The world’s best surfers are preparing for one of the most critical events of the year, the Tahiti Pro, presented by Hurley, at the infamous left hand reef break of Teahupo’o from August 21 – September 1, 2019.
Kolohe Andino (USA), current WSL Jeep Rankings’ Leader, has delivered well in recent seasons at Teahupo’o, finishing 5th, 3rd and 5th at the event in the past three seasons.
“Tahiti is a really special event for me,” Andino said. “It’s a place where I grew up watching guys like Andy (Irons) and Kelly (Slater) absolutely dominate. It’s a spot I really wanted to get good at and I love coming here. I’ve had some decent results in recent years, but I want a win. That’s always the goal and a win helps the Title campaign. Hope we get some solid surf.”
Andino will look to cement his frontrunner-status – the first Californian male to do so in 23 years (since Shane Beschen in 1996) – as contenders Filipe Toledo (BRA), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) and Jordy Smith (ZAF)look to gain ground in the hunt for the 2019 World Title.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), reigning two-time WSL Champion and defending Tahiti Pro winner, had a stalled start to the season, hampered by back-to-back 17th place finishes in Bali and Margaret River.
However, the current WSL No. 7 and defending Tahiti Pro winner, is coming off a victory in Jeffreys Bay at the Corona Open JBay and will look to build on that momentum heading into the South Pacific.
Medina faces rookies Peterson Cristano (BRA) and Soli Bailey (AUS) in the opening heat of the Round 1.
John John Florence (HAW), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITL) and Mikey Wright (AUS) have withdrawn from the event due to ongoing injuries and will be replaced by Caio Ibelli (BRA), Francisco Morais (PRT), and Tahitian Matahi Drollet (PYF). Drollet will be placed into the draw once the trials are complete.
The two remaining places in the draw will be determined via the Tahiti Pro Trials, a 32-man, one-day trials event that will take place between August 16 and 18.
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o pres. by Hurley Seeding Round (Round 1) Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Peterson Cristanto (BRA), Soli Bailey (AUS)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), TBD
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), TBD
Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (USA), Yago Dora (BRA), TBD
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA), Deivid Silva (BRA), Francisco Morais (PRT)
Heat 8: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Willian Cardoso (BRA), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 12: Conner Coffin (USA), Seth Moniz (HAW), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Tahiti Pro Past Winners:
2018: Gabriel Medina (BRA)
2017: Julian Wilson (AUS)
2016: Kelly Slater (USA)
2015: Jeremy Flores (FRA)
2014: Gabriel Medina (BRA)
2013: Adrian Buchan (AUS)
2012: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2011: Kelly Slater (USA)
2010: Andy Irons (HAW)
2009: Bobby Martinez (USA)
2008: Bruno Santos (BRA)
2007: Damien Hobgood (USA)
2006: Bobby Martinez (USA)
2005: Kelly Slater (USA)
2004: C.J. Hoobgood (USA)
2003: Kelly Slater (USA)
2002: Andy Irons (HAW)
2001: Cory Lopez (USA)
2000: Kelly Slater (USA)
1999: Kelly Slater (USA)