ROCKSTAR GAMES PIPELINE PRO
Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro Final Results
Mark Fordham, 14/01/07
Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro
Kaua’i’s Hubbard rides Pipeline to world title
By Dayton Morinaga Advertiser Staff Writer
Kaua’i has another wave-riding world champion.
In the ultimate performance for bodyboarding, Jeff Hubbard of Lihu’e won the Rockstar Games Pipeline Pro and clinched the International Bodyboarding Association world championship in the process yesterday.
“It’s up there with getting married and being born,” said Hubbard, 31.The final day of the contest was completed in spectacular barreling waves of 6 to 10 feet yesterday at the Banzai Pipeline. The Pipeline Pro is the final event of the 2006-07 world tour, and considered the most prestigious contest in the sport.
“I knew if I could win this, there would be no question that I would be the world champ, and I deserved it,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard is the fourth Hawai’i competitor ever to win the bodyboarding world championship, and the first since Mike Stewart of Kailua, Kona, won the last of his record nine championships in 1995.
“It’s been long overdue for Hawai’i and for Jeff,” Stewart said. “He worked his butt off this year for a couple of years actually. He’s a deserving champion.”
Hubbard got an assist from Stewart earlier in the day.
Hubbard and Australia’s Ryan Hardy were the only competitors with a shot at the world title entering yesterday’s rounds.
Hardy was eliminated in the quarterfinals, thanks in part to a perfect 10 from Stewart.
Once Hubbard advanced through his semifinal heat, he clinched the world championship.
“I knew I won the title, but I still wanted to win Pipe,” Hubbard said.
He left no doubt in the four-man final, and even has the battle-scars to prove it.
Hubbard rode fearlessly through the barreling waves, completing several aerial maneuvers at the end of his rides. The judges rewarded him with scores of 8.27 and 8.17 for a total of 16.44 (out of 20).
Brazil’s Guilherme Tamega a six-time former world champion placed second with a two-wave score of 15.44. On his last wave of the final, he rode through a long barrel and received a score of 7.67, which left him one point short of Hubbard.
Amaury Lavernhe of Reunion Island placed third (15.33) and South Africa’s Andre Botha, another former world champ, finished fourth (14.37).
When the heat was over, Hubbard waved a Hawaiian flag as he was raised triumphantly on the shoulders of his friends and family on the beach. He had scrapes on his elbows and a gash on the back of his head.
“I never got this beat up at Pipe in my life,” he said. “But I knew I had to put it all on the line.”
His parents and wife, Heather, were on the beach to celebrate.
“This is like winning the lottery for him,” Heather said. “He’s been wanting this for so long.”
Stewart was eliminated in the semifinals. Ben Player, last year’s world champ, was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
1, Jeff Hubbard (Hawai’i), $3,000.
2, Guilherme Tamega (Brazil), $1,900.
3, Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island), $1,500.
4, Andre Botha (South Africa), $1,000.
5 (tie), Dallas Singer (Australia) and Mike Stewart (Hawai’i), $700.
7 (tie), Ross McBride (California) and Damian King (Australia), $500.
9 (tie), Paul Benco (Hawai’i), Ben Player (Australia), Ryan Hardy (Australia) and Ivan Hernandez (Canary Islands), $400.
13 (tie), Tyler Wiemann (California), Ruben Quinones (Puerto Rico), Rusty Friesen (California) and Uri Valadao (Brazil), $300.