Taj Burrow (AUS), 31, is your 2009 Billabong Pipe Masters Champion–Credit: %uFFFD ASP/ CI/ CESTARI via GETTY IMAGES
Professional surfing season has come to a close as of Tuesday, December 15, with 2 Australians winning the big purses. Taj Burrow, 31, took home $40,000 from Billabong for winning at Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, plus an unprecedented $50,000 bonus from Vans, and another $10,000 custom Nixon watch and a hand-shaped surfboard trophy from Pipeline legend Gerry Lopez.
For the women, the Billabong Pro on Maui wrapped with Stephanie Gilmore, 21, clinching the $25,000 purse for the Vans Triple Crown title presented by Rockstar Energy Drink after winning the Billabong Pro and $12,000, for a total of $43,100. Interestingly, Stephanie has won the Billabong Pro Maui 3 consecutive years that she’s competed there.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, claimed her third consecutive Billabong Pro Maui title today as well as her second Vans Triple Crown title. Credit: c ASP/CI/SCHOLTZ va GETTY IMAGES
“Once again, Maui has just been incredible and to win this event three times in a row is just awesome,” Gilmore said. “I couldn%uFFFDt have been happier with the way things have gone today. Winning the Vans Triple Crown is definitely up there with winning the World Title and it%uFFFDs definitely one of the biggest accolades of surfing professionally. I can%uFFFDt believe it%uFFFDs all happening again, it%uFFFDs awesome.”
Back at Banzai on Oahu, the Billabong Pipeline Masters represented the 3rd and final stop of the $1,000,000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series presented by Rockstar Energy Drink.
“This is 100% as good as you can imagine,” said Taj on the podium. “I can%uFFFDt believe I%uFFFDm standing here right now. There%uFFFDs been so much action this year on the North Shore and I%uFFFDve been watching Joel (Parkinson) and Mick (Fanning) going at it for the world title. It%uFFFDs been really emotional and after they lost, the focus turned to me. It felt amazing to have everyone going for me.
Mick Fanning winning the World Title of Surfing for 2009. Credit: ASP/SCHOLTZ/Getty Images
For Kelly Slater who came in second, he had other thoughts: “Unfortunately the Final had the absolute worst conditions of the contest, but there are still fun waves out there. You could go out for a free surf and have a good time. It’s difficult to transition when you’re already expecting one thing. I had already had a couple of heats with barrels and then all of a sudden it’s completely different conditions. Still, there’s a shallow reef there, so you’re expecting one to throw out and barrel, but it just didn’t happen.”
As for Kelly Slater going for his 10th ASP World Title in 2010, he’s a little reluctant. “I don’t know if I’m going to do the tour full-time next year,” Slater said. “I’m sort of feeling it out. I’ve just competed for so many years, doing the same thing and going to the same places, it’s a little monotonous. When you find some meaning in it and it’s bigger than just going and surfing, then it becomes more exciting, but, unfortunately, this year I had a pretty lackluster year in a lot of ways, both personally and competitively and it probably showed in my surfing.”
Overall, Mick Fanning from Australia won the 2009 ASP World Title and awarded a bonus $50,000 and Joel Parkinson, also from Australia, ended up winning the overall 2009 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and was awarded $50,000.
Sponsors of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing presented by Rockstar Energy Drink include: Vans, Reef, O%uFFFDNeill, Billabong, Gidget Worldwide, Nixon, Turtle Bay Resort, Hawaiian Airlines, JN Automotive Group, Surfing Magazine, Surfline.com, FUEL TV, The Honolulu Advertiser, Hawaiian Springs Water, Road Runner, Climb On! chemical-free skincare, and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).
Andy Irons (HAW), 31, former three-time ASP World Champion and former four-time Pipe Masters Champion, saw a welcomed returned to form at the Billabong Pipeline Masters. Credit: %uFFFD ASP/ CI/ CESTARI via GETTY IMAGES
North Shore of Oahu for the Billabong Pipeline Masters at Banzai Pipeline. Photo courtesy of ASP.