The world’s best surfers tackled solid 6 – 8 foot plus waves at the infamous lefthander of Teahupo’o yesterday as the Billabong Pro Tahiti completed Round 2 and the opening three heats of Round 3.
Event No. 5 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Title season, the Billabong Pro Tahiti ran in some of the biggest surf ever in the event’s 13 year history today, with some phenomenal performances logged by the ASP Top 34.
Jeremy Flores (FRA) current No. 15 on the 2011 ASP World Title rankings, proved to be the most in-form surfer of the day, surviving the opening heat of the morning in terrifying conditions local wildcard against Heiarii Williams (PYF) before besting lethal replacement surfer Cory Lopez (USA), 34, in Round 3 of competition.
“This morning was one of the gnarliest heats I’ve ever had in my life,” Flores said. “I was sitting out there with Heiarii (Williams), who is one of the best heavy wave surfers ever, and he got an incredible wipeout. It’s not perfect, it’s windy and it’s messy and it’s scary. I spent a lot of time underwater in that morning heat and I hit the reef and I was just happy to survive the lineup.”
The day would host a bevy of major upsets in the context of the 2011 ASP World Title Race with three of the Top 5 eliminated in Round 2 of competition.
Brett Simpson (USA), 26, current ASP World No. 31, caused the upset of the event, dispatching the current frontrunner in the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title, Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, in Round 2 of competition.
With the loss, Parkinson has relinquished his position as frontrunner on the 2011 ASP World Title rankings.
Ricardo dos Santos (BRA), 21, caused another major upset this morning, sending current No. 5 on the ASP World Title rankings, Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, packing in Round 2 of competition.
Michel Bourez (PYF), 25, current No. 7 on the ASP World Title Rankings, utilized his superior local knowledge today to thread some impressive barrels on his backhand, netting a 17.04 out of a possible 20, en route to Round 3.
When competition resumes, up first will be Michel Bourez (PYF), 25, up against Dusty Payne (HAW), 22, in Heat 4 of Round 3.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for an even larger and very solid, long period SSW swell to show Saturday, fading Sunday. Another solid SSW swell could move in on Monday, before easing Tuesday. Moderate E trades prevail Saturday before backing down by the end of the weekend, with very light wind possible early next week.
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.67 def. Heiarii Williams (PYF) 0.17
Heat 2: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 14.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.50
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.10 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 6.60
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 11.50 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 1.83
Heat 5: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.34 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.33
Heat 6: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.60 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 6.60
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 17. 04 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.86
Heat 8: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 15.17 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.67
Heat 9: Tiago Pires (PRT) 8.77 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 4.83
Heat 10: Jadson Andre (BRA) 7.40 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 6.53
Heat 11: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.76 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.10
Heat 12: Chris Davidson (AUS) 15.73 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.67
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 18.63 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 8.96
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.70 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.87
Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.60 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.33
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI REMAINING ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 8: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)