Articles tagged with "Teahupoo"

PICS: Chopes goes stupid

Posted by: on March 30th, 2010

I don’t know that these pics need any comment really. They were taken from [update] footage shot by Marco-Antoine Bouvant and passed along to us by the irrepressible Mr Tim Bonython. and will no doubt turn up in a future film festival! That place is nuts!!! Apparently the footage will be on the telly tonight…

 

 

 

 

 

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Billabong Pro Tahiti Completes Eight Heats in Shifting Conditions

Posted by: on May 15th, 2009

 

 

Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, current ASP World No. 7, netted the day’s high heat total of a 15.33 out of a possible 20 in Round 2. Photo: ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, current ASP World No. 7, netted the day’s high heat total of a 15.33 out of a possible 20 in Round 2. Photo: ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

 

 

TEAHUPOO, Tahiti (Wednesday, May 13, 2009, Thursday in Australia) – The Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui navigated challenging weather patterns today, completing eight heats amidst varying wind and swell conditions.

 

Stop No. 3 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti ran the final two heats of Round 1 today before the opening six heats of Round 2 despite putting competition on hold at various points to wait out inclement weather.

 

“It was definitely a struggle out there today and I wasn’t very happy with what the weather was doing,” Luke Egan, Billabong Pro Contest Director, said. “The winds and swell were shifting quite a bit this morning which was frustrating, but the afternoons have been providing the best windows for running the contest so thankfully we were able to pick off a few heats at the end of the day.”

 

Despite the challenges faced today, the world’s best surfers logged some excellent performances.

 

Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, current ASP World No. 7, netted the day’s highest heat total of a 15.33 out of a possible 20, comboing his opponent Marlon Lipke (DEU), 25, with razor-sharp backhand tube sense en route to his Round 2 heat win.

 

“I actually thought Marlon (Lipke) started out with a really good one and that made me pretty nervous,” Burrow said. “I guess he wasn’t able to get deep enough and didn’t really get the score though. After that, I just had to select the ones that let me get in the tube long enough and was able to grab a couple of 7’s so it turned out well for me.”

 

Despite opening up the season with an equal 3rd, Burrow stumbled at Bells Beach with an equal 17th. The perennial ASP World Title contender will look to rebound in Tahiti, a venue that has historically been difficult for him.

 

“I’ve had an up and down start to this season,” Burrow said. “Went well on the Gold Coast and was unlucky at Bells and now we’re here at Teahupoo. I haven’t got a result out here in a few years, but I’m staying up the road at Papara with the Riou family and I’ve been putting some time into this event so hopefully it pays off.”

 

Burrow will face ASP Dream Tour veteran Kieren Perrow (AUS), 32, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti

 

Josh Kerr (AUS), 25, into his second jaunt on the elite ASP World Tour, caused the upset of the day, eliminating current ASP World No. 3 Fred Patacchia (HAW), 27, in the dying moments of their Round 2 bout. After sitting with priority for over 10 minutes, Kerr steamrolled through a backhand double barrel to get the highest single-wave score of the day, an 8.83 out of a possible 10, and come away with the win.

 

“It was a long wait being patient and there wasn’t really anything coming through,” Kerr said. “I was losing it a bit out there, but thankfully, I had priority when that set came through and the wave I took was the good one. I got the score and am stoked to move through.”

 

Kerr will battle Michael Campbell (AUS), 35, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

 

C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, former ASP World Champion (2001) and past winner at the Billabong Pro Tahiti (2004), dominated the opening heat of Round 2 today, netting a 14.50 out of a possible 20 to eliminate Phillip MacDonald (AUS), 30, from Billabong Pro Tahiti competition.

 

“Phil (MacDonald) and I had a free surf before and it was sunny and we got some fun ones then when we started the heat, the squall hit us,” Hobgood said. “He (MacDonald) sat there waiting for a wave that never came and I notched up some backup scores. You never want to win heat like that. It was unfortunate for him, but at the end of the day, that’s professional surfing sometimes.”

 

Currently rated No. 5 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, Hobgood is in an excellent position to capitalize at the infamous lefthanders of Teahupoo.

 

“I look forward to coming here every year and Tahiti is definitely one of my favorite stops on tour,” Hobgood said. “I’ve had a pretty good start to the year, but it’s going to take a lot to catch Joel (Parkinson) at this point. I’m hoping for a good result here.”

 

Hobgood will take on Jay Thompson (AUS), 25, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

 

Thompson, first replacement surfer on the ASP World Tour and current ASP World No. 14, continued his roll this season, eliminating dangerous young gun Jeremy Flores (FRA), 21, in Round 2 of competition today. Thompson secured the highest single-wave score of the day, an 8.83 out of a possible 10, for an excellent backhand pit.

 

“Jeremy (Flores) can be really, really dangerous out here,” Thompson said. “He’s spent a lot of time in Tahiti and knows the wave really well so I wasn’t taking him lightly at all. It’s pretty difficult out there, but you can still pick a couple in between the wind and rain. Fortunately for me, that one at the end really opened up and allowed me to get through.”

 

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start.

 

Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for a moderate WSW swell to continue through the next couple of days, with projected favorable winds for tomorrow.

 

When competition resumes, up first will be Taylor Knox (USA), 27, up against Kai Otton (AUS), 29, in Heat 7 of Round 2.

 

Highlights from today’s Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui will be available via www.billabongpro.com

 

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

 

REMAINING BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Heat 15: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.00 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.00

Heat 16: Mick Campbell (AUS) 15.84 def. Roy Powers (AUS) 5.87

 

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.50 def. Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 0.77

Heat 2: Jay Thompson (AUS) 13.83 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.37

Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.50 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 11.50

Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.33 def. Marlon Lipke (DEU) 6.67

Heat 5: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.16 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.50

Heat 6: Michael Campbell (AUS) 13.66 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.84

 

REMAINING BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)

Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Heiarii Williams (PYF)

Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)

Heat 10: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Dayyan Neve (AUS)

Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Dustin Barca (HAW)

Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)

Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)

Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)

Heat 15: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)

Heat 16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Tim Boal (FRA)

Lay Day for Billabong Pro Tahiti, Improved Conditions Forecast

Posted by: on May 11th, 2009

 

 

Marlon Lipke (DEU), 25, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie, was a standout in yesterday’s Round 1 action. The young goofy-footer will take on stalwart ASP World Tour veteran Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, in Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti when competition commences. Photo: ASP/ CI/ ROBERTSON via GETTY IMAGES

Marlon Lipke (DEU), 25, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie, was a standout in yesterday’s Round 1 action. The young goofy-footer will take on stalwart ASP World Tour veteran Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, in Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti when competition commences. Photo: ASP/ CI/ ROBERTSON via GETTY IMAGES

 

 

TEAHUPOO, Tahiti (Sunday, May 10, 2009, Monday in Australia) – The Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui has been called off for the day, with lumpy four-foot (1.5 metre) swell and onshore winds replacing the near-perfection of yesterday.

 

Stop No. 3 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti saw the opening 14 heats of the man-on-man elimination Round 1 completed yesterday, and with the forecast calling for improved conditions in the coming days, event organizers opted to hold competition off for the day.

 

“We obviously don’t have the idyllic conditions that graced us yesterday with the swell a bit lump and the wind onshore,” Luke Egan, Billabong Pro Contest Director, said. “We’ve called competition off for the day, but are monitoring swell and winds for the coming days and it looks like we may be running again soon. We’ll be back tomorrow morning to make another decision.”

 

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7am start.

 

When competition resumes, first up will be Heitor Alves (BRA), 27, against 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Michel Bourez (PYF), 23, in Heat 15 of Round 1.

 

Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for the current fetch of Southeasterly swell to pulse through the day with variable winds before being replaced by a more favorable WSW swell on Tuesday and Wednesday with improved winds.

 

Highlights from yesterday’s Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui are available at www.billabongpro.com

 

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

 

REMAINING BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 15: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

Heat 16: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)

 

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)

Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)

Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Marlon Lipke (DEU)

Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)

Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)

Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Heiarii Williams (PYF)

Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)

Heat 10: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Dustin Barca (HAW)

Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBA

Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)

Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 15: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)

Heat 16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Tim Boal (FRA)

Billabong Pro Tahiti Opens Up With Explosive Elimination Round 1

Posted by: on May 10th, 2009

 

 

Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, punctuated an exciting opening day of competition at the Billabong Pro Tahiti pres. by Air Tahiti Nui, collecting the highest heat total of the day in his Round 1 win over 2009 ASP World Tour rookie Nathaniel Curran (USA), 24. Photo: ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, punctuated an exciting opening day of competition at the Billabong Pro Tahiti pres. by Air Tahiti Nui, collecting the highest heat total of the day in his Round 1 win over 2009 ASP World Tour rookie Nathaniel Curran (USA), 24. Photo: ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

 

 

TEAHUPOO, Tahiti (Saturday, May 9, 2009, Sunday in Australia) – The Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui, Stop No. 3 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, got underway this morning, with the world’s best surfers contesting the first 14 heats of the elimination, man-on-man Round 1 in pulsing four-to-six foot (2 metre) barrels on offer at Teahupoo.

 

Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 19, took today’s top honors as he displayed sensational form for his Round 1 win over 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Nathaniel Curran (USA), 24. The Australian exhibited a preternatural rapport with the ledging Teahupoo lefthanders, netting an excellent 9.00 out of a possible 10 single-wave score en route to the highest heat total of the day (a 17.00 out of a possible 20).

 

“I just try to position myself well and try to get the set waves or rather the best one in the set,” Morrison said. “Just try to read it right and get deep in the tube. The secret is actually not taking off at the peak, but a little behind the peak so that you can edge into it. Just take off and hold on – that’s all you can do.”

 

In addition to putting up the biggest scores of the day, Morrison also entertained the throngs of spectators in the channel with the most spectacular wipeout of the round, a late drop to cart-wheeling inside the tube before being blasted towards the shallow reef.

 

“That wave was probably pretty funny from the channel,” Morrison said. “It was a bit of a late drop and I should have came more over my front foot, but I was on my backfoot and did a few summersaults in there. Fortunately, I was pretty deep and didn’t hit the bottom.”

 

Recovering from a devastating hip injury that saw Morrison sit out the last several events of the 2008 ASP World Tour season, the progressive natural-footer is on the mend and looking to claw himself back to the top of the ASP Top 45 ratings. Despite a disappointing equal 33rd place finish at the opening event of the season, Morrison has since rebounded, collecting an equal 9th at the second event before putting in today’s sterling performance.

 

“My recovery has been pretty good,” Morrison said. “The last few months, that’s been my main focus, rehabbing. It’s been hard work, but it’s been worth it. I still don’t feel like I’m surfing at 100%, but I am getting there and I feel like I’m getting stronger every day.”

 

Andy Irons (HAW), 30, former three-time ASP World Champion, is on sabbatical from full-time competition this season, but accepted a wildcard into the Billabong Pro Tahiti, where the powerful Hawaiian dispatched of Brazilian Jihad Khodr, 25, convincingly, netting an impressive 8.67 out of a possible 10 for a sizzling backhand pit

 

The win feels good,” Irons said. “It’s been four months since I put a jersey on and it still fits. Surfing fun-sized Teahupoo with one other guy out, there’re no complaints. I’m stoked to get through and looking forward to the next one.”

 

Irons, a past winner at the Billabong Pro Tahiti (2002), will face last year’s ASP World Tour Runner-Up Bede Durbidge (AUS), 26, in Round 2 when competition recommences.

 

“It’s going to be really hard against Bede (Durbidge),” Irons said. “He is a really focused competitor. I’m not worried though. I’m not here competing for points or anything like that. I’m just here having fun and I’ll be stoked to surf against him.”

 

Heiarii Williams (PYF), 22, Von Zipper Trials winner and wildcard in the Billabong Pro Tahiti, continued his devastating roll today, ousting 2009 ASP World Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 9, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 23, in Round 1 of competition.

 

“The Hawaiians just gave me that nickname, “Master”, and I’m pretty happy to get through that heat and I hope to keep going,” Williams said. “I just feel natural out there. It’s great for me because all the locals are here in the channel, screaming my name and it makes me feel really comfortable.”

 

Williams will take on current ASP World No. 1 Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, in Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

 

Kai Otton (AUS), 29, current ASP World No. 19, eliminated defending Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Bruno Santos (BRA), 26, from competition in a hard-fought Round 1 battle. The two goofy-footers went toe-to-toe in one of the more exciting heats of the day, with Otton besting the Brazilian 14.40 to 12.60.

 

“I knew I was going to have a wildcard heading into this event and I wasn’t sure who, but you just have to stick to your game plan and not worry about it,” Otton said. “Fortunately for me, I was able to get the better of Bruno (Santos) on a few waves and I’m extremely happy. I think you can tell which waves are going to be really hollow – they’re thicker and they stand up on the reef a bit more. Those are the ones you’ve got to get. It was a big heat for me and I’m really pleased to get through.”

 

Otton will face Taylor Knox (USA), 37, in Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti when competition resumes.

 

Marlon Lipke (DEU), 25, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie and the first German national to ever contest at the elite level of surfing, finally found his feet today, posting his first ever ASP Dream Tour win over fellow rookie Drew Courtney (AUS), 30.

 

“I haven’t had the best season on tour yet but I’m learning.” Lipke said. “I think being on my forehand here helps a lot. I have never been here before, but we have some pretty hollow waves in Europe and Portugal that I’ve been able to train on and I’ve been to the Mentawais a few times so that has helped with my reef surfing.”

 

Lipke’s bold forehand approach saw the young goofy-footer collect strong scores of a 7.17 and a 7.83, blending excellent wave sense and tube knowledge with aggressive carves and top turns, as he advanced into Round 2.

 

“It’s beautiful,” Lipke said. “I think the swell is coming in Easterly so it’s not perfect, but the ones that come through are outstanding. It’s an incredible thing to be here at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, getting barreled and advancing through my heat.”

 

Lipke will face standout ASP Dream Tour veteran Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, in Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti when competition recommences.

 

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7am start.

 

When competition resumes, up first will be Heitor Alves (BRA), 27, up against 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Michel Bourez (PYF), 23, in Heat 15 of Round 1.

 

Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for the current fetch of Southeasterly swell to continue to increase throughout tomorrow with variable winds.

 

Highlights from today’s Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui are available at www.billabongpro.com

 

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

 

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Tim Reyes (USA) 3.90 def. Mikael Picon (FRA) 3.23

Heat 2: Ben Dunn (AUS) 16.00 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.97

Heat 3: Dean Morrison (AUS) 17.00 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 8.40

Heat 4: Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 12.10 def. Chris Ward (USA) 10.56

Heat 5: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 15.00 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 5.90

Heat 6: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.57 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.67

Heat 7: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 13.10 vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.16

Heat 8: Heiarii Williams (PYF) 14.17 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 5.70

Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.40 def. Bruno Santos (BRA) 12.60

Heat 10: Andy Irons (AUS) 14.50 def. Jihad Khodr (BRA) 4.77

Heat 11: Dustin Barca (HAW) 10.94 def. David Weare (ZAF) 6.77

Heat 12: Jay Thompson (AUS) 14.00 def. Greg Emslie (ZAF) 4.37

Heat 13: Tim Boal (FRA) 7.24 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 6.93

Heat 14: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.50 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.03

 

REMAINING BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 15: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

Heat 16: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)

 

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)

Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)

Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Marlon Lipke (DEU)

Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)

Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)

Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Heiarii Williams (PYF)

Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)

Heat 10: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Dustin Barca (HAW)

Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBA

Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)

Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 15: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)

Heat 16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Tim Boal (FRA) 

Parkinson Leads ASP Top 45 into the Jaws of the Billabong Pro Tahiti

Posted by: on May 8th, 2009

 

 

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, current ASP World No. 1, will look to further cement his ratings’ lead at the 2009 Billabong Pro Teahupoo. Photo: ASP/ CI/ WILSON via GETTY IMAGES

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, current ASP World No. 1, will look to further cement his ratings’ lead at the 2009 Billabong Pro Teahupoo. Photo: ASP/ CI/ WILSON via GETTY IMAGES

 

 

TEAHUPOO, Tahiti (Thursday, May 7, 2009) – The 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui is days away from commencing with the world’s best surfers descending upon the tiny town of Teahupoo at ‘the end of the road’ for Stop No. 3 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, running from May 9 – 20, 2009.

 

This year’s event will run the new format, seeding all competitors directly into man-on-man elimination heats, with the Top 16 seeded directly into Round 2 while the remaining surfers battle it out in Round 1.

 

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, current ASP World No. 1, has been in devastating form this season, collecting two wins in two events with an eye on an inaugural ASP World Title. The phenomenal natural-footer has demonstrated incredible focus thus far and is the frontrunner heading into Tahiti.

 

“The difference this year has been my understanding of what it takes to get the best out of myself and then my desire to do what it takes,” Parkinson said. “Making sure that every day, I am better prepared than what I was the day before and that preparation is specific to each contest that I compete in.”

 

Parkinson’s recent results at the Billabong Pro Tahiti have been impressive, netting equal 3rd place finishes in 2007 and 2008, establishing himself as a legitimate contender at Teahupoo.

 

“I do feel like over the years I have become more familiar with the wave and whilst Teahupoo is never predictable, it is reassuring to know that I have done the work here before.” Parkinson said. “I am excited to go back there this year and build on my results from the last two years.”

 

Despite his excellent results this season and his solid track record at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Parkinson is wary of the many challenges he’ll face as the world’s best surfers angle for a result in Teahupoo’s ledging lefthanders.

 

“I think everyone will be in the mix for a win,” Parkinson said. “Remember, it is only the third event so everyone is still keen to do well – myself included. But on an individual side of things, the wildcards will be sure to shake things up like they have the first two events. Andy Irons will be challenging for the title. And of course Mick (Fanning) will be a threat because he is the best surfer right now and probably the hungriest.” 

 

Parkinson is seeded directly into Round 2, where he’ll meet one of the advancing surfers from Round 1.

 

Fred Patacchia (HAW), 27, current ASP World No. 3, has been in sizzling form this season, racking up a 9th and a 3rd in his first two events on the ASP World Tour before collecting an impressive win at the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime 6.0 Lowers Pro in Southern California over the weekend.

 

“I’ve been really focusing on my backhand surfing,” Patacchia said. “My first couple years on tour, I felt like my backhand attack wasn’t good enough. I’d go into a heat feeling negative and defeated. This year, I’m feeling confident and more prepared. I’ve made some slight changes with my boards and that’s made a big difference. No big plans for Tahiti, just pull in deep and come out. Not much to it.”

 

Patacchia came as close as runner-up in Tahiti in 2006, but the young Hawaiian is keen to improve his personal best at the infamous lefthander in hopes of maintaining a solid footing in the ASP World Tour ratings.

 

“I love getting shacked,” Patacchia said. “Tahiti is one event I’d love to win. I don’t necessarily feel comfortable, but I know for a fact I feel more comfortable than most of the Top 45. I’d love to break into single digits. I’m sick of getting second. I want to win an event.”

 

Patacchia is seeded directly into Round 2, where he’ll meet one of the advancing surfers from Round 1.

 

Bruno Santos (AUS), defending event champion who surfed from the trials to the title in 2008, will join former three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 30, and Von Zipper Trials Winner Heiarii Williams (PYF) as wildcards in the 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

 

Santos, Irons and Williams will face Kai Otton (AUS), 29, Jihad Khodr (BRA), 25, and Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 23, respectively in Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

 

Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are tracking a head-high Southwest swell for the upcoming weekend before a stronger system moves into place early the following week.

 

The Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui boasts a waiting period from May 9 through May 20, 2009.

 

The event webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com

 

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

 

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Mikael Picon (FRA)

Heat 2: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)

Heat 3: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Nathaniel Curran (USA)

Heat 4: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)

Heat 5: Drew Courtney (AUS) vs. Marlon Lipke (DEU)

Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)

Heat 7: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

Heat 8: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) vs. Heiarii Williams (PYF)

Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Bruno Santos (BRA)

Heat 10: Jihad Khodr (BRA) vs. Andy Irons (AUS)

Heat 11: David Weare (ZAF) vs. Dustin Barca (HAW)

Heat 12: Jay Thompson (AUS) vs. Greg Emslie (ZAF)

Heat 13: Tim Boal (FRA) vs. Nic Muscroft (AUS)

Heat 14: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)

Heat 15: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)

Heat 16: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)

 

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBA

Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. TBA

Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 10: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBA

Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBA

Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. TBA

Heat 15: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBA

Heat 16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. TBA

 

Drollet, Irons and the Hawaiians Dominate At Teahupoo Trials

Posted by: on May 6th, 2009

 

 

Bruce Irons (Hawaii), back in competitive mode and progressing through to round three at the Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupoo. Photo: Steve Robertson

Bruce Irons (Hawaii), back in competitive mode and progressing through to round three at the Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupoo. Photo: Steve Robertson

 

 

Teahupoo, Tahiti —  WITH one wildcard spot up for grabs for next weeks Billabong Pro Tahiti, 32 international surfers have matched up against 32 Tahitians on day one of the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials at Teahupoo.

 

In clean 1.5-2m waves, it was the overseas challengers who dominated opening day proceedings as competition moved from round one, through to heat four of round three. 

 

Former world tour competitor Bruce Irons (HAW) showed why he is regarded as one of the most dangerous surfers at Teahupoo by winning through two trials heats and booking a spot in the third round.  (the final four heats of round three are yet to be surfed)

 

Having not surfed a competitive heat since 2008, Irons grabbed a last ditch tube ride in his second round heat to scrape through behind proven Teahupoo specialist Damien Wills (AUS).  Eliminated from the heat were Tahitian duo David Dandois and Heifara Tahutini.

 

“I haven’t surfed a heat for seven months, the first time since high school I ‘ve had that sort of break, but watching Bells and Snapper over the internet made me want to pull a rash vest on again,” said Irons.  “Every time I came here to surf the main event the trials were pumping, so I figured I’d quit the tour and come do the trials, hasn’t really worked out that way yet though.”

 

“It was really slow out there, but Tahiti’s always nice to get away to, so I’m not complaining.”

 

He will now face Nick Vasicek (AUS) Niuhi Marere (PYF) and Heremoana Luciani (PYF) in round three.  Should he win the trials, he will surf alongside Brother Andy, who has been given a direct wildcard into the main event.

 

Fellow Hawaiian Mark Healey was another standout performer on the opening day, winning through three rounds to progress into the final 16 surfers.  A perfect display of small wave tube riding in his round three heat saw him take an impressive victory over live-wire goofy footer Clay Marzo (HAW), eliminating Tahitian surfers Steven Pierson and Germain Tuataa.

 

Hawaiian surfers excelled on day one of the VonZipper Trials, with six surfers still in contention for the wildcard slot into the Billabong Pro.  Joining Irons, Marzo and Healey to progress were Kamalei Alexander, Reef McIntosh and Kalani Chapman. 

 

Australian surfers also fared well on the opening day with the Sunshine Coast duo of Wade Goodall and Mark Visser both winning their round three match-ups.

 

The 2008 trials at Teahupoo left Goodall with 8 staples in his head after a nasty encounter with the reef, but his opening day in 2009 proved friendlier, winning through three heats in fine style.

 

“I’ve only got one cut so far, I’m normally good at hacking myself up, but it hasn’t got that big yet,” said Goodall.  “Every heat has been really hard today, on the high tide it was pinching a lot and not really tubing, but it was better later this afternoon on the outgoing tide.”

 

“There are so many good surfers in this event, now that the numbers have been cut down from 80 to 64, everyone in it is really good at surfing Teahupoo, there are no walk through heats in this contest.”

 

Fellow Australians still in the event include Nick Vasicek (Gold Coast) and 2008 semi finalist Damien Wills (Copacabana).

 

2007 trials winner and 2008 Billabong Pro runner up Manoa Drollet progressed unharmed through his opening heat of competition, posting a comfortable win over Ricardo Santos (BRA), and compatriots Jean-Claude Rota and Teiva Mare in round three. 

 

In conditions that were virtually identical to the final of the Billabong Pro last year, the top seeded Drollet used smart barrel riding to easily win through to the final 16 surfers.

 

“It was just like the final of the Billabong Pro last year, it was slow, but still some little waves,” said Drollet.  “I am feeling good, but it all comes down to who gets the best waves, especially here at Teahupoo.”

 

The Tahitian spectators were given another reason to celebrate late in the afternoon with local hero Alain Riou progressing into round four behind Australian Mark Visser.

 

The fast surfing goofy footer threaded a deep tube ride late in the heat to scrape into second and eliminate compatriot Marama Darrouzes and Australian hot-shot Julian Wilson. 

 

 “It wasn’t easy but it was a lot better than this morning,” said Riou.  “I was expecting some great barrels but it didn’t really happen as I planned, it was a slow heat but I got two good waves and made it through.”

 

“For the Tahitians this is their one big time heat all year, their chance to get known by the outside world so they feel like they have a lot to prove,” he said.  “Tahiti is a long way away from the surfing world and they definitely feel like they have a chance to show themselves, it is a great event for the Tahitian people.”

 

The Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials will finalise tomorrow, Wednesday 6th May.  The winner will be awarded a wildcard to face the top 45 surfers on earth when the Billabong Pro Tahiti main event starts on May 9.  A full list of today’s results can be found at this linkhttp://www.billabongpro.com/tahiti09/results.php

 

Bruce Irons. Photo: Steve Robertson

Bruce Irons. Photo: Steve Robertson

 

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