The wait for waves is only adding to the already tense situation in Tahiti, where a dozen surfers will be losing their ASP World Championship Tour seeds after the Billabong Pro at Teahupoo.
While there’s a nice title race percolating at the midway point, the headline story in Tahiti is all about who will be left standing once this event is done and dusted.
There’s no shortage of high quality talent in danger of being sent back to the minor leagues. And while there’s a lot of bitching and moaning about the fate awaiting many of these guys, the fact is the ASP World Championship Tour will be a better for it once this band-aid is ripped from the flesh.
Those left standing will represent the tip of the progressive spear. One glance at the current world tour rankings makes that abundantly clear. With Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds both in the Top 5 along with veterans like Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow, it’s safe to say things are working. Are they perfect? Hell no. But nothing ever is.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like it’ll be the huge death-defying Teahupoo fans love to see. While many competitors will be breathing a sigh of relief about that, rest assured there will be blood.
To the right is a list of the key players riding the bubble that’s due to burst. As you can see it’s a very slippery slope between those tied in the 24 slot, and those back in the upper 30s. This is a very slippery portion of the ladder, where one decent result can change everything. Nobody on this list is entirely safe, and it’s almost a certainty that some unlucky souls will be sent packing after some form of tie breaking.
Meanwhile, in that little title race thing that’s going on it seems to be advantage Kelly Slater heading into Round One. Jordy Smith has two perennial Teahupoo standouts in his first round heat, with CJ Hobgood and Manoa Drollet joining him that’s arguably the toughest Round One heat there is.
Slater, meanwhile, will be paired with his formal rival Andy Irons for the first time in Round One. Both have won at Teahupoo. But you’re more likely to see high fives than friction between these two at this stage in their careers.
Here’s a look at the rest of the Round One draw. You have a littel under 24 hours left to make your ASP Fantasy Game trades if you’re so inclined. It never hurts to examine the draw and the forecast before making last-minute adjustments. The difference could be money in your pocket.
If you haven’t checked out the new Fantasy Action Sports League, I suggest you do so now.
There are prizes being awarded after each event, including cash and some pretty nice schwag. Check it out.
Above: Tanner Gudauskas squeezed off a few rounds at Teahupoo on Monday in preparation for his final stand. Gudang and his brother Patrick both need a solid result in Tahiti to keep their ASP World Tour standing alive. Photo: ASP/Kirstin