NewsMen's Pipe Invitational

Image Driven: The Pipe Invitational in Photos

The traditional opening ceremony for the Billabong Pipe Masters took place before the first heat of the Pipe Invitational to mark the opening of the event and wish all athletes well and ask for blessed conditions.  The crowd also sang Happy Birthday to Ax Friday's celebrated trials event is the kickoff to the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. Before the first hooter blew, the late Hawaiian hero was remembered. WSL / Kelly Cestari Dusty Payne of Hawaii advances to the Quarter Finals of the Pipe Invitational after winning Round One of Heat 2 at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Maui's Dusty Payne wins the Pipe Invitational with the highest scoring ride of the Final -- an 8.00. After an injury-plagued career, Payne appears ready to re-join his status among the best surfers in the world. WSL / Damien Poullenot Olamana Eleogram of Hawaii advances to the Quarter Finals of the Pipe Invitational after winning Heat 4 of Round One at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Maui charger Olamana Eleogram qualified for the Pipe Invitational via his regional ranking in Hawaii. This gem helped him take a Round One win on Friday, and seemed to make the qualifying effort completely worthwhile. WSL / Damien Poullenot Finn McGill of Hawaii advances to the Quarter Finals of the Pipe Invitational after placing second in Heat 8 of Round One at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Defending Champion Finn McGill was right back at it this year. Though he's sprouted a few inches and added a few pounds since last year, McGill was having no issues finding room to move inside Pipe's hollow sections. WSL / Damien Poullenot
Koa Smith of Hawaii prepares for round one heat 3 of the Billabong Pipe Invitational at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA Hawaii-based surfers like Koa Smith wait patiently all year to make their mark at Pipeline, and there's nothing quite like the anticipation that hits just before the opportunity arrives. WSL / Tony Heff Koa Smith of Hawaii advances to the Quarter Finals of the Pipe Invitational after placing second in Heat 3 of Round One at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Smith got busy quickly during his opening round heat with this stunner on his second ride, earning him an 8.33 on his second ride. He didn't have much of a backup, but in the end it didn't matter. He advanced anyway. WSL / Damien Poullenot Seth Moniz of Hawaii advances to the Quarter Finals of the Pipe Invitational after winning Heat 7 of Round One at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Seth Moniz was the youngest surfer in his stacked opening round heat. The second-generation pro defeated Bruce Irons, Makua Rothman and Kiron Jabor to take the win. Seth kept his roll going all the way to the Final. WSL / Damien Poullenot Mason Ho of Hawaii ready for round one heat 5 of the Billabong Pipe Invitational at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA Mason Ho is always keeping the Ho family legacy at Pipeline alive. Both his father Michael and his uncle Derek are former Pipe Masters champs. WSL / Tony Heff
Jack Robinson of Australia advances to the Quarter Finals of the Pipe Invitational after winning Heat 7 of Round One at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Jack Robinson was raised in the rough-and-tumble reef breaks of Western Australia, so he's quite comfortable in Hawaii's heavy stuff. Robinson won the Pipe Invitational back in 2015, and he put in a head-turning performance again this year, weaving his way into the Final. WSL / Damien Poullenot Luke Shepardson of Hawaii ready for round one heat 2 of the Billabong Pipe Invitational at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA By Hawaii standards, it's been a rough month for weather. But somebody seemed to be pulling some strings on Friday, because it looked heavenly about the time the hooter blew. WSL / Tony Heff Benji Brand of Hawaii advances to the Quarter Finals of the Pipe Invitational after placing second in Heat 2 of Round One at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Benji Brand spent a good chunk of time growing up on the North Shore of Oahu, and it showed Friday. He advanced to the Final with his good friend Seth Moniz. Seth's father Tony, a North Shore legend, had them both focused on the task WSL / Damien Poullenot Spectators at the Billabong Pipe Invitational at Pipe, Oahu, Hawaii, USA Pipeline is one of best places to be a surf fan, especially in December. WSL / Tony Heff
Dusty post victory thumbs up After claiming the win on Friday Dusty Payne had plenty of energy left in the tank. 'Let's go! Let's get this started' he said, knowing full well he'll be up against Jeep Leader John John Florence when the Billabong Pipe Masters gets underway. WSL / Steve Sherman
Hawaii Highlights: Pipe Invitational
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With 32 incredible surfers vying for a shot at Pipe Masters glory, it was bound to be a good show.
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