HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, May 10, 2009) – Stop No. 3 of 10 on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour kicked off on Saturday, May 9, at Teahupoo in Tahiti and ran the first 14 heats of Round 1, utilizing the new man-on-man elimination format which will be adopted full-time for next year. Orange County native Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, was the only American surfer to advance from the sudden-death elimination round to advance through to Round 2.
Despite only posting a 3.90 out of 20 heat total, Reyes still managed to oust his opponent Mikael Picon (Capbreton, FRA), 30, from competition. Reyes is currently rated 29th overall on tour thus far with 33rd and 17th place finishes and his advancement out of the wave-starved heat plays a crucial role in the remainder of his season.
"I'm used to getting rides out there of our total combined," Reyes said. "It was really hard – a southeast swell pushing up top. There are still waves, but it's hard to find position. Miky (Picon) got the only wave that was good. There were a couple of good waves early today and yesterday was great. A win's a win though. I'm stoked to get through."
Reyes will tackle Australian Kieren Perrow (Byron Bay, AUS), 34, in Round 2 when competition resumes.
Other mainland Americans Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 23, ASP World Tour rookie Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 24, Chris Ward (San Clemente, CA), 30, and ASP Dream Tour replacement Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 23, were unable to escape early elimination and each suffered equal 33rd place finishes.
The top seeds have yet to surf in the Billabong Pro Tahiti and when competition resumes top American seeds including nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 37, veteran Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), 38, 2001 ASP World Champion C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 29, twin-brother Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL), 29, and former Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 26, will tackle the opening round's top performers.
For all of the LIVE Billabong Pro Tahiti action log on to billabongpro.com.