HALEIWA, Oahu/Hawaii (Thursday, February 9, 2017) – Australian Soli Bailey, 21, scored a remarkable underdog victory against Pipeline veterans Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Bruce Irons (HAW), and Californian Griffin Colapinto to secure the highest profile win of his professional career at the Volcom Pipe Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event, . The competition featured some of the best surfers in the world at one of the most famous venues on the planet and Bailey came out on top, well ahead of competitors with a combined heat score of 13.26
“This is definitely the biggest [win] of my career,” said Soli. “There’s been a few tough losses last year and what not, and I think I’ve just learned from them and to come here and stay cool, calm and collected right through the Final then take it out is just… it’s a dream come true and one step closer to where I want to be.”
Bailey advanced in first from every round in the competition. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
The Volcom Pipe Pro has only seen four winners in its eight-year history – Jamie O’Brien (HAW) in 2010, John John Florence (HAW) in ‘11, ’12, ’13 and ’15, Kelly Slater (USA) in ‘14 and ’16 and now Bailey in 2017. Much to the dismay of the local beach crowd, Florence went home early, sent packing in the first Semifinal by Bailey and Colapinto.
Conditions shifted for the Final and the four athletes were on the hunt for waves, while the slight offshore breeze and building surf helped the cause.
Irons displayed confidence and raw talent at Pipe during Round 4. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Keoki
Colapinto was off to a fierce start and jumped on the first couple of waves, while Irons opened up his campaign early as well. Meanwhile, Bailey and de Souza got into a feisty paddle battle for position, but didn’t find a solid score until after the biggest set of the day swept through the lineup. The massive waves snapped both Bailey’s and Irons’ leashes and forced them back to shore to adjust their equipment. De Souza took advantage of the cleared out lineup and scored a 4.50 on a small left, but it wasn’t long after that Bailey dropped the first proper ride of the Final, a 5.67 for a reeling right.
“It’s pretty surreal right now,” continued Bailey. “All I know is something amazing just happened and there were some great waves ridden and I’m just super, super stoked right now.”
The best wave of the 35-minute Final went to the Australian for a double barrel combined with a solid frontside turn, which garnered a 7.33 and an eruption from the beach crowd. He backed this up with a 5.93, which put him points ahead of runner up de Souza, who ended with a combined heat score of 8.43.
Adriano’s 9.50 ride, deep in the belly of a Backdoor beast. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
De Souza was a standout performer throughout the event and surfed an impressive five times today from Round 3. The Brazilian also scored the day’s only 9-point ride for a deep, traveling Backdoor barrel, which judges gave 9.5’s across the board – a performance one would expect from a former Pipe Masters champion (2015).
“It was pretty much my best wave of my winter,” he said. “I feel so blessed, I feel like I won something really special. I feel like I won at the best contest ever just because I got one wave… This wave is so challenging, it’s so hard to get a good wave out there, and I’ve been here for the last three months, so you can imagine I’ve been here for three months waiting for this wave.”
Seth Moinz (HAW) was recognized also for his fierce commitment and impressive performance throughout the event and was presented with the annual Todd Chesser Hard Charger award. The trophy is given out each year to honor North Shore big wave waterman Todd Chesser, who passed away in 1997 during an outer reef surf session. But his legacy lives on at the Volcom Pipe Pro and this year Moniz demonstrated the sportsmanship and outstanding performance that caught mom Jeannie Chesser’s eye.
Moniz, humble and hard charging. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Keoki
“Wow this is pretty amazing to be here right now standing and receiving the Todd Chesser award,” said Moniz. “Ever since I was a little kid I always heard about him. I never got to meet him, but I heard he was a super nice and humble guy who went out there and charged. I’m just super honored to be here, to receive this award, thank you auntie.”
During the awards ceremony, Volcom also presented a $60,000 check to the Boys & Girls Club and a $16,000 check to the Sion Memorial Fund. Volcom continues to be a supporter of community causes and perpetuates a charitable reputation that grows each year. The stoke was felt not only through the surf event itself but also with the cultural and community involvements, which continue to be a cornerstone of the Volcom Pipe Pro.
Surfers shown 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted.
1st – Soli Bailey (AUS), 13.26
2nd – Adriano de Souza (BRA), 8.43
3rd – Griffin Colapinto (USA), 3.90
4th – Bruce Irons, 3.66
Semifinal, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place
SF1: Soli Bailey (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Leandro Usuna (ARG), John John Florence
SF2: Bruce Irons, Adriano de Souza (BRA), David do Carmo (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Quarterfinals, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place
QF1: Soli Bailey (AUS), Leandro Usuna (ARG), Hank Gaskell, Koa Smith
QF2: John John Florence, Griffin Colapinto (USA), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Brian Toth (PRI)
QF3: Bruce Irons, David do Carmo (BRA), Luke Shepardson, Makai McNamara
QF4: Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Seth Moniz
Round of 32, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17th place, 4th = 25th place
H1: Leandro Usuna (ARG), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Billy Kemper, Nathan Florence
H2: Soli Bailey (AUS), Brian Toth (PRI), Kiron Jabour, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA)
H3: Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Koa Smith, Balaram Stack (USA), Tom Whitaker (AUS)
H4: John John Florence, Hank Gaskell, O’Neill Massin (PYF), Koa Rothman
H5: David do Carmo (BRA), Seth Moniz, Miguel Tudela (PER), Mason Ho
H6: Bruce Irons, Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Yago Dora (BRA), Makuakai Rothman
H7: Lucas Silveira (BRA), Ian Crane (USA), Luke Shepardson, Marco Giorgi (URY)
H8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Makai McNamara, Benji Brand, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Round of 64, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 33rd place, 4th = 49th place
H15: Benji Brand, Ian Crane (USA), Lucca Mesinas Novaro (PER), Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
H16: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Luke Shepardson, Finn McGill, Parker Coffin (USA)