“You are more than ‘dick-draggers’. You are more than ‘boogers’. You are the hope of this whole planet.” And so commenced Tom Morey’s blessing of the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational 2020.
Pipeline greeted organizers, judges and competitors with waves ranging from 4 to 8 feet and trade winds locked in for the first day of competition.
Kainoa McGee didn’t get up ‘Jack Stance’ during his heats, but he did find enough tube time riding prone to see him advance into Round 3 of competition. Other greats of the sport were not so fortunate – Hauoli Reeves was unable to exit a larger north swell tube; Kai Santos also found bigger set waves but was unable to convert them into scores; Chris Burkhart found some rides but the scores didn’t go his way; and Ben Severson was in typical tube-hunting form but other riders in his heat scored bigger.
While the riders couldn’t find a way to stay in the competition, they sure managed to get their fill of stoke. And passion, and the love of this incredible and versatile wave-riding vehicle, is what the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational was all about.
Other standout riders of the event included Tyler Atwater from Australia, Tsuyoshi Maeyama from Japan, Lucas Caiado and Dudu Pedra from Brazil, Pierre-Louis Costes from France, Keahi Parker and Dave Hubbard from Hawaii and Kuko Font from Puerto Rico, who all managed to post higher heat score totals during their first heats and keep the crowd cheering.
The final day of the 2020 Pipeline Invitational was Friday February, 28th with waves in the 6 to 8 feet range at the Banzai Pipeline. The swell arrived and looked epic. The spectacle was very special and some said that as has been awhile since the event has been held in conditions like this.
In the end, the South African Iain Campbell, World Champion in 2017 and second at Pipe in the same year, beat everyone and got away with the trophy and prize of the official second stop of the APB Tour 2020.
01. Iain Campbell (South Africa) 18.83
02. Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii) 17.94
03. Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) 15.43
04. Sammy Morretino (Hawaii)13.84