After dispatching Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the final at the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal last week, defending world surfing champ Mick Fanning (AUS) finds himself only 3,450 points behind current World #1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) in a tight race for the 2014 ASP World Title. Sitting in third place is Kelly Slater (USA), seeking his world-record 12th world title, 3,050 points behind Fanning and 6,500 behind Medina (10,000 points awarded to contest winners, 8,000 to 2nd place, and 6,500 to 3rd place). World number one Medina was dealt an early upset by Brett Simpson (USA) in the third round, while Slater fell to Aritz Aranburu (SPA) in Round 4. Fanning’s victory in Peniche knocked Slater from second to third in the world rankings.
With the final World Tour event of the year approaching in December at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii, the ASP breaks down the following scenarios, and it all begins and ends with Gabriel Medina on the North Shore:
- Medina must finish 2nd or better at the Billabong Pipe Masters to clinch the 2014 ASP World Title.
- Should Medina finish 3rd, Fanning will need to win the event, forcing Slater out of contention.
- Should Medina finish 5th, Fanning will need to win the event, forcing Slater out of contention.
- Should Medina finish 9th, Fanning will need to finish 2nd or better, forcing Slater out of contention.
- Should Medina finish 13th or 25th, Fanning needs to finish 3rd to win or 5th, sending the title race into a one-heat “surf-off” between himself and Medina.
- Should Medina finish 13th or 25th, Slater needs to win the event to claim his 12th ASP World Title.
The Billabong Pipe Masters runs Dec. 8-20 on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Tune in to watch the event live on the ASP website.