27: Larry Blair Gets Cornered

27: Larry Blair Gets Cornered

Larry Blair won two Pipes, back to back. That put him up there with Lopez and Russell. This kid from nowhere! He tried to win a third and the whip came down.

By this time the Masters had evolved. Thirty six surfers, same as today. But they still surfed in six man heats. Six surfers out at big Pipeline is one thing. Six out on a small day, different story. There's enough surfers, you can team up on each other.

The first day in 1980 was the scariest day in Pipe Masters history. Double up sets, 12 to 15 feet. Blair made it through. So did Dane Kealoha and Marvin Foster.

Finals day was six feet, clean and fun. Larry found himself in a pre-final round with Joey Buran, Tom Carroll, Dougall Walker … and Dane and Marvin. And like Joey told Surfer magazine afterward, they teamed up on the champ: "Just circled him, and looked at him just, y'know, ‘No way mate!'"

The six man heat stuck around for another year, but Larry didn't. He only surfed one more Pipe, and didn't make the quarters.


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