Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey was shot out of some big hollow Backdoor Pipeline barrels at the Volcom Pipe Pro, a WSL Men’s Qualifying Series 5,000 event.
Bailey won the event in 2017 and this time around scored two excellent waves, an 8.53 and 8.00, in the first few minutes of his round four heat, allowing him to lock onto an early lead.
The NW swell continued to build all morning and seemed to jump during the heat to deliver clean barrels that pushed wave face heights above four metres.
‘That was a pleasure to get to surf out there, the heat to dream of for sure,’ said Bailey.
‘I sat and watched a few heats this morning and saw a lot of really good rides go unridden from people sitting underneath and not getting out to them far enough. So that was strictly my game plan, to just go and find them, I knew they were all there’.
With a mission to hunt the biggest and best right-handers, Bailey’s first Backdoor ride saw him take the high line for a successful shot into the channel. Following this, he swung right into the next barrel, which he described as ‘that perfect Backdoor wave.’
‘It was a proper cone,’ Bailey continued. ‘I was about to stand up and there was a rib that I had to pump over and then a little foam ball bounced me, and then it was just all joy and fun, just drive the Ferrari through.’
Unfortunately for Soli the final day of competition saw poor conditions and he couldn’t find a good second score in the very difficult waves. Bailey finished in equal 17th place, scoring 1000 QS points and US$1275 in prize money.