Florence wins second straight World Championship at Pipeline
COURTESY WORLD SURF LEAGUE
John John Florence advanced to the quarterfinals of the Billabong Pipe Masters 2017 after winning heat two of round four today at Banzai Pipeline.
Haleiwa’s John John Florence captured his second straight world championship in the Billabong Pipe Masters surf contest at Ehukai Beach today.
Florence got it done when the only other world-crown contender remaining, Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, lost in the quarterfinals of the World Surf League championship tour’s season-ending contest to France’s Jeremy Flores.
It was the first time Florence wrapped up the world title on his home break at Pipeline, where thousands of fans attended to cheer on the hometown favorite.
A year ago, the 25-year-old Florence secured the big prize for the first time in his career in Portugal in October before the tour made the December stop at Pipe.
Medina was going for his second world championship to add to his 2014 win. Had he beaten Flores in the quarterfinals today, it would have cleared the way for a possible head-to-head Florence vs. Medina showdown later in the day.
Florence is still pushing forward for his first Pipe Masters championship which will be decided later today. Earlier today, he won his fourth-round heat over Brazil’s Ciao Ibelli and Australia’s Joel Parkinson and then knocked off 2014 Pipe Masters champion Julian Wilson of Australia in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals.
Griffin Colapinto, 19, of Santa Barbara, Calif., holds a big lead in the Triple Crown of Surfing standings. Brazil’s Italo Ferreira, the only other surfer in the chase to be named the best surfer in the three season-ending Hawaii events combined (the Hawaiian Pro, the Vans World Cup and the Pipe Masters), can pass Colapinto by making the Pipe Masters final.
The competition is being live-streamed here