Big West Swell Bombards Round Two At Teahupoo

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).
Foster’s Men’s World Tour.
Women’s ASP World Championship Tour.Billabong Pro Tahiti Men’s May 5-17th
Billabong Pro Tahiti Girl’s May 5-15th

Catch it LIVE on www.aspworldtour.com and www.billabongpro.com

TEAHUPOO (Cheo-pu) edged towards its dangerous best today as the Billabong ProTahiti continued its march hunting a result, with a new west swell kicking in forthe sudden death round two heats of the Foster ‘ s Men ‘ s World Tour event.Solid 2m (4-6 ‘ ++) slabs of water, with some bomb sets from the west, sawconditions become critical on the end section as surfers tried to escape from thewrapping barrel.

As usual the Foster ‘ s Men ‘ s World Tour Top 45 matched the spectacularwaves with the commitment and skill that you expect from the world ‘ s best. Itwas an awesome Teahupoo day and the best is yet to come, with a fresh south-westswell pushing 3m expected for the final two days of competition.

The round two heroes were many and varied in the challenging conditions, but oneof the undisputed kings of this incredible wave, Cory Lopez, was the day ‘ smost consistently brilliant performer.

There ‘ s not a whole lot to Florida ‘ s 5 ‘ 10 ” 150lb younger version ofthe Lopez brothers, in fact you might even call him a bit on the skinny side, butfor what he lacks in meat and mass, he makes up for with heart beat and bravado.

Bagging the enviable scores of 9.7 and 9.23 in the first four minutes of his roundtwo heat of the Billabong Pro Tahiti against Toby ‘ Murderer ‘ Martin, Corycontinued his ride further into the ASP ‘ s pro surfing history books as the manto beat in Teahupoo ‘ s chunderous caverns. Yes, we call his opponent Murderer,or Murdz, for the chilling gazes he is capable of, but today, sorry, Dee Why ‘ sMurdz got murdered.

With eight minutes remaining Lopez added insult to injury throwing away his 9.23after an unbelievably deep, long and critical run along the reef, coming out afterthe fire-hydrant wave spit. He scored a 9.93 to amass a heat score of 19.63, notjust the highest of the day and the event so far, but just 0.3 from the record ofthe highest ever two-wave heat score in ASP annals.

Lopez also went back to back with his elder brother Shea who won the precedingheat in the dying seconds of his showdown with Australia ‘ s Richie Lovett. TheLopez bras are on a roll.

” I took the momentum off my brother ‘ s win, ” said Cory. ” I ‘ mstoked! I guess I just got lucky starting off the heat with two nines so quickly.”

” It ‘ s perfect out there, and you ‘ ve just got to know which ones to pick,and luckily I picked a couple of good ones. The 9.93 finish was pretty unreal. Thewave just bottomed out and drained perfectly off the reef .”

” A lot of the bigger ones haven ‘ t been that hollow, but that one hit thereef perfectly, and held up, and held up, and hit the inside shelf and drainedreally square. It was perfect and I just came right out. ”

The highest wave score of the day went down in the last heat of the day as Brazil’ s Neco Padaratz overcame his phobias of nearly drowning here five years ago andcharged like he wanted to drown today. He and Australia ‘ s young rookie BedeDurbidge had an exceptional heat as the swell relentlessly stormed through asSunday ‘ s sunset approached.

Their exchange started with Durbidge logging an 8.3, but Padaratz went one betteron the wave behind to score 8.83, followed by a back-up mid-six wave. He then lostpriority taking a west peak that didn ‘ t pitch a barrel. Bede then duplicatedPadaratz blunder, but got out of the wave quick enough to get back to the take-offzone and grab priority.

Durbidge needed a 7.5, but came up short with a 7.43 on his next wave, Necoinheriting priority. The firey Brazilian missed the first wave of the next set andhanded priority ba to the rookie, who scored an 8.07 leaving Padaratz hunting ahigh score, but again holding the all important joker card of priority.

Driven like the maniac he can be, Padaratz ‘ s chance came as one of the biggestwaves of the day stormed in amongst the huge flotilla of craft in the channel.Padaratz turned and stroked into the monster, dropping incredibly late, almostwith the pitching lip. A split second after he landed at the bottom of thethreatening wall, the guillotine lip shaved his curly locks by millimetres, addingdrama for all.

He pulled up with perfect positioning and timing to park himself in the spirallingpit and charged through the first section, but he was late for the next sectionand disappeared from view, looking to be impossibly deep as the wave clicked up agear. The crowd in the channel collectively sighed, but seconds later the talentednatural footer charged from the deep groins of the incredible wave.

Padaratz got five ten-point scores across the board, and the 2005 Billabong ProTahiti had its first perfect score, leaving Durbidge solidly comboed. Unperturbed,the young Stradbroke Island surfer racked up 9.30 on his final wave a minutebefore the final hooter, to break the double figures he needed, but it obviouslywasn ‘ t enough to deny the Brazilian his right to round three.

It was a drama packed day even before dawn. Current Foster ‘ s Men ‘ s WorldTour ratings leader Trent Munro (AUS) was up at 4am, pacing his bedroom, punchingthe air proclaiming ” Game on! Game on! ” and raring to go. Four hours laterhe was paddling out to take on Tahiti ‘ s accomplished surfing soul ManoaDrollet.

Opening with an 8.17, and eventually backing up with a score of 6.83, Munro got bythe local who opened with a no-hands 8.5 pit, but thereafter failed to emerge frommuch he pulled into.

” There was no way I was going to take him lightly, and I think I played my gamewell, ” said Munro. ” He was unlucky to get caught on a couple of thosebarrels he pulled in on the inside. I guess that ‘ s just the way it goes ” .

The drama continued in the second heat with Damien Hobgood (USA) hunting anything that moved on the inside at the heat ‘ s outset, while Air Tahiti Nui Von Zippertrials wildcard Liam McNamara decided to wait for the sets.

McNamara ‘ s tactical choice ended up being an error, but Damien had a choice tomake as well, half way through the heat, flying through the air after escaping theclosing keyhole of a racing west pit. Zeroing in from a mid-air trajectory overthe back of the wave, on both a jet ski and one of the photo boats.

Hobgood chose the jet ski, manned by Hawaii ‘ s big wave legend Brock Little.The sickened thud as his hip and thigh hit the fibreglass hull had the channelwatchers agape fearing the worst, but the 25 year-old Floridian took it in hisstride, returning to the lineup to finish his job and move to round three. Healmost seemed embarrassed by everyone ‘ s concern.

” I had plenty of time to react. It was a decision to either hit the boat or hitthe ski, ” said Hobgood. ” There was a boat behind Brock, deeper, and it waseither try and miss Brock and go straight into the back of the boat, runningpropellers and all, or aim for the ski. ”

” I took the ski option because it ‘ s a smaller and a little more forgivingthing to hit. It was unfortunate thing; it ‘ s really west today and the swellis coming right out of the channel and there ‘ s not much room. It can happen toanyone. ”

” I was fortunate enough to hit it with the best part of my body. I saw itcoming, so I threw my butt at it, and you know, it ‘ s not broken …whatever, I think it ‘ s going to be fine, ” said Damien before heading toshore to be checked by the doctors just the same.

The two trials wildcards were thereby dispensed, but Billabong ‘ s localwildcard Hira Teriinatoofa had other ideas when it came to his following heat withformer event runner-up Luke Egan. Like McNamara, Egan waited for the sets, butthey didn ‘ t come.

Chasing Hira ‘ s 9.57 top score for a medium sized, but long and deep barrel,and a seven plus backup, Egan ‘ s patience was never rewarded. With less thantwo minutes remaining, he eventually pulled into a long clean pit, but neveremerged, appearing to be content to enjoy the view inside as a consolation prize.

Just as the swell settled into more regularity later in the day, nine point ridescame thick and fast. Tom Whitaker was brilliant bagging a 9.73 and back-up eightplus to thwart a strong charge from Huntington rookie Tim Reyes, while SanClemente ‘ s Chris Ward got one back for the USA in the following heat trouncingAustralia ‘ s Luke Stedman.

Australia ‘ s Lee Winkler rallied late to take out 2000 World Champion SunnyGarcia with a committed effort, while Hawaii ‘ s second round best went torookie Fred Patacchia Jnr, who surfed like a master banking two nine-plus rides tofinish the skilful backhand efforts of Shane Beschen, who also now lives on theNorth Shore.

South Africa ‘ s Greg Emslie had a shocker getting washed over the reef and intothe lagoon on his first wave, and things didn ‘ t get much better as DeanMorrison (AUS) marched on with maniacal commitment. The Springboks on the wildcontinent will be stoked though to hear that their Durban rookie Travis Logie setnew standards in commitment and once and for all blew away any doubts about hisworthiness in big waves. The kid went mad.

Logie drew Australia ‘ s already established charger Phil Macdonald, but theyoung goofy footer from South Africa obviously wasn ‘ t interested inreputations, other than disproving the doubters of his own testosterone. He wentseriously crazy, including a 9.9 on his last wave.

” I ‘ m very chuffed! I ‘ ve never surfed Teahupoo over one foot before, andso that was first time out there in ‘ real ‘ Teahupoo waves, ” saidLogie.

” I was really nervous before the heat, sitting and watching in the channel, soI ‘ m stoked I got the jitters out and showed the world that I can surf waveslike this. I ‘ m stoked! ”

” That 9.9 final ride was quite a deep-ish one, ” said Logie in fullunderstatement mode.

” I could see the wall building up all the way down the reef, so I just pumped myboard as much as I could in the barrel. At one stage I didn ‘ t think I wasgoing to make it, and then I got a late burst of speed, and I came out. It wassuch a lovely wave ” .

That ‘ s it folks. Teahupoo makes and breaks, or shames and sometimes evenlames. This is the place of pace, and it all continues tomorrow with round threewith the starting time to be called at 6.30am. The beat goes on … the beat ofracing hearts.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti delivered by Air Tahiti Nui is proudly supported by VonZipper, Bose, Kustom and The Tahitian Surfing Federation.

Billabong Pro Live Webcast: via www.billabongpro.comand www.aspworldtour.com each day of the event utilizing live coverage in English, French and Portuguese, with the event websites being translated into these three languages plus, Japanese and Spanish. Various camera angles, highlights and replays, weather and scoring information, direct viewer interaction, celebrity guests, interviews and more are a part of the daily webcast program.

(From Paul Sargeant)

ROUND TWO RESULTS:
(1st Rnd 3; 2nd=33rd, 225pts & usd$3600)

H 1: Trent Munro (Aus) 15.00 def Manoa Drollet (PYF) 11.00
H 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) 17.10 def Liam McNamara (Haw) 7.17
H 3: Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 16.74 def Luke Egan (Aus) 4.77
H 4: Daniel Wills (Aus) 14.33 def Renan Rocha (Bra) 13.77
H 5: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 15.57 def Kirk Flintoff (Aus) 14.90
H 6: Tom Whitaker (Aus) 18.23 def Tim Reyes (USA) 16.63
H 7: Chris Ward (USA) 17.80 def Luke Stedman (Aus) 11.50
H 8: Shea Lopez (USA) 14.54 def Richie Lovett (AUS) 12.90
H 9: Cory Lopez (AUS) 19.63 def Toby Martin (AUS) 4.ts, butthey didn ‘ t come.

Chasing Hira ‘ s 9.57 top score for a medium sized, but long and deep barrel,and a seven plus backup, Egan ‘ s patience was never rewarded. With less thantwo minutes remaining, he eventually pulled into a long clean pit, but neveremerged, appearing to be content to enjoy the view inside as a consolation prize.

Just as the swell settled into more regularity later in the day, nine point ridescame thick and fast. Tom Whitaker was brilliant bagging a 9.73 and back-up eightplus to thwart a strong charge from Huntington rookie Tim Reyes, while SanClemente ‘ s Chris Ward got one back for the USA in the following heat trouncingAustralia ‘ s Luke Stedman.

Australia ‘ s Lee Winkler rallied late to take out 2000 World Champion SunnyGarcia with a committed effort, while Hawaii ‘ s second round best went torookie Fred Patacchia Jnr, who surfed like a master banking two nine-plus rides tofinish the skilful backhand efforts of Shane Beschen, who also now lives on theNorth Shore.

South Africa ‘ s Greg Emslie had a shocker getting washed over the reef and intothe lagoon on his first wave, and things didn ‘ t get much better as DeanMorrison (AUS) marched on with maniacal commitment. The Springboks on the wildcontinent will be stoked though to hear that their Durban rookie Travis Logie setnew standards in commitment and once and for all blew away any doubts about hisworthiness in big waves. The kid went mad.

Logie drew Australia ‘ s already established charger Phil Macdonald, but theyoung goofy footer from South Africa obviously wasn ‘ t interested inreputations, other than disproving the doubters of his own testosterone. He wentseriously crazy, including a 9.9 on his last wave.

” I ‘ m very chuffed! I ‘ ve never surfed Teahupoo over one foot before, andso that was first time out there in ‘ real ‘ Teahupoo waves, ” saidLogie.

” I was really nervous before the heat, sitting and watching in the channel, soI ‘ m stoked I got the jitters out and showed the world that I can surf waveslike this. I ‘ m stoked! ”

” That 9.9 final ride was quite a deep-ish one, ” said Logie in fullunderstatement mode.

” I could see the wall building up all the way down the reef, so I just pumped myboard as much as I could in the barrel. At one stage I didn ‘ t think I wasgoing to make it, and then I got a late burst of speed, and I came out. It wassuch a lovely wave ” .

That ‘ s it folks. Teahupoo makes and breaks, or shames and sometimes evenlames. This is the place of pace, and it all continues tomorrow with round threewith the starting time to be called at 6.30am. The beat goes on … the beat ofracing hearts.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti delivered by Air Tahiti Nui is proudly supported by VonZipper, Bose, Kustom and The Tahitian Surfing Federation.

Billabong Pro Live Webcast: via www.billabongpro.comand www.aspworldtour.com each day of the event utilizing live coverage in English, French and Portuguese, with the event websites being translated into these three languages plus, Japanese and Spanish. Various camera angles, highlights and replays, weather and scoring information, direct viewer interaction, celebrity guests, interviews and more are a part of the daily webcast program.

(From Paul Sargeant)

ROUND TWO RESULTS:
(1st Rnd 3; 2nd=33rd, 225pts & usd$3600)

H 1: Trent Munro (Aus) 15.00 def Manoa Drollet (PYF) 11.00
H 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) 17.10 def Liam McNamara (Haw) 7.17
H 3: Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 16.74 def Luke Egan (Aus) 4.77
H 4: Daniel Wills (Aus) 14.33 def Renan Rocha (Bra) 13.77
H 5: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 15.57 def Kirk Flintoff (Aus) 14.90
H 6: Tom Whitaker (Aus) 18.23 def Tim Reyes (USA) 16.63
H 7: Chris Ward (USA) 17.80 def Luke Stedman (Aus) 11.50
H 8: Shea Lopez (USA) 14.54 def Richie Lovett (AUS) 12.90
H 9: Cory Lopez (AUS) 19.63 def Toby Martin (AUS) 4.27
H 10: Lee Winkler (AUS) 16.86 def Sunny Garcia (HAW) 14.33
H 11: Tim Curran (USA) 15.17 def Troy Brooks (AUS) 7.00
H 12: Travis Logie (RSA) 19.07 def Phil Macdonald (AUS) 14.10
H 13: Dean Morrison (AUS) 18.83 def Greg Emslie (RSA) 8.77
H 14: Victor Ribas (BRZ) 15.10 def Jake Paterson (AUS) 10.93
H 15: Fred Patacchia Jnr (HAW) 18.37 def Shane Beschen (USA) 16.16
H 16: Neco Padaratz (BRZ) 18.83 def Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.37

ROUND THREE DRAW FOR TOMORROW:
(1stRnd 4; 2nd=17th, 410 points, usd$4500)) 4.27
H 10: Lee Winkler (AUS) 16.86 def Sunny Garcia (HAW) 14.33
H 11: Tim Curran (USA) 15.17 def Troy Brooks (AUS) 7.00
H 12: Travis Logie (RSA) 19.07 def Phil Macdonald (AUS) 14.10
H 13: Dean Morrison (AUS) 18.83 def Greg Emslie (RSA) 8.77
H 14: Victor Ribas (BRZ) 15.10 def Jake Paterson (AUS) 10.93
H 15: Fred Patacchia Jnr (HAW) 18.37 def Shane Beschen (USA) 16.16
H 16: Neco Padaratz (BRZ) 18.83 def Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.37

ROUND THREE DRAW FOR TOMORROW:
(1stRnd 4; 2nd=17th, 410 points, usd$4500)