“Mikey [Bruneau] and I agreed this morning that we got some of the best Pipe waves of our lives in that final,” 4th place finalist Fred Patacchia says. “If that was work, I would have put in overtime all day.”
For 19-year-old Tom Dosland, work paid off during the Hansen’s Energy Pro as Pipeline put on its best show of the season for the North Shore’s final ‘QS of the 03/04 contest season. Dosland, of Haiku, Maui, took advantage of the long awaited epic conditions and drove deep for the10K winning purse, 1500 ‘QS points and 9th place slot in the World Qualifying Series ratings.
It had been a long time since a contest at Pipe saw so many straight days of mind-blowing barrels. But considering this year’s sloppy track record, you could say that it was about frickin’ time.
Wednesday the 18th began with heavy conditions for the opening rounds as Pipe still resembled that unfavorable face we have been familiar with for months now. By Thursday and Friday the weather and swell improved to true Hawaiian form and by Saturday Pipeline was epic, pumping in 10-12 foot glassy super-tubes. But just before the danger of Pipe could be overlooked amongst such pristine conditions, South African charger Daniel Redman had a close call with the reef that earned him a trip to the hospital where he was treated and released for a broken eardrum and more than a few gashes.
Despite Pipe’s common yet unfriendly reminder of who’s boss on the North Shore, she just kept getting better, leaving Sunday’s soldiers pitted in the day of the year – literally.
“The beginning days of the contest were pretty gnarly,” Tom Dosland says. “But then the winds got light and swell direction was perfect: those waves were probably the best waves for a contest that I’ve ever been in.”
By finals time, however, Dosland didn’t let his ticket to this unreal pipe final unnerve him.
“I don’t even know which wave secured the win,” Dosland says. “All of the lefts were so good. Those were some of the best barrels I’ve ever gotten.”
Must have been, because in the aftermath Dosland’s combined total of 16.83 forced his buddy Mikey Bruneau to settle for second, Pancho Sullivan 3rd and Fred Patacchia 4th.
“[In the final] it didn’t matter who got the good one, but who got the deepest,” Fred Patacchia says. “And Tom just happened to get the deepest.”
Dosland’s jump from 153rd to 9th in the ‘QS after Sunday’s win seems to beg the question: Do we see Tom doing a little overtime for a possible ‘CT career?
“I planned to do all the ‘QS’s in Oz and the Trestles contest before I even won on Sunday,” Dosland says, shaking off that taunting WCT question. “It’s just too early to seriously think about the ‘CT, but it’s definitely in the back of my mind now.” — Andrew Lewis