Hawaii surfer John John Florence didn’t make it into the finals of the 2011 Billabong Pipeline Masters, but still scored enough points to become the youngest winner of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing today at the Banzai Pipeline.
Kieren Perrow, of Australia, beat fellow Aussie Joel Parkinson to take the Pipeline Masters title in 6 to 8 foot surf today.It was his first victory on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour.
Perrow beat Gabriel Medina of Brazil in the quarter finals and Tahiti’s Michael Bouvez in the semifinals.
Perrow scored a heat total of 13.17 (out of a possible 20.00) in the barreling waves of Backdoor and Pipeline during the finals and takes home $75,000 in prize money.
The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons is the final stop on the 2011 ASP World Title Series and the third jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of surfing.
Eleven-time ASP world champion Kelly Slater defeated Florence in a quarterfinal match. But Florence, who won the Vans World Cup of Surfing last week, still scored more points than any other surfer in the three North Shore contests that make up the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Florence, 19, is the youngest Triple Crown winner since Hawaiian surfer Derek Ho, who was 20 when he won the title in 1984.
Winning the Triple Crown earned Forence a $10,000 bonus, and a custom Nixon watch valued at more than $10,000.
"A fifth at Haleiwa, a win at Sunset, a fifth here and the Vans Triple Crown title, it’s pretty much been the best winter of my life," Florence said on the Triple Crown website. "There are some incredible names on this trophy. I’m so stoked to be here and to have won this. I’ve been surfing these waves my entire life and watching everyone over the years. To have my name with the great surfers who has won the Triple Crown, it’s incredible. I just want to say thanks to my mum and Pancho Sullivan and John Pyzel and all my sponsors. Thanks to everyone."
Florence scored a perfect 10 ride during the first day of competition in the Pipeline Masters in what some surfers called "epic" conditions on Thursday, the peak of a northwest swell that brought waves with 16 to 22 foot faces to the North Shore.