Jeremy Flores waited until the last three minutes of the final yesterday to break the heart of Kieren Perrow and capture the 2010 Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons title, his first Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour victory.
Flores wasn’t the only big winner yesterday. Joel Parkinson captured the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing championship without even surfing.
Parkinson was eliminated on Wednesday but remained in the lead for the title. The only surfer with a chance of catching him was fellow Australian Adrian Buchan, who needed to win yesterday’s event. But Buchan was ousted by world champion Kelly Slater in a quarterfinal heat.
Parkinson, who won $10,000, joins Sunny Garcia as the only surfers to win three-consecutive Triple Crown titles.
"The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing for the third time is amazing," said Parkinson, who was sidelined with a foot injury for half of the year. "Four months ago I could hardly walk and over the last three events I did well enough to win a Triple Crown … I really like Hawaii — I just got a good feel from the place. I love the energy of Hawaii and everything about it."
Flores won the third jewel of the Triple Crown and $75,000 with a two-wave total of 14.54 out of a possible 20 points.
He caught the contest-winning ride in the last three minutes of the final. The judges awarded Flores 9.37 out of a possible 10 points for a head-high, backdoor barrel.
"That was the most nervous last three minutes I’ve ever had," said Flores, who originally is from Reunion Island, France.
"The waves were a little slower in the final and luckily, this really good one came, and I went. I knew I had the speed because the wave had a big wall on it. I knew if I came out, I would have a big score on it. When I came out it was a dream."
Flores got the winning wave after Perrow, who is from Byron Bay, Australia, made a crucial error.
"I was disappointed in myself because I took that first one and I thought it was going to be good, but it had just a crumbly, weird section, and (it) didn’t let me come out of the barrel," said Perrow, who earned a two-wave total of 13.77.
"I looked up and saw (Flores) taking off into that perfect wave. It was kind of heartbreaking, really. The ball was in my court at that point in the heat. It was little a mistake, but I’m still good."
This was Perrow’s first final appearance in his 7-year career on the World Tour and he was still happy with the result. The Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons is the last event of the year on the ASP World Tour.
Like the event’s name, Flores dedicated this win to the late Andy Irons. The three-time ASP world champ from Kauai was a good friend and huge influence Flores said.
"He’s the kind of guy that pushed me so hard, and when I was down he was always there to come and talk, even if it was for hours, he didn’t have to do it, but he would always do it," Flores said. "This is definitely for him."