You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Bourez wins Pipe Masters surfing title

AAP logoAAP 20/12/2016

Tahitian surfer Michel Bourez has claimed his first Pipe Masters title, closing out the season by beating American rookie Kanoa Igarashi in the final.

It was an unlikely final match-up, with Bourez upsetting world champion John John Florence earlier on Tuesday (AEDT) in the quarter-finals.

Igarashi also claimed the massive scalp of 11-time world champion and seven-time Pipe Master winner Kelly Slater with a last-ditch semi-final win.

Josh Kerr was the only Australian heat winner on a busy last day of competition when he took out his fourth-round contest.

But Kerr was eliminated in the quarter-finals, while former world champion Joel Parkinson and newcomer Ryan Callinan had earlier bowed out in the fifth round.

While Florence remains without a Pipe Masters title at his home break on the North Shore, by reaching the quarter-finals at Banzai Pipeline he claimed another win.

The newly-crowned world champion's result on Tuesday gave him the Hawaiian Triple Crown for the third time.

It was also the only title for Bourez this year on the world tour and the first time he has taken out the Pipe Masters.

Bourez was in disbelief after the final, having come back from a badly-broken hand suffered in a wipeout last year at the feared Teahupo'o break.

"It was really tricky and tough for me to come back. I almost dropped off tour," he said.

"I worked really hard at home and tried to stay positive the whole time ... this is huge for me."

Bourez, now a three-time winner on the world tour, also relished dispatching Florence in the quarters.

"John is incredible - I've lost the Triple Crown twice because of him so that was a little payback," he said.

"This is the biggest event to win for a surfer and I did it."

It was a banner day as well for Igarashi, who starred in his Pipe Masters debut.

The 19-year-old is the youngest surfer on the men's tour, but he kept his nerve to beat Slater in their semi.

The surfing legend led throughout, before Igarashi nailed a 8.83 wave score in the last 30 seconds to beat him by just 0.5.

"It's his first time in the Pipe Masters and he's made the final, which is pretty sick," Slater said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon