TransWorld SURF WCT Preview: Billabong Pro Teahupo’o

transworldsurf.com will be doing daily updates straight out of the channel at Teahupo’o beginning Monday, May 8!!!

When: May 4-16 is the waiting period for both the Men’s and Women’s event.

Where: Teahupo’o, Tahiti. Located on the Southwest corner of the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, Teahupo’o is a tiny village with more boats than cars.

What: The 3rd stop on the 2006 WCT for both the men and women. $30,000 US for the men’s winner and $10,000 US for the women’s champ.

The Wave: Considered one of the heaviest waves in the world, the freight train barrels of Teahupo’o–which break mere feet over a razor sharp coral reef–can make even the most seasoned of pros quiver in their singlets as they wait in the channel.

Past Champs: (Men) 2005: Kelly Slater (USA)2004: CJ Hobgood (USA)2003: Kelly Slater (USA)2002: Andy Irons (HAW)2001: Cory Lopez (USA)2000: Kelly Slater (USA)1999: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) (Women) 2005: Chelsea Georgeson ?2004: Sofia Mulanovich ?2003: Keala Kennelly ?2002: Keala Kennelly?2001: Layne Beachley ?2000: Keala Kennelly ?1999: Kate Skarratt

Live Web cast: Log onto www.aspworldtour.com to watch the Billabong Pro Teahupo’o live!

Betting Odds: (courtesy of www.sportsbook.com.au)
Slater 3-1
Andy Irons 6-1
Damien and CJ Hobgood 17-1
Taj Burrow 17-1
Occy 34-1
Hira Terinatoofa (trialist) 36-1
Manoa Drollet (wildcard) 61-1

TransWorld Picks: At this point, you’d be a fool to not go with Kelly. Last year, the seven time world champ was the first person to ever nail two tens in the final against Damien Hobgood (who injured his shoulder in said final). Andy Irons is one of Teahupo’o’s best surfers ever and having not won an event this year could be a great motivator for Andy. Look for Nathan Hedge, the Hobgood’s, Cory Lopez, Paulo Mauro, and Bruce Irons to do well.

Darkhorse Bets: Fred Patacchia and Pancho Sullivan. The Hawaiian power surfers’ style and experience in heavy water should translate well into the heaving barrels of Teahupo’o.