The world’s best surfers put everything on the line as they battled the world’s most dangerous wave for an historic Finals day at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, stop no. 7 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT).
The Final Day's 12-man field took on perilous conditions and monster 12-to-15 foot barreling waves, the biggest of the season, in pursuit of victory. It was Gabriel Medina (BRA) who came out on top to claim the coveted title of Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion after an unbelievable day of competition and what is being dubbed the best WCT contest in history.
An incredible Final saw Brazilian phenom Gabriel Medina reign supreme in huge, perfect conditions at Teahupo'o. The win over 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) is Medina's third WCT victory of the year, after triumphing at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Billabong Rio Pro, and sees him extend his lead in the World Title race.
The pair were neck and neck throughout the Final, with each posting a series of excellent nine-point scores. Medina held the lead with the tiniest of margins, 0.03, and the heat came down to the last wave from Slater and a nail-biting wait for the score. He needed a 9.33 but came in just shy at 9.30 and Medina took the win to solidify his place as ASP World No. 1 going in to the final four events of the season. The Brazilian previously dispatched Kolohe Andino (USA) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) on route to the thrilling final.
“I don’t really know what to say,” said Gabriel Medina. “I’m so blessed to have these conditions at ‘Chopes and surf against all these guys. This is such a special event and I’m just so happy right now. Kelly (Slater) is a legend of surfing and it’s the best feeling ever to win. The waves were big and perfect and this feeling is amazing. I love surfing and to get these waves is incredible. I want to thank ASP for the event and I’m so happy to be part of this.”
Today marked the first WCT final of the year and best result of the 2014 season for the four-time Billabong Pro Tahiti winner, Kelly Slater (USA). The result moves the 11-time World Champ up from sixth to second place on the ASP WCT rankings, putting him in serious World Title contention. Slater leaves the competition with two Perfect 10s and 14 excellent nine-points rides after topping John John Florence (HAW) and Owen Wright (AUS) before facing Medina in the Final.
"What can you say? The ocean delivered for us today... this week," said Kelly Slater. "It was incredible. I've never seen anything like it and today will go down as one of the best days of surfing in my career, no question. Congratulations to Gabriel (Medina). He was in rhythm all event and specifically in the Final, and he's on fire this year. We switch gears big time for Trestles and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. There's a lot of work ahead."
Fearless charger Bede Durbige (AUS) secured his best ever result at the Billabong Pro Tahiti after making it the Semifinals where he was knocked out by eventual event winner Medina. Despite a number of brilliant performances through the competition and a Perfect 10 in the Quarterfinals he was unable to match the scores of the Brazilian and leaves the competition in equal 3rd. The result sees him move up one place to World No. 13.
“Gabriel (Medina) is such a tactician in his approach and it worked perfectly,” said Bede Durbidge. “It’s such a bummer but I’m so glad to be part of this day. It was so special to surf against one of my best mates (Adrian Buchan) in the heat before and we’ve been surfing together since we were 13. This is such a great day for ASP and I’m stoked to be a part of it.”
Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence faced eventual runner-up Slater in Semifinal number two in one of the most exciting heats ever seen at Teahupo’o. Florence delivered an epic performance and posted four nine-point rides, including a near-perfect 9.90. The heat ended in a tie break, with each surfing holding a 19.70 heat total, but Slater edged the win with the highest single-wave score, a Perfect 10. The equal third place finish puts Florence in 12th place on the WCT rankings.
“I don’t really know how I feel but that whole heat and everything that happened was crazy,” said John John Florence. “I’m so so stoked. My first ride was so good; it was insane. It was so glassy and nice out there.”
2013 Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Adrian Buchan (AUS) was knocked out of the competition by Durbidge in the Quarterfinals. One of the highest-scoring heats of the competition saw the compatriots battle for a Semifinal berth, but despite posting an excellent 18.43 heat total, Buchan was unable to match the Perfect 10 from Durbidge. The result sees Buchan jump up six places to joint 18th on the rankings.
“What a dream to be here,” said Adrian Buchan. “It’s picture perfect and as big as you could ask for. It’s really scary but so rewarding. It’s tough to relinquish my title but I feel like I’ve turned my year around here.”
The Andy Irons Most Committed Performance Award is given out every year to the standout surfer of the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Previous winners include John John Florence (2013), Ricardo dos Santos (2012) and Jeremy Flores (2011). This year’s award goes to Owen Wright (AUS) for his commitment, passion and courage during the event. Wright was knocked out of the competition by Slater in the Quarterfinals, but not before he posted a Perfect 10 in Heat 4.
“This feels amazing and I’m so honored to get this award,” said Owen Wright. “During this event so many guys have gone hard. I’ve watched Andy (Irons) for so long and I can’t imagine what he’d be doing if he was here. To get fifth place here feels so special and this award just tops it off.”
The next stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro at Trestles from September 9 - 20, 2014. The event will be webcast LIVE on ASPWorldTour.com
Billabong Pro Tahiti Final Result:
1- Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.96
2- Kelly Slater (USA)18.93
Billabong Pro Tahiti Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 4.17
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 19.77
Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 19.87 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.43
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.27 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.27
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 19.67 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 17.76
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.80 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 16.10
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.40 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.66
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.53 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 6.16
Heat 3: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 19.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.77
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.87 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.83
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.66, Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73, Tiago Pires (PRT) 6.84
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.37, Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.57, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.00
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 18.16, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.10, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.67
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.44, Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.50
The world’s best surfers returned to the world’s most dangerous wave for the recommencement of stop no. 7 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Billabong Pro Tahiti, this morning and the action reached a fever pitch as the original 36-person field was whittled down to the final 12.
Following three consecutive lay days, a massive swell started filling in this morning at Teahupo’o, delivering solid 10-to-12-foot-plus barreling waves, as well as two Perfect 10’s, before the day was finished. With conditions steadily improving, the electrifying day of competition ran through the final heat of Round 2 followed by Round 3.
Portuguese powerhouse, Tiago Pires, was in excellent form against current ASP World No. 4 Taj Burrow (AUS) in the opening heat of Round 3. He posted two near-perfect scores, a 9.00 and a 9.67, to leave the Australian veteran in a combination situation with just minutes remaining. Pires, looking to improve on 28th place on the rankings, moves through to Round 4 courtesy of an 18.67 two-wave heat total and the first upset of the day.
“I really like these kind of waves and barrels,” said Tiago Pires. “I love Tahiti and it’s been a few years since I got a result here. My plan was to be selective and it worked. I think it’s safe to say that was my first good heat of the year so I’m really psyched and excited for my next heat.”
Round 3 Heat 6 saw an epic battle between World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA)and wildcard Nathan Hedge (AUS). Just minutes into the heat each of the surfers had posted scores in the excellent range and the two continued to go head-to-head. Hedge, who notched the first Perfect 10 of the event in Round 2, lost momentum after a crushing wipeout left him battling the turbulent white water. In the meantime, Medina continued to drive through the double-overhead barrels with astounding confidence posting another nine-point ride and securing the win with an 18.80 heat total.
“This is my third time in Tahiti and every time I come it's so fun so I’m always excited to come back,” said Gabriel Medina. “I was worried about facing him (Nathan Hedge). He surfs this wave so well and he’s a tough guy to beat. I’m stoked and I’ve never got so many barrels, I was claiming every single wave.”
Brett Simpson (USA) caused the biggest upset of Round 3 when he eliminated World No. 2 Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Heat 7. Despite suffering a heavy wipeout and hitting the reef he recovered with two high-scoring waves to take the lead. The Tour veteran tried to comeback in the dying seconds but couldn’t find the score needed to avoid elimination. The win sees Simpson secure a Round 4 berth for the first time this season.
“I definitely gained some momentum from that win,” said Brett Simpson. “My main thing is to look at the waves and think about whether I can make them. It’s not about charging for me. I couldn't kick out of my first wave so I hit the bottom. I hit pretty it hard but was able to bounce back and got my best wave shortly after.”
Hawaiians John John Florence and Sebastian Zietz took to the water for one of the most highly anticipated heats of the day and the pair did not disappoint. Barrel-riding prodigy Florence took the win by posting the highest two-wave heat total of the competition so far, a near-perfect 19.93, and the second Perfect 10 of the competition. Zietz also put on a stellar performance, notching two nine-point rides, but it wasn’t enough to take down Florence.
“I just went for it out there today, I’m really stoked it picked up and I’m so happy to get some waves,” said John John Florence. “The last few heats I’ve had I haven’t really got too many waves. The ten-point wave I got was crazy, I just hoped for the best and it worked out.”
The next heat of Round 3 saw no shortage of excitement as Kai Otton (AUS) and Nat Young (USA) got off to a high-scoring start with a pair of eight-pointers in the goofy-footer face off. Otton followed this up with arguably the deepest barrel of the event, earning a Perfect 10 and taking the lead. The 2013 ASP Rookie of the Year answered with a perfectly executed steep takeoff for a nine-pointer that nearly closed the gap. With fewer than five minutes on the clock Otton held the win by a mere 0.11 points and Young needed a 9.05, which he was unable to find. The win will securs Otton his best result of the season.
“I knew Nat (Young) would be ready for this event, he always gets 15 points or more and I knew he would be hard to beat,” said Kai Otton. “This contest is pretty pivotal in my career because I haven’t put much together this year, even though I’ve had a few good heats.”
With the crowd roaring on the massive swell 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) put event standout Jadson Andre (BRA) to the test, notching a 9.00 off the bat for tucking into a tight barrel. Slater put on Teahupo’o clinic posting three nines in the opening 10 minutes of Heat 10 and finished the heat with five nine-point rides. Andre was left in a combination situation and leaves the competition in equal 13th place.
“This is probably the best I've ever surfed ‘Chopes," said Kelly Slater. "It's just big enough for that outside ledge to go hollow. I would say it's almost safe out there. It’s 15 feet or so and this is where it gets beautiful."
Dion Atkinson (AUS) delivered the final upset of the day when he eliminated reigning three-time ASP World Champion in the last heat of Round 3. With the swell peaked the pair got off to a slow start but the set they were looking for arrived at the 18-minute mark. The rookie took a huge drop to post a 9.50 and, after a brutal wipeout, Fanning answered with a midrange five. In the final minutes Atkinson found a backup score and secured the win.
"It feels bloody good," said Dion Atkinson. "I'm surfing for my survival but these guys are surfing for the title. I’m out there to win it, and I’m stoked I did, and got barreled in the process. I've got the lineup more dialed now but I’ve taken a few days of floggings."
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for:
Very solid, mid-period SSW swell continues to build overnight and throughtomorrow. Light-plus E Trade winds returning for tomorrow morning.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:15 a.m. to assess conditions for a possible 7:30 a.m. start.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2 Results (1st to Round 3, 2nd finishes Equal 25th):
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.27 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 8.83
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Results (1st to Round 4, 2nd finishes Equal 13th):
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 18.67 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.57
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.33 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.73
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.90 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 14.77
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 18.10 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.17
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.10 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.10
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.80 def. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.44
Heat 7: Brett Simpson (USA) 16.23 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.17
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) 19.93 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 18.50
Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 18.17 def. Nat Young (USA) 18.06
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.44 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.43
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.36 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 5.36
Heat 12: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 16.50 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5.94
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 4 Match-Ups (1st to Quarterfinals, 2nd and 3rd to Round 5):
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 3: Brett Simpson (USA), John John Florence (HAW), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA), Owen Wright (AUS), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
The Eastern Province surf team defend their team title at the 2014 Vic Bay Quad in memory of John Pfaff
A motivated Eastern Province team successfully defended their team title at the 2014 Vic Bay Quad in memory of John Pfaff in good 6 foot surf at Victoria Bay near George in the Eden District today (Sunday August 24) edging hosts Southern Cape into second place by a mere 90 points.
Eastern Province surfers won three of the five divisions and amassed 44,668 points to Southern Cape’s 44,578. Border were third with 39,650, Boland came fourth with 36,718 and last year’s runners up, Western Province, finished fifth with 30,980.
The whole Eastern Province Team won R5000 towards their stay at the Wilderness Bush Camp at next year’s Vic Bay Quad in memory of John Pfaff
Mossel Bay local and Southern Cape stalwart Llewellyn Whittaker took honours in the hotly contested Open Division beating team mate Sean Holmes into second place. Devyn Mattheys of Border was third and 2013 champion Matt McGillivray of Eastern Province was fourth.
Whittaker won R2000 in prize money courtesy of the Wilderness Bush Camp and Primi Piatti George and McGillivray took home R1000 in cash sponsored by Wilderness Bush Camp for being the highest placed U20 surfer in the Open Men’s Division
Faye Zoetmulder of Eastern Province won the women’s final with Penny Stemmet of Boland taking second. Zoetmulder’s team mate Emma Smith was third and Tasha Mentasti of Southern Cape came fourth. Faye Zoetmulder,a member of South Africa’s winning team at the 2013 ISA World Surfing Games in Panama, won R1000 courtesy of Primi Piatti George.
The Over 30 title went the way of a stoked Warwick Heny of Eastern Province who pocketed the R1000 prize purse sponsored by Primi Piatti George. Heny is a founder member of the strong Port Alfred based Kowie Boardriders Club and he is sure to receive a great welcome on his return to the Kowie.
David Pfaff, the son of John Pfaff in whose name the contest is held, took the runner up spot for Southern Cape with last year’s champion Tyrell Johnson of Border taking third ahead of Matt Marais of Boland.
Johnson’s disappointment was tempered by the fact that he won R3000 from Wilderness Bush Camp for posting both the highest wave score and the highest heat score in an earlier round.
Wayne Monk of Border made it three in a row when he added the 2014 title in the Over 40 division to his 2013 and 2012 Vic Bay wins. He too won R1000 from Primi Piatti George. Team mates Gareth Sepp and Kevin O’ Brien, last years’ winner, were second and third respectively and Danie du Plessis of Boland was fourth.
Greg Smith of Eastern Province took honours and the R1000 Primi Piatti prize money in the Over 50 Final beating Gary Van Wyk of Boland and 2013 champion Steven Hair of Southern Cape into second and third respectively. Hans Kamhoot of Western Province came fourth.
The Vic Bay Quad was the brainchild of John Pfaff and first took place back in 1976, ironically not at Victoria Bay but at Wilderness Beach. It was originally contested by Southern Cape (known as South Western Districts back then), Western Province, Eastern Province and Border. In the early 1980’s Boland joined the event but it retained its name as the Vic Bay Quad even though there were five teams taking part. At one stage a team from the SA Defence Force also competed in the event but it has always been known as the Vic Bay Quad.
The format has hardly changed over the years. Surfers compete in a Men’s Open Division (with at least two surfers U20 included in each team in this division) plus Men’s Over 30, Over 40 and Over 50 Divisions and a women’s division at the end of the contest all the surfer’s allocated scores are totalled to determine the team champions. The John Pfaff Trophy, created by local surfer Steven Hair, is awarded to the winning team.
The Vic Bay Quad is held annually and named in honour of its founder and Southern Cape surfing legend, John Pfaff, who passed away suddenly in 2012. This year the contest got under way on the day John and his wife Anne would have celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary and it was completed today, August 24th, John’s birthday.
Full results will be available on the Surfing South Africa websitewww.surfingsdouthafrica.co.za
The world's best surfers were back at the world's most dangerous wave today for Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti, stop no. 7 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour. It was a day of epic performances and the ASP Top 34 put on a clinic in tube riding as they took on challenging 6-to-8 foot Teahupo'o to fight for a place in Round 3.
Josh Kerr (AUS), current World No. 10, got off to a quick start in the first heat of the day against fellow countryman Mitch Coleborn. Kerr established an early dominance over the ASP replacement surfer with an excellent 8.83 for his first wave. He went on to post the first nine-point ride of the day for a long tube and narrow escape to put Coleborn in a combination situation and eventually eliminate him from the competition.
"The days leading up to the swell were so mentally draining because you're trying to prepare yourself,” said Josh Kerr. “I was just happy to be lying in bed last night in one piece. Yesterday was a great and historical day for this contest."
After a heavy wipeout on the first day of competition Jordy Smith (ZAF) facedBrett Simpson (USA) in Round 2 Heat 4. The match-up got off to a slow start with Simpson sliding into a small lead. With more than half of the heat complete Smith had posted a single low score of 1.00. A crucial exchange unfolded with both Smith and Simpson trading backhand tubes. The American got the best of the resulting scores and immediately found another barrel, earning his first heat win of the 2014 WCT season, while the South African is eliminated from the competition.
“It’s been a tough year,” said Brett Simpson. “I’ve surfed against a lot of good guys and I’m just stoked to get this win. This is a testing wave. On the one hand you think let me go home, this wave’s going to kill me, but on the other hand you get the waves of your life.”
Travis Logie (ZAF) suffered a foot injury during Round 1 and has withdrawn from the competition. His Round 2 opponent C.J. Hobgood (USA) will advance directly to Round 3.
“My first thought is that I hope that Travis (Logie) is okay,” said C.J. Hobgood. “He was on the back of the ski and his foot hit something. It’s a long year and I hope he’s able to come back. I’ve been on Tour for 13 years and I’ve never had a walkthrough. Hopefully the swell increases tomorrow and I get another chance."
Aritz Aranburu (ESP) started his heat off with a bang, taking off just after the horn and ducking into a hollow barrel for a near-perfect 9.23. Freddy Patacchia (HAW) sat patiently out the back, scoreless through the first half of the heat, but came back with a thick barrel for an excellent 8.17. The Spaniard went on to improve his situation with a quick barrel while Patacchia lost his footing and went down with the white water. An epic exchange unfolded with ten minutes remaining and both surfers earned excellent scores. It was Aranburu's early nine-pointer that kept the Hawaiian at bay and earns him a place in Round 3.
“I was waiting for the big waves,” said Aritz Aranburu. “Luckily I got a great wave at the start and that gave me a lot of confidence. I’m stoked to be part of that heat and I really enjoyed it. This is a contest I really like and it suits me really well.”
The final heat of the day saw Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and Alejo Muniz (BRA) searching for barrels in increasingly difficult sets. When a gem finally rolled in the Hawaiian was ready for it. Zietz air-dropped into a clean barrel, tucking and dragging to maximize tube time, and notching a 9.97, the highest single-wave score of the day. Muniz struggled to post any substantial scores while Zeitz found another clean barrel to secure victory and a place in Round 3.
“I didn’t sleep well last night because I was jittery after yesterday,” said Sebastian Zietz. “It’s not as big today but it’s still really fun and I’m stoked to make it through in such tough conditions.”
The contest was called of following Heat 11 after conditions declined and the final heat of Round 2 will run when competition resumes.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for:
We’ll see a rebuilding trend of surf through Wednesday as new SW swell fills in all day and peaks late. Some morning sickness/warble is possible Wednesday, with conditions improving through the afternoon as the swell builds, tide drops and SE/ESE trades also build. Thursday will see decreasing, but still strong, surf with favorable ESE trades. Friday will see a further decrease in surf. The next swell of real significance is lining up for Sunday afternoon and Monday, although local wind may be unfavorable.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2 Results (1st to Round 3, 2nd finishes Equal 25th):
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17 def. Taumata Puhetini (PFY) 12.50
Heat 2: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 12.00 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 11.77
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.90 def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 11.24
Heat 4: Brett Simpson (USA) 11.50 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 5.33
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 11.00 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 2.43
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 6.33 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 2.93
Heat 7: Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.77 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.60
Heat 8: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 17.46 def. Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 17.04
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA) direct advance to Round 3, Travis Logie (ZAF) withdrawn following injury
Heat 10: Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.17 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.60
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.80 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 2.00
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2 Upcoming Match-Ups (1st to Round 3, 2nd finishes Equal 25th):
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Match-Ups (1st to Round 4, 2nd finishes Equal 13th):
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Worth losing a bit of sleep to watch the men take on the monsters. Plenty of guys stepped up to the plate and fearlessly launched themselves over the lip, whilst a few others couldn't calm their fears and shoulder hopped the smaller sets. Personally, I wouldn't even sit in the channel.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti delivered on so many levels in Rd 1 - perfect pits, thumping thrashings and more spit than a footballer. It wasn't without consequence. Boards were broken. So were bodies. Tahitian wildcard Taumata took a bad fall during round 2 and got himself some serious whiplash, and was carted off to hospital.
Medina got barrels by the spray on a monster that compressed below sea level, Hedgy got the first perfect 10,
Kelly looked in form, Jordy didn't find his, CJ paid the ultimate price for pulling back and got sucked over the falls, and plenty of epic waves were ridden.
THE OFFICIAL ASP WRAP
The Billabong Pro Tahiti got underway today in biggest surf of the season as the world's best battled 10-to-15 foot (3 - 5 metre) surf at Teahupo'o for Round 1 and the opening two heats of Round 2.
The seventh stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) saw a thrilling day of competition as top seeds soared and even the most knowledgable of surfers suffered horrific wipeouts at the world's most dangerous waves.
Round 1 started in perfect conditions and Kelly Slater (USA) showed why he’s the four-time event winner. After getting the best of the opening exchange with a 7.00, the 11-time World Champion claimed the first nine-point ride of the event. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and Glenn Hall (IRL) were left searching for two good scores to turn the heat. The Hawaiian took the first shot but was swallowed up as the wave crashed around him. Replacement surfer Hall took his chances on a big set wave but Teahupo’o claimed another wipeout. Slater earns the direct advance into Round 3.
“I couldn’t wait to start the heat and get going this morning because it was perfect,” said Kelly Slater. “I’m so excited that I’m shaking. I need to calm myself down because I’m too excited. It’s going to be a great week and I think it’s going to get considerably bigger than this.”
Three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) put on a clinic at the Teahupo’o lineup in Round 1 Heat 4. Fanning picked up the pace with the rising swell to claim an early and dominant lead over Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Mitch Coleborn (AUS). An exchange at the midway point saw Muniz and Coleborn catch their first keepers but Fanning got into a deep pit for 9.03, putting both his opponents in a combination situation. Fanning followed this by tucking into another pristine barrel for a second nine-point ride, tallying a near-perfect heat total of 18.16 and securing the win.
“The conditions are flawless,” said Mick Fanning. “We can’t ask for anything better and I was stoked to get some good ones. It’s so clean and perfect here and that wave I got was a dream.”
2012 ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson, defending event winner Adrian Buchan and veteran charger Nathan Hedge put life and limb on the line in the building swell at Teahupo'o. The all-Australian heat saw each surfer post a nine-point ride in epic conditions. Despite a tie between Buchan and Parkinson, the defending event champ had the heat's highest single-wave score and took victory.
“Just to surf these waves, whatever happens, with all the fans watching is a huge honor,” Adrian Buchan said. “Yesterday I hit the bottom really hard and I had to go to the doctor. I really wanted to be part of today so it’s great to be here. It’s crazy and watching everyone throwing themselves into these huge waves is intense.”
ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) battled local trials winner Taumata Puhetini (PYF) and rookie Mitch Crews (AUS) for a direct pass to Round 3. Medina was the first to post a score, pulling into a tube with a clean exit. Crews and Puhetni followed, and by the 21-minute mark Medina led with 8.60, ahead of Crews's 5.50 and Puhetini's 5.50. The wildcard began to show his local knowledge with a handful of smooth rides to take second place and was neck-and-neck with the Brazilian for the remainder of the heat. Crews had a few solid tubes of his own to narrow the gap but it was the ratings leader that edged the win.
“I’ve never surfed Teahupo’o like this before,” Gabriel Medina said. “It’s my first time and it’s pretty scary but I just tried to not think about it. I tried to keep focused, think about the paddle and pay attention. I’m stoked to make it through and feel like I’m living the dream. To have the opportunity to surf Teahupo’o this big and against these guys is amazing and I’m not going to waste it.”
2013 rookie of the year Nat Young (USA), 2004 event winner C.J. Hobgood (USA) and Portuguese Tiger Tiago Pires took on the pulsing Tahitian barrels in Round 1 Heat 8. Young asserted an early lead and strengthened it by navigating a huge bomb under Hobgood's priority, earning a 9.67. In an attempt to battle back, Hobgood looked at an absolute monster, but pulled back and was sucked over the falls, emerging relatively unscathed despite the scary moment. Hobgood delivered a heroic comeback attempt, earning an 8.27 immediately following his heavy wipeout, but the youngest of the trio held on for the win.
“C.J.’s wipeout was scary,” said Nat Young. “I saw him paddle for the wave and I heard everyone in the channel cheering. It was huge and he went for it, but then he pulled back at the last second and he go sucked over the falls. Out there you can’t think of what’s happened or what might happen. You have to focus on getting the waves that you want and making it.”
The heroic day of competition was punctuated with the first two heats of Round 2 which hosted no shortage of action. Round 2 saw Joel Parkinson (AUS) defeat local trials winner Taumata Puhetini (PYF). The Tahitian suffered massive wipeout that left him unable to continue in the competition. He is stable and in good spirits but has been transferred to hospital as a precaution.
Nathan Hedge (AUS) posted the first Perfect 10 of the competition in his Round match-up against Adriano De Souza (BRA) and both he and Parkinson with move through to Round 3.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for:
Tuesday will see easing swell/surf as South wind increases in the afternoon (after light AM wind). Another strong SW swell builds Wednesday afternoon and continues Thursday as wind shifts SE (Wed) to ESE (Thur). More SW swell is due for the last 3-4 days of the waiting period, although we may see unfavorable wind develop over the weekend.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.40, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.34, Glenn Hall (IRL) 4.53
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.66, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 7.63, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 7.17
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.50, Brett Simpson (USA) 9.17, Adam Melling (AUS) 5.07
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.16, Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 8,47, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 8.10
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.30, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.30, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 15.77
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.33, Tuamata Puhetini (PYF) 12.17, Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.43
Heat 7: Dion Atkinson 15.33 (AUS), Adriano De Souza 13.10 (BRA), Miguel Pupo 10.94 (BRA)
Heat 8: Nat Young (USA) 16.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.27, Tiago Pires (PRT) 8.26
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.76, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 11.44, Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 10.74
Heat 10: Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.64, Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.94, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.93
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 6.34, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 5.43, Travis Logie (ZAF) 3.10
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) 18.24, John John Florence (HAW) 15.83, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.73
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17 def. Taumata Puhetini (PFY) 12.50
Heat 2: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.00 vs. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 11.77
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2 Upcoming Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Mitch Coleborn (AUS)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (BRA)
Heat 8: Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (HAW) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
TEAHUPO'O, Tahiti (Sunday, August 17, 2014): The Billabong Pro Tahiti, Stop No. 7 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, has been placed on standby this morning with a significant swell projected to fill in overnight for a probable commencement in the morning.
"Slight increase in surf this morning but we're anticipating the real pulse to begin filling in this afternoon and through tomorrow," Kieren Perrow, ASP Commissioner, said. "As such, we've placed the event on standby this morning and expect to commence competition tomorrow. With the swell picking up this afternoon, it will be a great opportunity for the surfers to get another warm-up in before it gets serious tomorrow."
Surfline, official surf forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are confidently predicting excellent conditions in the days ahead and have called for:
The surf will be on the rise this afternoon, although the bulk of the new swell will arrive on Monday with solid surf. Tuesday will see a temporary easing trend, although will remain good size. Another strong SW swell is on track forWednesday afternoon/Thursday. We're tracking more swells for FridayPM/Saturday and Monday/Tuesday.
Event organizers will reconvene at 7.30 a.m. on Monday, August 18 to make the next call.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Mitch Coleborn (AUS)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Mitch Crews (AUS), Taumata Puhetini (PYF)
Heat 7: Adriano De Souza (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: Nat Young (USA), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF), John John Florence (HAW), Kai Otton (AUS)
Images from the event will be available from Getty Images. In addition a small number of hand-out images, as well as daily news feeds, will be made available for editorial use via our email distribution lists. Please firstname.lastname@example.org (images) and email@example.com (news feeds) to be added to the lists.
The seventh stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti, is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com.
BRIEF OVERVIEW: Solid SW swell will build in on Monday, peak through the afternoon and offer very strong surf all day. Weak ENE trades early will shift to light/variable in the afternoon. Tuesday will see easing swell/surf as S wind increases in the afternoon (after light AM wind). Another strong SW swell builds Wednesday afternoon and continues Thursday as wind shifts from SE (Wed) to ESE (Thur). More SW swell is due for the last 3-4 days of the waiting period, although we may see unfavorable wind develop over the weekend.
MONDAY 18th: Very solid SW swell fills in further and peaks through the afternoon
SURF: 10-15’+ faces, largest sets in the 18’+ range on the face.
WIND: Light ENE/NE wind in the morning under 8kts. More light/variable wind developing through the afternoon with periods of weak onshore flow possible.
TUESDAY 19th: Decreasing, but still solid, SW swell
SURF: Down from Monday but still solid 8-12’+ faces and larger sets possible in the morning.
WIND: Light/variable through the first half of the day with S wind potentially building in the later afternoon. Stay tuned.
WEDNESDAY 20th: Old SW swell in the morning; New SW swell builds through the afternoon and is strongest late; storm dependent, stay tuned
SURF: Slower start but building back to 8-12’+ faces in the afternoon, with larger sets pushing up to 15’+ faces possible by sundown. Stay tuned, this is dependent on storm behavior in the next couple days.
WIND: Increased SSE shifting SE wind 9-16kts+ (strongest in the afternoon). Stay tuned.
THURSDAY 21st: Solid SW swell is strongest in the AM before slowly easing PM
SURF: 8-12’+ faces, larger sets in the 15’ range on the face.
WIND: ESE wind 9-14kts.
FRIDAY 22nd: Fading SW swell; new swell may start to build late
SURF: 6-10’ faces.
WIND: Light to moderate E trades.
Long Range Surf Outlook
The swell that is slowly starting to pick up this afternoon will fill in further on Monday and peaks through the afternoon. Surf will be solid all day but as the swell peaks look for double to triple overhead range (10-15-18’ faces) surf and some larger max sets not out of the question. Tuesday will see decreasing, but still strong, surf in the well overhead to double overhead+ range with even a few larger sets lingering in the morning.
The next swell on the radar is for Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday, from a recent fetch to the south and east of New Zealand. We’ve had a couple of satellite passes showing 30-35’ seas within the storm and we are anticipating another very strong swell to build Wednesday afternoon and show strongest at the end of the day Wednesday and into Thursday.
This swell looks a touch under Monday’s swell but still double overhead+ with the bigger sets pushing 15’+ faces. Stay tuned, we’ll track this swell as is moves toward Tahiti over the next few days.
Beyond that, forecast charts indicate that the southwest Pacific will stay very active and we should see another series of strong SW swells for the last few days of the waiting period. At this point we have new SW swells on the radar for Fri/Sat the 22nd-23rd and then again for Sunday afternoon through Tuesday the 24th-26th.
The Fri PM/Sat swell looks several notches smaller than the swells earlier in the week, but will still provide overleaf waves if the storm behaves as forecast.
The Sun-Tue swells looks larger and could be in a similar league to the swells we’ll see the next few days.
Wind: We’ll see a wind shift over the next couple days as a result of low pressure sinking to the southeast of French Polynesia.
Weak ENE trades Monday morning will give way to light/variable flow at Teahupoo in the afternoon (and northerly wind elsewhere around the island). Periods of weak onshore flow are possible through the afternoon.
Tuesday will again start with very light and variable wind, with wind trending from the S in the afternoon and especially evening hours. Stronger SSE shifting SE wind develops through Wednesday as high pressure builds in from the southwest. Light to moderate ESE trades prevail Thursday and into Friday.
The latest chart/model info indicates less favorable wind could develop over the weekend of the 23rd-24th. Stay tuned.
The ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) has placed the Dungeons Challenge in South Africa on Yellow Alert with a projected deep-water swell heading towards the region. Event organizers are closely monitoring a system that is traveling towards Cape Town and ASP will issue a Green Alert 72 hours prior to commencement if the event is called on.
“We are starting to see some storm activity that we are getting excited about,” said BWWT Commissioner Peter Mel. “With only a couple of weeks left in the waiting period these are positive times and it would be great to finish the Southern Hemisphere leg with a bang.”
The 2014/2015 BWWT season is divided into Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere components hosting three possible events within each. With just under three weeks remaining the Southern Hemisphere window, which began on April 15 and runs until August 31, 2014 has completed one event so far, the Billabong Pico Alto in Peru, and has two remaining event options in Chile and South Africa. The Northern Hemisphere window runs from October 15, 2014 to February 28, 2015 with event options in Mexico, the Basque Region of Spain, and Maui.
The first event of the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season, the Billabong Pico Alto, ran on Thursday, July 3, 2014 and saw Hawaiian Makua Rothman (HAW) claim his first ASP BWWT victory. The ASP wildcard defeated reigning World Champion, Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker on route to victory, announcing himself as a major threat on the BWWT.
A team of experts track swell systems all over the world waiting for those that will produce waves in the 30-foot-and-larger range for one of the six world-class big wave venues.
Surfline, official forecasters for the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season, are reporting the following:
The medium-range charts and models are showing something that looks promising for Dungeons, currently on track for Mon-Tue the 18th-19th, from a fetch that will pull together over the next few days. While the swell doesn’t look huge at this time, it does look to be on the threshold of minimum run requirements.
If the storm behaves as forecast in the next few days we would see an 11-12’ deepwater swell (3.5+ meters) peak during the overnight hours from Monday toTuesday. The largest waves would be found late Monday and Tuesdaymorning, with an easing trend through Tuesday. Wave face sizes would be in the 20-25’+ range and possibly pushing toward 30’ faces on the max setsMonday sunset and Tuesday early. Stay tuned, we’ll refine this over the next few days as we see the storm develop.
Winds are a bit of a question mark, especially this far out. Different wind models are indicating varying wind scenarios right now so we’re low confidence on any specifics. Best guess right now is for light/variable southerly wind on Mondaywith building NW to W wind Tuesday. Again, this will slowly shake out over the next couple of days and we will be able to fine tune things a bit.
The 24-man field for the Dungeons Challenge will be comprised of the ASP BWWT Top 12, lead by the World Champion, as well as six ASP wildcards and six local wildcards:
ASP BWWT Top 12:
1. Grant Baker (ZAF)
2. Ken Collins (USA)
3. Nic Lamb (USA)
4. Shawn Dollar (USA)
5. Kohl Christensen (HAW)
6. Alex Gray (USA)
7. Greg Long (USA)
8. Ryan Augestein (USA)
9. Anthony Tashnick (USA)
10. Ramon Navarro (CHL)
11. Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
12. Tyler Fox (USA)
Dungeons ASP BWWT Wildcards:
1. Kelly Slater (USA)
2. Shane Dorian (HAW)
3. Mark Healey (HAW)
4. Ian Walsh (HAW)
5. Gabriel Villaran (PER)
6. Matthew Bromley (ZAF)
Dungeons Local Wildcards:
1. Mike Schlebach
2. James Taylor
3. Simon Lowe
4. Josh Redman
5. Chris Bertish
6. Andrew Marr
The ASP will provide updates as they become available.
The Dungeons Challenge will be webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com.
The forecast slight increase in swell arrived on cue and competitors remaining in the final day of surfing at the Billabong Junior Series Event presented by BOS had a whale of a time out amongst the small but fun peeling waves of Long Beach today. The sun came out, the waves pulsed all day, and the wind forgot to blow as hundreds of people came down to watch the best junior surfers strut their stuff in amongst the peeling Atlantic waves.
"We're stoked the way the event panned out," said Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager Chad D'Arcy. "It was looking a bit problematic with the lack of swell on the horizon, but the waves arrived for the final day and it all worked out perfectly."
The U12 boys was a tight hussle amongst the top super-groms in the country, with local boy Ford Van Jaarsveldt taking the win. Sebastian Williams, who currently resides in Jeffreys Bay, cleaned up the U14 Boys while another Jeffreys Bay surfer, Kirsty McGillivray, dominated the U14 Girls. Jake Elkington from Hout Bay was the U16 Boys champ while Ruth Armstrong used local knowledge to her advantage to win the U16 Girls division.
In the premier U20 Pro Junior Girls Division Emma Smith continued her total dominance of girls surfing in the country by winning the final ahead of sister Gina, with Anoush Zakarian and Chanelle Botha filling the minor slots.
"I'm super-stoked to win. This is one of the biggest events in South Africa at the moment because of qualifying for World Games, so I obviously had that at the back of my mind before paddling out," said Smith. "The waves picked up, were super fun, and we had half hour heats so there were more than enough waves for everyone. What a great event."
Local boy Max Armstrong was the popular winner of the U20 Pro Junior Men, packing the high-scoring moves in on the small waves to take the win from Steven Sawyer in 2nd, Matt McGillivray in 3rd and Joshe Faulkner in 4th. "I went into the final pretty amped. The waves were fun and I was amped to get a few little lefts, and I ended up getting one or two," said Armstrong afterwards. "It's been a great event. I'm really stoked about such a big junior event at Long Beach my home break."
The 2nd EP Junior Trial got surfed in fun conditions at Pipe. A big thanks to Billabong for their support; for their financial assistance as well as the wonderful prizes which were given to the finalists.
Please remember the third and final trial will be held in J bay at Kitchen Windows on Sunday 17th August.
Images: Peter Coffey