The party is over. After a month of surfer induced mayhem and top 44 wave slaughtering, the little village of Teahupo’o can return to its sleepy state of bliss. The Billabong Pro wrapped up in strange fashion as C.J. Hobgood surfed alone for nearly the entire final because Nathan Hedge popped his shoulder out of socket after eating it on his first wave.
While the details are a bit blurry for this reporter, the final we all wanted to see—Kelly vs. Andy, was halted by the two goofy-foot surfers, who weaved their way through numerous tubes and draining sections. Kelly and Andy were looking forward to a rematch from the Pipe Masters as well. While taking a little booze-cruise with Raimana and the boys the day after the final, Slater was heard to say to Andy— “I thought we were going to meet up in the final. Andy’s response? “I know, it would have been on! Friendly rivals for sure.
But it wasn’t meant to be as Hedgey was on fire all the way throughout the whole contest and was looking for his first win on the W.C.T. The day after the comp, Hedgey—Hinano in hand, was upbeat, “You know I would have paddled back out if I could mate. I know you would mate—you’re a legend.
I had the pleasure of watching the final day aboard the good ship Raimana World, a thirty-foot, $50,000 covered vessel with a crows nest that allows for a never-before-seen view of all the channel action. Holding down the fort with me was Mark Healey and his lovely girlfriend, Vanessa, “Captain Kala Alexander, Pat O’Connell, Kelly Slater, Reef McIntosh, Taylor Knox, Michele Bourez, Raimana Van Bastolaer, Daren Crawford, and a slew of other channel trash spectators. Thank you Raimana for letting us chill on your boat—an excellent time was had by all. And Steve from Hinano—you’re the man, thanks for the beverages and good times!
Mana is here—and soon to be everywhere. Mana, a new company based out of Teahupo’o, makes pearl necklaces and bracelets that feature authentic Tahitian black pearls and a label fabricated from mother of pearl shell. Mana has quite a team going of guys and girls who can handle the perils of Teahupo’o including Tamayo Perry, Jamie Sterling, Malia Jones, Brian Conley and Teahupo’o rock star—Adam ‘Biff’ D’Esposito. Look for their product in shops soon and check ’em out at www.tahitimana.com.