BY JODI WILMOTT – HONOLULU, HAWAII — As Hawaii’s winter waves hit their annual peak, the world famous Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore returns to professional surfing’s center stage January 24 through February 5 with the $120,000 Volcom Pipe Pro. The event will be webcast live at http://www.volcompipepro.com and broadcast live on television around Hawaii on Oceanic Time Warner Cable channels 250 and 1250HD.
Rightfully the most feared surf spot on the planet, Pipeline pitches world class surfers against lethal, barreling waves, and their own anxieties. True to form, Pipe has been booming over the past two weeks and the long range forecast looks solid for the 112 competitors from 15 nations who will line up for the Volcom Pipe Pro.
“Every surfer knows that at some point in his career he’s going to have to face his fears at Pipeline,” said ASP Hawaii Managing Director Marty Thomas, himself a former Top 10 professional surfer. “Pipe is the one place that registers in your career as either your golden moment or your worst nightmare, but either way, it’s unforgettable.”
“The Volcom Pipe Pro is an opportunity for surfers of every caliber to put it all on the line, whether they be one of the established touring pro’s, an up-and-coming challenger who wins a wildcard, or one of Pipeline’s very own local chargers who lives to ride nothing but Pipe. In that way, this is one of the most meaningful events that professional surfing offers – both to its surfers, and to its audience.”
Just one week remains for surfers vying for Volcom’s “Wildcard Challenge”, with one lucky (or crazy) prospect to receive the highest seeded wildcard slot into the world class field of 64 surfers. All the surfer has to do is prove that he/she deserves it! To be considered, surfers must submit a video of themselves surfing at Pipeline between 9/1/10 and 1/18/11. A select voting panel of Pipeline specialists will determine the winner. Visit http://www.volcom.com/wildcard to find out more.
Defending Volcom Pipe Pro champion Jamie O’Brien (Hawaii) heads the field that also includes Volcom team wildcard Bruce Irons (Hawaii); international talents Damien Hobgood (Florida), Anthony Walsh (Australia), Dusty Payne (Hawaii), Teppei Tajima (Japan) and Joan Duru (France); and Hawaii’s Fred Pattachia, Sunny Garcia, John Florence, Ian Walsh and 2010 ASP Hawaii champion Billy Kemper. Fifteen nations will be represented including surfers from as far afield as Morocco, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Australia, Japan, and Chile.
An Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 5-star international event, the Volcom Pipe Pro will be held on the three biggest and best days of surf between January 24 and February 5, 2011.
The 2011 Volcom Pipe Pro has partnered with Surfline.com as the official contest forecaster, along with Electric Visual, Transworld Surf and Fuel TV.