now over. The sun baked crowds are on their way home. The stars are out and we look forward again to next year…knowing that the waves, the thrills and the excitement of the Triple Crown of Surfing will again take hold of the North Shore of O’ahu…again next year. See you then!