TEAHUPOO, Tahiti (Tuesday, May 19, 2009) - Bobby Martinez (USA), 26, has taken out the Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui, defeating fellow Finalist Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, in clean three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves at Teahupoo.
Event No. 3 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti survived a marathon waiting period, culminating on the second-to-last available day in improving conditions that peaked for a climactic Final.
Martinez surfed a near-flawless heat, opening up with an impressive 8.73 out of a possible 10 before putting his opponent in a combination situation with a Houdini-esque 9.73 out of a possible 10. Netting the highest heat total of the event, an 18.46 out of a possible 20, Martinez claimed his second Billabong Pro Tahiti and fourth elite tour win, establishing himself as one of the premier tube-riders in the world.
"I feel great and a bit emotional," Martinez said. "I feel wonderful. I waited for the good ones out there and just got lucky. There weren't too many waves and I was lucky enough to get a couple of good ones and not fall. Things just seemed to work out for me today. I really don't know what to say. It feels really special.'
The form surfer of the event, Martinez surfed the majority of his heats on borrowed equipment, having broken most of his surfboards early in the waiting period.
"I actually borrowed a board from Alain Riou (local Tahitian surfer)," Martinez said. "He rides Darren Handley shapes and the board was the same dimensions and pretty much the same board I ride. It was great to find that as yesterday, I was a bit skeptical about today in terms of the conditions and my equipment, but everything worked out perfectly."
Martinez, who is without a major sponsor at the moment, has rocketed himself from 19th to 7th on the ASP World Tour ratings with today's win, putting him in excellent position for the remainder of the year.
"I'm not thinking about money right now, but rather I'm thinking about the feelings I have,' Martinez said. "I didn't start surfing to make money. I started for me, and to win today, you cannot put a price on the feelings I have. I'm really going to let it sink it and enjoy it. It's a great result, but it's a long year and anything can happen. Joel (Parkinson) has a great lead, and now that this event is over, my focus goes to the next one."
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BILLABONG PRO TAHITI FINAL RESULTS:
1. Bobby Martinez (USA) 18.46
2.Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.10
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.86 def. Michael Campbell (AUS) 10.00
SF 2: Bobby Martinez (USA) 17.17 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 15.23
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.33 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.06
QF 2: Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.84 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.17
QF 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.93 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.67
QF 4: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.66 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.66
REMAINING BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.17 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 10.16
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.57 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.67
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.56 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.16
Heat 8: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 9.43 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.40
CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 10:
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 3000 points
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 2318 points
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 2208 points
4. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 2196 points
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 2174 points
6. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 2076 points
7. Bobby Martinez (USA) 2025 points
8. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 1932 points
9. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 1886 points
10. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 1742 points
10. Taylor Knox (USA) 1742 points
10. Damien Hobgood (USA) 1742 points
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
May 9, 2009 - May 20, 2009