Perrow, 35, contested the grueling opening heat of the first day of the ASP World Championship Tour’s final event against local Pipeline specialist Valiere.
The veteran Australian surfer didn’t take advantage of the day’s six-to-eight foot waves at first, his struggles compounded by the fact that he broke his board in three places after a heavy wipeout.
But he took it in his stride, posting higher scores in the back half of his heat via tubes at both Pipeline and Backdoor to come out on top 15-9.5.
“That felt like a final,” Perrow said. “I was expecting Evan (Valiere) to pull off some bombs. He’s an unreal surfer out here. We were out of position on those sets, but I’m glad we were and he wasn’t in position. It was a nerve-wracking heat being in the first one of the event and I’m just glad to get the win.”
“My boards are both 6’2” but I’m bummed I broke the first one,” Perrow said. “It was shaped to be more like a 6’6”. This other one was a little small. I kind of free fell in to a few and I’m glad to get a couple of scores. I didn’t have anything before that.”
Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz, the current frontrunner for the Vans Triple, defeated fellow wildcard Glenn Hall of Ireland.
“I guess the thing that stuck out most in my mind in that heat was my wipeout,” Zietz said. “The thing just mowed me down. I found a couple of open ones in the end, so thank you Pipeline.
“I’m honored to put my names up there with the other guys that have won Haleiwa. I’ve never done well at Sunset, so making the final was a dream come true. I need to make a few more heats at Pipe and we’ll see what happens.”
Shane Dorian of Hawaii took day’s highest single-wave score of 9.17 out of 10 for a deep backdoor barrel in his heat against Patrick Gudauskas of the US.
“I always start off with a plan, but sometimes it doesn’t materialize,” Dorian said. “I try my best and hopefully get a few nuggets. The conditions were tricky with lots of bumps. I was happy to get that 9 and after that I was just playing defense. I broke my old faithful, I was bummed about that, but I just got spanked out there. It’s all good though, that’s what they’re for.”
The Billabong Pipe Masters, in Memory of Andy Irons, hosts the ASP Top 34 along with local wildcards all competing to requalify for the 2013 ASP Top 34. It is also the final event of the Vans Triple Crown.
The tournament will determine whether Joel Parkinson, Kelly Slater or Mick Fanning – all seeded straight through to round three -becomes world champion.
Round 1 results:
Heat 1: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.00 def. Evan Valiere (HAW) 9.50
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.50 def. Tyler Newton (HAW) 6.26
Heat 3: Kalani Chapman (HAW) 15.83 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 5.70
Heat 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 15.33 def. Flynn Novak (HAW) 9.76
Heat 5: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 8.43 def. Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 5.93
Heat 6: Billy Kemper (HAW) 11.00 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.17
Heat 7: Adam Melling (AUS) 11.66 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 7.73
Heat 8: Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 16.34 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.94
Heat 9: Shane Dorian (HAW) 14.50 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.83
Heat 10: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 14.73 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.84
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.34 def. Granger La rsen (HAW) 3.10
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.27 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.77
Round 2 results:
Heat 1: Kalani Chapman (HAW) 13.84 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.60
Heat 2: Billy Kemper (HAW) 9.33 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 5.04
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.17 def. Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 13.57
Remaining round 2 match-ups
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 6: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 7: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Fred Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 10: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 11: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 12: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)