North Shore local grom Finn McGill won the Pipe Trials and will compete in the Billabong Pipe Masters. McGill competed against a highly skilled lineup of Pipe specialists and experienced competitors looking to earn a spot in the Pipe Masters. His unexpected win made him a new teenage sensation in surfing. He nabbed the win from fellow finalists Gavin Beschen, Joshua Moniz, and Victor Bernardo,
McGill went into the finals after a tight semifinal win over Nathan Florence. He was on a tear and looked unstoppable, getting three of the highest scoring rides in the 35-minute heat and leaving the rest of the finals competitors in a combo situation. Gavin Beschen, who finished second, will also compete in the Pipe Masters along with McGill and WSL wildcards Frederico Morais and Bruce Irons.
Finn McGill’s last minute magic in the SemiFinal of Men’s Pipe Invitational
It looked like last year’s event winner Jack Robinson would win the even after Mason Ho, last year’s trials runner-up failed to progress through the opening round, and when Jamie O’Brien, a Pipe favorite lost in the quarter-finals. The West Oz charger was fired up through the early round but had a slow heat in the semifinals and failed to progress further. This opened a door of opportunity for the remaining hopefuls Hawaiian underdog Joshua Moniz, a veteran backdoor stand-out Gavin Beschen, Brazilian QS campaigner, Victor Bernardo, and local grom Finn McGill.
Replay of Men’s Pipe Invitational Final
McGill, started the Final heat with a skillful opening barrel. Then he backed it up again with an even better barrel ride later in the heat to secure his lead. McGill finished with a total heat score of 13.93 and was the only one among the Finalists to finish with a double-digit heat score. This win adds to the grom’s incredible winter season, who previously appeared in the final of HIC Pro at Sunset earlier in the season, where he finished fourth.
Finn McGill will be matched up against WSL World No. 3 Jordy Smith and fellow Hawaiian Keanu Asing. The entire surfing community is watching out for the young North Shore grom, eager to see how he will fare against the world’s best surfers in one of the most dangerous waves in the planet.