Watch heat recaps at www.volcompipepro.com
NORTH SHORE, Oahu – (Feb. 1st, 2012) – The final day of competition at the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro ended in a spectacular showdown in the last 10-seconds of the 35-minute final with John Florence taking the win with a buzzer-beating 9.93 Backdoor barrel. His last wave, together with his earlier perfect 10- point ride, put his combined heat score at 19.93 out of a possible 20 to edge out former Pipe Pro Champion Jamie O’Brien in 2nd, Kai Barger in 3rd and Nate Yeomans in 4th.
O’Brien held the lead for the majority of the final, only to see the top spot disappear in the last minute of the heat. With a minute to go, Florence paddled over and congratulated O’Brien. Then a dark line on the horizon caught his eye. One last wave stacked up on the Pipeline reef. Florence clawed his way past Jamie, over the ledge, under the lip and into the heat-winning tube ride – a 9.93 – to claim the $20,000 first prize and a custom warrior helmet trophy.
“I wrote myself off half way through,” said Florence. “Kai and Jamie both had nines and eights. Jamie had two nines. I can’t believe it. Here at Pipe anything can happen. I surfed my first heat, then had my hand (injury) and tweaked my neck really bad and that was killing me. So I was seriously considering not continuing on. I got some work done on my neck, taped my hand up and it all worked out.”
Above: John Florence (Hawaii). Dropping in on his 10-point ride in the final of the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro. Photo: Ryan Foley.
Back on the beach, O’Brien and Florence shook hands and O’Brien shook his head.
“It hurts,” said Jamie, holding onto the runner-up $10,000 check. “You think you’re going to win and you don’t. It’s OK. I got some really good scores and I put on a great performance, I felt. To me that means everything. I had a great time. I finally got in a good rhythm my last couple of heats. I enjoyed myself and it was a good day.”
This event marks the second consecutive year that Florence and O’Brien have taken the number 1 and 2 spots at the Volcom Pipe Pro.
Also awarded today was the Todd Chesser Hard Charger Sportsmanship Award – presented to Costa Rica’s Carlos Munoz who posted the first perfect score of the event in the early rounds and finished in equal ninth place.
As an added bonus, Electric’s “Perfect 10 Award” was given out to any surfer that locked in a 10-point ride during the event. Winners received $1,000 in cash, handed to them directly after their heats. Recipients included: Carlos Munoz (Costa Rica), Dylan Graves (Puerto Rico), Dusty Payne (Hawaii), Balaram Stack (New York) and John Florence (Hawaii).
Above: John Florence with his $20,000 first place check. Photo: Bielmann.
A two-hour highlight program of the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro will air on Fuel TV this Saturday at 7:30 PM EST/4:30 PM PST. For more information, check your local listings or go to www.fuel.tv.
Special thanks to Electric Visual, TransWorld Surf, Kicker Audio, Fuel TV, Zico, Surfline.com, ASP Hawaii, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and everyone that helped out with the event.