On Monday, surfer Michel Bourez dominated a stacked field at the famed Pipeline break on the North Shore of Oahu to win the 2016 Billabong Pipe Masters.
Finals day on the last stop of the 2016 World Surf League Samsung Galaxy Men’s Championship Tour began with variable, unpredictable swell, however it ended up being a great day of competition.
And the 30-year-old Tahitian managed it perfectly, consistently posting some of the highest scores on the day to take out some of the biggest names in the world of surfing en route to his first-ever Pipe Masters win.
Starting in round five, Bourez defeated Filipe Toledo, world champion John John Florence and Kolohe Andino, before taking out 19-year-old rookie on Tour Kanoa Igarashi in the finals. From round five to the semifinals, Bourez didn’t post a heat score lower than 15 and scored over an 8.5 on four of his six scoring waves.
In the finals, Pipeline went flat, and it seemed nearly impossible to find waves. Bourez ultimately bested Igarashi by registering a 7.53 heat score compared to Igarashi’s 6.17.
“I still don’t believe [I won] because it was so small and it just stopped breaking,” Bourez told the WSL’s Rosy Hodge after winning the final. “At the end of the day I’m just happy to be here.”
When asked about his plans for the rest of the night, an emotional Bourez — whose wife recently gave birth to their son, Nikaea Bourez — said he was ready to unwind.
“I’m just going to regroup and have a really big party tonight,” Bourez told Hodge. “I’m really tired.”