What: Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2007 Foster’s Men’s World Tour Event
Where: Oahu Island, North Shore, Hawaii
When: 8-20th December 2007
Prize money: $300,000
This year the most legendary surf contest of modern times will be hosted by Billabong. The crown jewel in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the Billabong Pipeline Masters will be celebrating its 37th anniversary in 2007. The world’s longest-running professinal surfing event will be staged as always , at the famed Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore.
The Billabong Pipeline Masters will be the finale to a series of Billabong-sponsored ASP World Tour events held at the finest venues around the globe – including Teahupoo, Tahiti; Jeffreys Bay, South Africa; Mundaka, Spain; and the women’s final event at Honolua Bay, Maui.
1978 World Surfing Champion and ASP president Wayne Bartholomew (who has both competed at the Pipeline and now oversees the governing body that sanctions the event) summed it up succinctly: “Billabong brings their wealth of events skills to this North Shore icon, and this partnership personifies the dream tour concept.”
Billabong has had a longstanding impact on professional surfing on Hawaii’s North Shore. During the 1980’s when the pro tour was struggling, the surf company launched the Billabong Pro to set several new benchmarks. Prize money was lifted to previously unheard of levels, and a mobile venue was utilized between Sunset and Waimea Bay which led to the event being, held in the largest surf ever seen in ASP competition history.
To the surfing world, a Pipeline Masters title is the pinnacle of the sport; and honored achievement that sets a surfer in a special elite class. Entire carrers have been spawned out of riding the Pipeline. Surfers from duzens of countries travel here to prove their ability in the caverns of Pipe. Make your mark on this wave and go down in surfing lore.
Pipeline Is held by many with as much reverence as the World Title itself. The history of the place, combined with the sheer ferocity of the wave, makes winning the Pipemasters a career highlight. Great rivalries in the sport have had their most intense matches here, from the Mark Richards/Chene Horan duels of the early Eighties to the fiery clashes of Tom Curren/Mark Occhilupo and the all-time battles between World Champs Andy Irons and Kelly Slater for the last decade.
In the Past year, Billabong team surfer and local hero Andy Irons ( Kauai ) has added another monumental achievement to his long list of accomplishments by taking out the Pipeline Masters and the Vans Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing each for the fourth time.
With $710,000, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is seen as the most coveted accolade in the sport. Beside the Pipeline Masters the series includes the Hawaiian Pro in Ali’i Beach / Haleiwa (November 12 – 24) and the World Cup of Surfing, Sunset Beach / Oahu (November 25 – December 07).
Although hosted by a slew of major brands over the years, the WCT event at Pipe was taken over by Billabong in 2007, promising to make it premier Hawaiian event.