Waiting period for Pipeline Masters begins

The 13-day waiting period for the Billabong Pipeline Masters, the final event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, started yesterday and will hold until Dec. 20.

Kaua‘i has four men slated to surf: Bruce and Andy Irons, Gavin Gillette and Roy Powers.

Because Powers won the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the first event of the Triple Crown, he won a wildcard entry into the Pipeline Masters.

Andy Irons won the Triple Crown over Kelly Slater last year.

This year, event organizers created a dual-heat where spectators will see two heats overlap each other in the water. This is in attempt to expedite the competition without compromising the duration of the heats. It was a format originally inspired by Slater, who used the format during one of his charity invitationals.

The Association of Surfing Professionals Technical Committee released the rules for this new format:

Dual-heat individual priority rules

• The first half of each heat is run without priority. Heat priority begins exactly half way through the heat. If both surfers are sitting in the take-off zone, the ASP’s standard heat priority rule applies and the heat will continue with no priority until the first wave has been ridden. From there, priority will automatically be given to the remaining surfer in the take-off zone.

• If only one surfer is at the take-off zone at the halfway mark of the heat, that surfer will have first priority. If neither surfer is in the line up, the head judge will allocate priority to the surfer who reaches what is deemed the take-off zone first.

• If both surfers arrive in the take-off zone at the same time and it is impossible for the head judge to determine who reached the take-off zone first, then the heat will continue with no priority until one of the surfers catches a wave.


heat priority rules

• The heat allocated with priority will have unconditional right of way over the heat without priority during the allocated priority time period.

• If a surfer with priority paddles outside the primary take-off zone as determined by the head judge, he will lose priority, either first or second priority.

• If a surfer with first priority paddles outside the primary take-off zone he will lose first priority. He will only gain second priority when he returns to the take-off zone. This is to avoid surfers utilizing the priority rule to block competitors in different heats.

• A surfer with no priority can split the peak with a surfer with priority, providing he surfs in the opposite direction of the surfer with priority.

The Pipeline Masters needs at least three and a half full days to complete the 64-man draw.


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