North Shore, Oahu, HAWAII – (February 25, 2017) – The highly anticipated 2017 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational kicked off today at Pipeline, the North Shore’s ultimate proving grounds, in 6-10+ foot WNW swell.
“We woke up to beautiful conditions here at Pipeline and Backdoor,” said Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Organizer Norm Skorge. “It gave all the competitors a chance to show off their talents in big surf.”
Day 1 of action saw Men’s Rounds 1-3 enter the water, which included the a select number of Top 16 athletes from the Hawaii Bodyboarding Pro Tour, the Top 26 competitors on the Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour, and an invitee list of underground locals and Pipeline specialists, all vying for a $16,000 prize purse.
An international field comprised these groups, with the following countries represented: Puerto Rico, Tahiti, Spain, Australia, Reunion Island, Canary Island, Ireland, Argentina, and more.
Australia’s Shayden Schrader set the tone early in the day by charging into waves of consequence during his Round 1 heat, and also pulling an impressive full rotation, which garnered applause from the crowd on hand and a 9.93 wave score from the judges. It was the highest scoring wave of the day.
Shayden Schrader’s 9.93 ride. Photo: Josh McGowan
Early round highlights also include Reunion Island’s Laury Grenier showcasing a meticulous yet successful wave selection, selecting wave that presented the deepest, highest scoring barrels, helping to push him into Day 2 of action.
Hawaii’s Pohaku Kekaualua and Will Petrovic showed their familiarity with Pipeline, both selecting lengthy barrel rides instead of vying for Backdoor, and they too will compete in Day 2.
With big conditions and light winds expected to hold through tomorrow, it’s highly likely that competition will resume at 8am. After meeting to decide the call, Contest Officials will decide to either run the Men’s and crown a champion by the end of tomorrow, or run early rounds of other divisions, including the Women’s, Juniors and Dropknee.
Day 2 action will include an incredible pool of talent, such as last year’s event winner Pierre-Louis Costes, 6-time World Bodyboarding Champion Guilherme Tamega, Jeff and Dave Hubbard, 1999 Bodyboarding World Champion Karla Costa and more.
Stay tuned to the Hawaii Bodyboarding Facebook page for updates.