Cosy contenders and the world title assassin who carries a knife.
No one could ever fault Adriano de Souza’s passion and desire to win his maiden world title. Before the siren sounded for the end of the Pipeline Invitational yesterday, Adriano was paddling out.
Sensing that it was his best chance to score a few waves without the crowds, Adriano looked determined to be the first in the lineup as 12 footers still washed through from the third reef.
Looking to gain the best possible insight into the wave that will determine his fate, Adriano has also chosen to stay with Pipe aficionado Jamie O’Brien in Hawaii. While Jamie O’ was clutching his knife-sprayed, pink gun* after earning his own spot in the main event, Tracks quizzed him about his connection to Adriano and his stance on the world title race. Jamie’s loyalties seemed a little divided.
“I’ve known Mick Fanning for a long time. He’s a really good friend from when I was just a little kid.
I’m pretty excited to maybe see him win or Adriano. Adriano’s staying with me so I’d be super stoked if he won the world title as well. Just to share that feeling with him while he’s staying at my house and the Mana* and the whole reason why he’s staying at my house. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and he got an amazing wave today.”
When pressed about his capacity to influence the outcome and whether or not he enjoyed being the potential spoiler, Jamie took a humble but honest stance.
“I don’t look at it like I’m a spoiler. I'm just here to surf the event. If things go my way that’s just what happens. I don't want to pose a threat to any of them but it’s just my job and I can’t let them beat me.”
Jamie will come up against Filipe Toledo and Kolohe Andino in round one of the main event. Although the losers will have the chance to surf again in round two, it’s a heat with big implications.
Filipe is obviously a contender for the title while Kolohe’s ability to double qualify at Pipe will directly determine whether or not Stu Kennedy is bumped up a place on the WQS and makes the cut for the tour next year.
Jamie O’ will be getting barrelled to help his bro’s Mick and Adriano but ultimately he wants nothing more than another Pipe Masters trophy. The battle for the unofficial tag of Mr Pipeline is almost a separate duel between John John and Jamie. Victory in this event, with John John competing, might just put Jamie a fin in front.
*Jamie O’s explanation for the big, gnarly Rambo knife spray on his board. My friend Ben drew it up and the whole idea behind it was that we always call our boards blades.“You know, ‘how’s these blades so let’s just draw knives on them' … this one’s the Rambo camo’ knife."
*Mana is a Hawaiian word associated with the spiritual force of a person, animal or thing. To have mana is to have a higher form or almost supernatural source of influence, power and authority.