Congrats to Jeff Hubbard, 2012 IBA World Tour Pipe Challenge champion!
Day 2 of the IBA World Tour 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge took place in epic Pipeline yesterday, with solid 8-12 foot surf and offshore winds providing competitors with arguably some of the best contest conditions ever. Real-time observations from the Waimea Bay station on Thursday, February 16, 2012 are below.
The swell peaked on Thursday, but there’s still solid northwest energy showing on both the Northwest Hawaii (@buoy51101) and Waimea Bay (@buoy51201) stations. As of 6:00 a.m. HST, the Waimea Bay buoy is reporting swell conditions of 7 feet at 14 seconds (310°), with surf heights expected to slowly decline throughout the day. East winds are expected to increase a notch from Thursday, reaching the 17-19 knot range.
When the contest resumes with the sixth round of the Men’s event, the top 16 riders in the world will be surfing their first heats, including defending champion Jeff Hubbard, 2011 IBA champion Pierre Louise-Costes, and other Pipe standouts Ben Player, Guilherme Tamega, and Amaury Lavernhe. In addition, a number of Hawaiian wildcard entries including Mike Stewart, Kainoa McGee, and Spencer Skipper, have used their experience and knowledge of Pipeline to advance to the third and final day. Micah Oh, who has battled his way through heats since the first round, is looking to continue his dark horse campaign as well.
As the swell eases, expect Backdoor to turn on again, giving competitors the option of a right that didn’t exist on Thursday. Also, priority is now a factor as well, so look for some competitive tactics to emerge as well. Check all the action on the IBA World Tour live feed.
The 2012 Pipe Challenge, the first event on the 2012 IBA World Tour, is set to kick-off tomorrow with an unbelievable forecast. A solid northwest swell is expected to build quickly Wednesday afternoon, likely pushing the limits of what Pipeline can handle, with potential for some 2nd reef wash throughs late Wednesday and early Thursday.
Here’s a look at the latest 5-day forecast for the Waimea Bay station (@buoy51201). As you can see, long-period northwest surf in the 6-10+ range is expected through Saturday, with east to east-northeast winds increasing in strength into the weekend.
Look for a variety of Pipe and Backdoor waves to kick off the event tomorrow, but as the swell increases overnight into Thursday morning, expect the rights to start shutting down as swell conditions peak in the 10 feet at 15 seconds range.
The biggest, baddest surf will definitely be on Thursday, so be sure to tune-in to the live webcast for all the action. For more information, check out the IBA World Tour website.