- WSL / Kelly Cestari 2010

As the start of the 2022 Championship Tour season gets set to kick off with the Billabong Pro Pipeline, we're counting down the most memorable championship moments from the past 10 years.

Stephanie Gilmore was at the height of her power in 2010. The affable Aussie had just rattled off her fourth consecutive World Title and rolled into a pressure-free season in Hawaii in the hopes of capturing her third Vans Triple Crown title. As she'd go on to prove, a relaxed Gilmore is a dangerous Gilmore.

With only two events in the women's iteration of the Triple Crown, Gilmore got her feet in the wax at the O'Neill Women's World Cup at Sunset Beach. Handling the open-ocean power of Sunset's west bowl with her usual grace and style, she carved her way to a third place finish behind eventual winner Tyler Wright and runner-up Coco Ho.

Up next on the schedule was a specialty heat at Pipeline dubbed the Vans Duel For The Jewel. Run in conjunction with the Billabong Pipe Master, it was the first time the women's Triple Crown culminated with an event at Pipe. The heat featured a 22-year-old Gilmore, along with Wright, Ho and Alana Blanchard, none of whom were over 20.

Stephanie Gilmore at Pipeline for the 2010 Vans Duel for the Jewel. Stephanie Gilmore locking into an 8-point ride at the 2010 Vans Duel For The Jewel. - WSL

Hitting the water in "classic Pipe conditions," the women wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity. Trading mid-range scores, Gilmore blew things open with an impeccably surfed Backdoor barrel. Completely composed and true to her chosen line, the judges awarded her with an 8-point ride. It was a shot across the bow for women at Pipe.

It would be another four years before the ladies were given a shot out there in the inaugural Women's Pipe Invitational. Five-time Carissa Moore won the first two years of the event, then it was Gilmore's turn to once again glide to the top of the podium in 2016.

And now, a dozen years since the Duel For The Jewel, the women get their first full-length Championship Tour event at the iconic North Shore reef. This year, Gilmore will be chasing a record-setting eighth World Title, and while she's used to starting most CT seasons at home on the Gold Coast, as history shows, she's certainly no stranger to Pipe.

Vans Duel for the Jewel Pipeline 2010 Gilmore offers up a tip of the cap to her fans after taking the win at Pipe. - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

Read More:

The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Pipeline gets underway on January 29. Keep it locked right here at WorldSurfLeague.com for the latest news and info as we countdown the start of the 2022 Championship Tour.

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.