A large 10-15’ Pipeline swell, with gusty winds challenges the worlds best bodyboarders at the 2019 Mike Stewart Pipeline invitational.
Pierre Louis Costes (France/Portugal), claims his second Pipeline title in what he has described as “the ultimate achievement in Bodyboarding”. The two time world champion now becomes part of an elite group of riders that have won multiple titles at this most coveted event. Pierre scored the best barrel of the final and backed it up with a big roll on a seemingly un-makable section.
In second, 2X Drop Knee World Champion Sammy Morretino proved not only his versatility but that his prone riding is world class. Surfing two finals and seven heats total the Kauian was a standout performer all day. Sammys two scores narrowly held back multiple World and Pipeline champion Jeff Hubbard who launched a large flip maneuver to score the best wave of the final. In fourth place was Local Hawaiian Pipe charger Nakana Rivera who seemed to casually make it through heats on his march to the final. Nakana is a full time pilot for Aloha air cargo but schedules his hours to score Pipe sessions.
History was made in gender equality as 2x world and defending Pipeline rider Ayaka Sazuki from Japan was victorious in her first heat against the men. This was the first time in history that a lady wave rider was victorious against men in a heat at Pipe. Placing second in the women’s division was former world champion Karla Costa Taylor who placed third in her open heat. Followed by Tracy Finger and in fourth place Sari Ohara (Japan)
In the Drop Knee super heat, Mack Criley was elated win the DK super heat against Sammy Morretino who placed second. Mack just recently won the DKS Challengeand only the third time he has defeated Sammy in Hawaiian waters. Sammy was closely followed by Dayton Wago frontside attack. Kawika Kamai who had an outstanding performance in the prone division had difficulty finding suitable waves in the heat and finished in forth.
“Congratulations to all the finalist. It was great to see the new level of bodyboarding competition in big, hollow, gnarly conditions. The overall spirit at this event and camaraderie amongst the competitors was the best I can recall experiencing since the first event in 82”.
Behind the scenes it was a true honour for Mike to work along-side all the riders He grew up with and now have the opportunity to work together in support of the sport.
Pat, Ben, ChrisAnn, Keith, Kavan, Dean, Judah, Parker, Kainoa, Manny (and everyone else I forgot to mention) love you all MS.
So, the 2019 APB world tour gets off to a flying start in Hawaii and athletes now have a few months to prepare for the South American leg starting in mid June.
This leg will contain three Grand Slams (Itacoatiara, Antofagasta & Arica) so it will be hotly contested.
Stay tuned for more news and updates at www.apbtour.com