Big result at Pipeline for locals
TWO North Coast bodyboarders have recorded top five finishes on a picture perfect day at Pipeline during the IBA Pipe Challenge.
In near flawless six to eight foot conditions, Dave Winchester of Mullumbimby and world tour rookie Sam Bennet of Port Macquarie finished 3rd and 4th respectively.
The results have kick-started the Aussies 2012 seasons.
Jeff Hubbard (Honolulu, HAW) won the 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge for the fourth time.
He defeated fellow Hawaiian and 11 times Pipe Champion, Mike Stewart in second place.
The perfect Pipe and Backdoor waves made for one of the highest scoring finals in the history of the IBA.
Hubbard posted a total heat score of 18.65, placing a strangle hold on the remaining finalists as all of them needed a combination of scores to overtake him.
Dropping off the IBA Grand Slam Series (GSS) last year, Stewart will need to back up results like this one on the 2012 GQS (Global Qualifying Series) if he is to regain a spot on the 2013 GSS.
Although Winchester and Bennet both put on stand out performances their impressive heat totals of 16.5 and 16.25 respectively was not enough to overtake Stewart or Hubbard.
Winchester has been a World Title contender for several years now and thanks to this third place result has a good start to what is looking to be a momentous year on the IBA GSS tour.
The 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge is Bennets first event as a Top 24 IBA GSS competitor.
Although only 21 years old, the young Australian has put on a show-stopping performance throughout the event and is looking like a potential 2012 IBA World Title contender.
The Next IBA Grand Slam event will be the Box Pro in Margaret River, Western Australia, from March 26 to April 4.