Peter 'Joli' Wilson records epic energy of this year's event
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 December, 2014 - Aloha from Hawaii's North Shore. It's the morning after the climax of this year's Professional World Surfing Tour and to say that the whole of Brazil is waking up to a hangover is probably overstating it just a little but probably not by much.
When Gabriel Medina became the first Brazilian World Surfing Champion yesterday at Pipeline there was a very good chance there was more people amongst the crowd with Portuguese as their first language than English speaking people. People had flown in from all around the world just to watch Medina win his World Title and he didn't let them or Brazil down.
I've been around surfing contests, including, World Title showdowns, and nothing comes close to what went down at Pipe yesterday. Probably the closest was when Kelly won his 10th in Puerto Rico but that was more about the size of the crowd rather than the excitement, the involvement and the noise.
The scene when Gabby won was more like a South American or European football match than a surfing contest. There was singing and chants, flags waving and a crush of people where ever you tried to move.
With his World Title win Gabriel equalled Kelly's record of the youngest winner but he'll only have to wait a couple more days to legally have a celebratory drink here in Hawai because he turns 21 in two days time.
The Billabong Pipe Masters was also the finish of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and Julian Wilson, who in his own words said he'd had a pretty ordinary competitive year took out both Titles. He had to win Pipe to secure the Triple Crown, which he did, and then on his very last wave of the final scored enough points to win the contest from Medina who had made all the way to the final.
On the presentation dais both guys where loaded up with trophies and couldn't carry everything off the stage themselves. They also couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces and as they both claimed in their respective speeches it was '...the best day of their lives.'
I've been loading up images to this Gallery if you want to check them out. There is also a number of other Galleries covering this year's Hawaiian season so far. They all start with Hawaii 2014 so have a poke around. It's beautiful fun surf day here in Hawaii and tomorrow is forecast to be 'big' Pipe so there'll be more images going up to my website as the surf unfolds.
Mahalo and Merry Christmas - Joli