You most likely know by now that if Kelly wants to add a 12th World Title to his name this year he’ll need to win the Pipeline Masters. We hear you ask, ‘What are the chances of that?’ Well, the king’s not actually claimed a world title at Pipe since he returned to competition in 2002 but, with Kelly it’s hard to say whether that kind of statistic plays in or against his favour.
However, even if Kelly does somehow manage to clinch Pipe Mick will need to place a 5th place equal or worse for Kelly to take the win.
The forecast on the North Shore is still looking good for a start to Round 3 today, with the swell direction favouring Backdoor again. Tuesday will see the swell tail off but, with not a whole lot on the horizon, it’s possible organisers will try to wrap the whole thing up in the next two days.
As for the draw, Kelly looks to have the advantage as he’ll face Australia Mitch Crews in Round 3 (Mitch admits to never having caught a wave at Pipe during freesurfs) while Mick will take on local standout Kaiman Jaquias.
Meanwhile, with the elimination of local favourite Ezekiel Lau in Round 1, the battle for the Vans Triple Crown title continues to heat up and Round 3 should see an awkward European match-up between Jeremy Flores and Michel Bourez, both of whom could potentially claim the title.