Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti was completed over the weekend in clean 4 – 6 foot waves at Teahupo’o.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti is facing a historic week of swell projected for the event, a fitting setting for the current ASP World Title Race as well as for those surfers looking to retain their spot amongst the world’s elite after the September rotation.
C.J. Hobgood (USA) current No. 18 on the ASP World Rankings, certainly shook things up today, dispatching current frontrunner in the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title, Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Round 1 of competition.
“The wind got good which allows you to push it a little further up the point and the waves turned on,” Hobgood said. “I’d like to take a little bit of credit, but the ocean did a lot of work out there. Joel (Parkinson) had a wave that could have been a 10 if he had come out so they’re definitely out there.”
Hobgood netted the day’s high heat total of a 19.37 out of a possible 20, including a near-perfect 9.87 out of a possible 10 single-wave score, for a blistering forehand assault amidst Teahupo’o’s fanging lefthanders.
“There’s a lot going on out in the barrel at Teahupo’o and the trick is to slow everything down as much as possible,” Hobgood said. “I guess at that point, you rely on instinct to get you through. Very happy to get through that heat and I’ll focus on Round 3.”
Travis Logie (ZAF), 32, current No. 44 on the ASP World Rankings, gained entry into the Billabong Pro Tahiti at the 11th hour with the withdrawal of Bobby Martinez (USA), 29.
The South African embarked on a white-knuckle trip from Europe to Tahiti, showing up with less that 10 hours before his heat. The trip has already proven fruitful though, with Logie taking out his Round 1 heat and moving directly into Round 3.
“I got the call about 24 hours ago from Renato Hickel (ASP World Tour Manager) and got on the next plane from Europe,” Logie said. “I was over there competing in the 6-Star events and opted to take the opportunity in Tahiti. I don’t have any boards or any equipment so I used my good friend Alain Riou’s board his morning and it felt pretty good.”
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 23, current No. 2 on the ASP World Title Rankings, kept his 2011 campaign red-hot today, putting on a commanding backhand performance en route to his Round 1 victory. The young South African was enthusiastic with today’s conditions and excited for the swell on the horizon.
“I’ve been here most of the day and I’ve just been psyching to get out there,” Smith said. “It’s so much fun – just perfect, blue barrels. I’m so happy to be here in Tahiti and the forecast looks pretty amazing. We’ll see how it pans out.”
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Cory Lopez (USA) 12.83, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.47, Chris Davidson (AUS) 4.67
Heat 2: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.83, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.73, Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.27
Heat 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 16.07, Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.40, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.73
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.23, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.97, Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.97
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.36, Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 14.47, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.47
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.96, Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.07, Heiarii Williams (PYF) 10.47
Heat 7: Kai Otton (AUS) 11.47, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.53, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.33
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 19.38, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.60, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.33
Heat 9: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.90, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.10
Heat 10: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.73, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.10, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.83
Heat 11: Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.76, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.63, Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.17
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.50, Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.84, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.27
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Heiarii Williams (PYF)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 9: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 10: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)