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Occy Retires, Durbidge Seals Triple Crown with Pipe Masters Win

Cheers to Australia’s Bede Durbidge for winning the 2007 Billabong Pipeline Masters, clinching the Van Triple Crown of Surfing title in the process. In a contest that saw the legendary career of surf legend and Australian-icon Mark Occhilupo come to an end, fellow country-man Durbidge pulled off the victory by throwing down a near-perfect 9.5 ride early on in the final heat and never looked back. In the process, the 24 yr. old up-and-comer from Queensland, unsponsored and financing his own way around the world, won himself over 75,000 dollars in cah and prizes with his victories. That will go down as the biggest single-day gain in the history of professional surfing.

With this years world title already being wrapped up by Mick Fanning in Florianopolis, Brazil, the small and inconsistent surf did nothing to help give the Pipe Masters contest the drama and intensity that has made it the premier event of the year in the surf world. Maybe it was only fitting that today’s final was held at a break known as ‘Off the Wall’, which is located about 100 yards down the beach from the most famous wave in the world in three-foot surf.

The lack of waves was probably the culprit for the scarcity of local Pipe riders in the final heats. But even the lack of typical Pipe Masters conditions couldn’t keep top surfers like Bruce Irons and Fred Patacchia, both of whom were on the bubble for making next years tour, from qualifying to surf full-time on the 2008 ASP world tour next year.

So a big ‘Congratulations’ goes out to Durbidge, who I am sure we will be hearing a lot more from in the coming years. And here is to hoping that 2008 brings back the mind-blowing barrels that has made Pipeline the legendary break that it is today.

bede durbidgebillabongMark Occhilupo

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Posted by Cameron on Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 in Surfing.

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