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The 2011 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout champion John John Florence was sick at Pipe -- literally. The 18-year-old, North Shore native experienced vomitting the day before, and woke up on the final day with a fever. A west/northwest swell brought heavy 10 to 12-foot bombs to Pipeline. Florence hydrated in the morning, and rallied in the fourth and last round of competition yesterday.
John John Florence was sick figuratively, as well. Righs were rare, but Florence found a double-overhead Backdoor barrel in a clutch moment. He pulled in from the takeoff, stalled, pumped, exited the tube cleanly, and the judges rewarded him with a 12.4 out of a possible 13 points.
|A fever-ridden John John Florence found one of the few Backdoor pits of the day.|
"The wind was kind of turning on and I knew I had to get something big to get a ten," said Florence about the his winning ride at Backdoor, "I'd seen that right coming and I was so stoked -- I almost fell on the drop just thinking about it. There weren't too many rights coming that day, that one just came to me and I got lucky."
Contest officials added an extra point to the final day's scores to offset the high scores from the first day of competition when the waves were significantly smaller. While it tightened the race to the top spot, John John Florence seemed to have the 2011 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout victory locked up since round one.
On the first day of competion and in his first heat, Florence caught a 10.5 and 10.25 by skillfully naviagting two Pipeline tubes. He boosted his overall score on the final day by adding the 12.4 Backdoor barrel. Florence won the 2011 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout with a three-wave total of 33.15 out of a possible 37 points.
|Wednesday was one of the heaviest days at Pipe all winter.|
Florence's teammate, Kalani Chapman, caught arguably the best barrel of the winter yesterday in the third round.
"That wave was the best wave of the contest by far," said Florence about Kalani Champan»s 12.4 Pipeline barrel.
Chapman finished runner-up and took home $20,000. In the process, he caught "one of the best waves of my life out here" in the third round. Chapman surfs Pipe whenever it's breaking, but the 28-year-old from the North Shore admits that his wave yesterday morning was something special.
"I was on my 8'6" Rusty, I paddled as hard as I could with all my might, ended up catching it, elevator dropped into this massive barrel and it just spit. It was definitely a very good wave," explained Chapman. "It's all got to come together and it's a very special thing that happens. You»re dealing with Mother Nature and you feel alive after making a wave like that, because it coudl kill you."
|Makai McNamara falling out of the sky.|
Champion, Florence, Nathan Fletcher and Sion Milosky made up the Vans Team who was awarded the overall team title of the 2011 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout and an orginal Christian Lassen painting.2011 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout Results