Mens WSL Championship Tour Starts Here

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OAHU, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 11: Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil advances to Round 4 of the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters after winning Heat 9 of Round 3 at Pipeline on December 11, 2019 in Oahu, United States. (Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL via Getty Images)
OAHU, UNITED STATES – DECEMBER 10: An empty wave during Round 3 of the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline on December 10, 2019 in Oahu, United States. (Photo by Ed Sloanei/WSL via Getty Images)

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 7, 2020) – The 2021 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) has officially started, and the world’s best surfers have arrived on Oahu’s North Shore for the 50th edition of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons presented by Hydro Flask. The competition’s window opens tomorrow, December 8, and runs through December 20.

“It’s crazy to be competing again after the year we’ve had.” said reigning World Champion, Italo Ferreira. “I thank God for allowing me to go back and do what I love the most. Wearing the Jeep Leader Jersey again will motivate me, and make me want to keep it. I know it won’t be easy, but I’ll fight hard for it.”

Ferreira returns to defend his world title against a growing list of contenders, including fellow Brazilian and two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina, 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater, and Hawaii’s own two-time WSL champion John John Florence.

COVID-19 Safety

In preparation for the Billabong Pipe Masters, WSL is following the same COVID-19 safety guidelines that are in place for Hawaii’s entire film industry. The standards were developed using World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) best practices. They include multiple testings for all athletes and staff, physical distancing, temperature checks, minimal personnel on-site, and frequent disinfecting of common areas.

“We are excited to welcome the WSL back to Hawaii to kick off the 2021 championship season and celebrate the 50th edition of the Billabong Pipe Masters,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We appreciate WSL’s cooperation in helping us ensure the community can enjoy the production safely from their homes as we work to curb the spread of COVID-19.”

Watch the Billabong Pipe Masters

The competition will be broadcast live on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. The competition will be carried locally in Hawaii by the Spectrum Surf Channel.

To celebrate 50 years of the world’s heaviest surfing event, Billabong is also partnering with WSL on the “50 Heaviest Moments at the Pipe Masters” series. Be sure to watch the WSL broadcast as the Pipe Masters’ best and brightest count down the craziest moments of all time and see who made it to number one.

In line with their #RefillForGood campaign, Hydro Flask will be supplying products to all athletes and staff onsite, encouraging people to make the switch and replace single-use plastics like plastic water bottles and to-go containers for sustainable options. Keep an eye out for the Hydro Flask “Wave Wall” on broadcast, a sculpture of a wave built out of Hydro Flask products.

The Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask is proudly sponsored by Billabong, Hydro Flask, Jeep, Michelob Ultra, Oakley, Red Bull, Vans, Aminous, Asplush, Eurofins, Indoteak, and Jose Cuervo.

Pipe Invitational to Determine Event Wildcards

The first competition day of the Billabong Pipe Masters pres. by Hydro Flask will feature the Pipe Invitational, a 32-man trial event that awards the top two finishers a wildcard into the main event. The draw is composed of the top Hawaii competitors from the 2020 Volcom Pipe Pro and the International and Regional QS, event sponsor wildcards, standout Pipe performers, and the previous year’s Pipe Invitational winner.

‘Best of Three Heats’ Surf Off

This year’s first day of competition will also feature a Surf Off between Mikey Wright (AUS) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) where the surfers will battle in a ‘best of three heats’ format for a spot on the entire 2021 CT season. The winner will join the world’s best surfers as number 34 in the ranking, while the runner-up will be on standby throughout the season and will earn a spot at any CT stop where a Top 34 surfer withdraws.
Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask Seeding Round Matchups

Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Morgan Cibilic (AUS)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA), Yago Dora (BRA), Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Frederico Morais (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), TBD
Heat 6: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF), TBD
Heat 7: John John Florence (HAW), Conner Coffin (USA), Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: Seth Moniz (HAW), Jack Freestone (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Jack Robinson (AUS)

The Billabong Pipeline Masters pres. by Hydro Flask is the first stop on the 2021 Men’s CT, and the rankings after the penultimate stop will determine the top five male surfers to make it into the first-ever WSL Finals, which will be held in Lower Trestles in Southern California in September 2021. This playoff-style competition will determine the 2021 WSL Champions in a single day of intense, world-class surfing.