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Sun, 10 December 2017

Trials winner Hawaiian Dusty Payne and runner-up South African Benji Brand (he's Hawaiian now, damn) have earned wildcards into the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons.


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BRANDED: Benji Brand lives in Hawaii and it shows. Pity for South Africa. Photo WSL / Poullenot


The Pipeline Invitational is done and dusted and it's all down to the wire at the Masters (two cliches in a row!) the final stop on the 2017 Championship Tour, with the world title mathematically possibly for four surfers. It's going to be a tough ride for Brand, who is up against world champ hopeful Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Miguel Pupo (BRA) in Round 1, while Payne will surf against world champ favourite John John Florence (HAW) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA).

The South African hopeful, Mikey February, made it to the quarters of the Invitational, but fell short there, taking a third behind Payne and Koa Smith (HAW).

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PLENTY TO GAIN: Former CT surfers Dusty Payne is back from injury. Photo WSL / Cestari


Former CT surfer Payne is back after an eight-month injury hiatus but has had successful rebounds in the past, including winning the 2014 Hawaiian Pro. Recently crowned Hawaii and Tahiti Nui Regional Champion Brand (HAW) will also advance into the main event after earning the runner-up finish in the Pipe Invitational event.

The invitational comprised 32 of the best Pipe riders, with two berths open for a chance to compete with the top 34 men of the WSL. For more information, check out www.WorldSurfLeague.com.

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SWEET SPOT: Some clean barrels were running at Backdoor for the trial. Photo WSL / Cestari



Invitational Final Results
1 - Dusty Payne (HAW)12.00
2 - Benji Brand (HAW) 11.17
3 - Seth Moniz (HAW) 9.83
4 - Jack Robinson (AUS) 2.37

Pipe Invitational Semifinal Results
SF 1: Benji Brand (HAW) 12.27, Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.83, Koa Smith (HAW) 9.10, Billy Kemper (HAW) 5.90
SF 2: Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.07, Jack Robinson (AUS) 10.44, Finn McGill (HAW) 4.20, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 0.77

Pipe Invitational Quarterfinal Results
QF 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.67, Koa Smith (HAW) 8.37, Michael February (ZAF) 6.64, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 3.97
QF 2: Benji Brand (HAW) 10.84, Billy Kemper (HAW) 9.47, Nathan Florence (HAW) 7.94, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 4.83
QF 3: Finn McGill (HAW) 9.83, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 7.10, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 3.97, Makai McNamara (HAW) 1.93
QF 4: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.50, Seth Moniz (HAW) 10.50, Shane Dorian (HAW) 2.87, Keoni Yan (HAW) 2.74

Upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Match-Ups
Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Benji Brand (HAW)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA), Joan Duru (FRA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT), Italo Ferreira (BRA)

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