Teahupo’o Trials Start Today-Watch It Live!

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Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).
World Championship Tour (WCT).
Teahupoo, Tahiti.
May 5th — 17th, 2005

Air Tahiti Nui/ Von Zipper Trials April 25th-29th
Billabong Pro Tahiti Men’s May 5-17th
Billabong Pro Tahiti Girl’s May 5-15th

Detailed Ben Matson surf report at page end

Australian Surfer Accepts XXL Monster Tube Award From Teahupo’o Tahiti

Monday 25th April (Teahupoo Tahiti): Australian surfer Dylan Longbottom (Gold Coast) has had the perfect confidence boost heading into tomorrow’s Air Tahiti Nui/Von Zipper Trials by winning the Monster Tube Award at the XXL Ceremony in California on Saturday night.

The 31-year-old accepted the accolade via an international phone call to the small fishing village of Teahupoo Tahiti, where the lone Australian to be nominated for one of the prestigious big wave awards has been granted a wildcard into the Air Tahiti Nui/Von Zipper Trials and will enter in round three along with other seeded surfers.

A solid swell has begun to push through at the famed reef break of Teahupoo (Cheo-poo) but with 10ft (3-4m) waves predicted by tomorrow morning, organizes have opted to wait. The world’s most prestigious trials will grant two wildcards into the World Championship Tour (WCT) event which commences on May 5th.

Some of the most notorious big wave surfers will line up from the opening round including fellow XXL award winner and former world number four Shane Dorian (Haw), Maroubra’s Koby Abberton (Aus) and the Hawaiian Ho brothers Michael and Derek.

Longbottom pocketed US$5000 for the huge tube ride which he rode at Shipsterns Bluff off the southern tip of Tasmania two months ago.

“It’s good to get recognized for doing those sort of things all the time and I am just so happy with the award, said Longbottom. “I was up against Raimana from over here in Tahiti which was a really big wave and a couple of guys from Jaws in Hawaii so to beat those guys I am pretty stoked.

With the swell predicted to equal the monster Longbottom rode at Shipsterns, the father of two is realistic about facing the Tahitians at their home break.

“I wouldn’t say I would have an advantage over these guys here but we are all in the same boat and I’m looking forward to the big swell coming. Everyone is scared but you just have to conquer that fear and give it your best shot. I get a couple of rounds to just watch so its good to just kick back and see where the guys are sitting and then get ready.

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

Key Forecast Points:
Excellent succession of large SW groundswells early in the Trials’ waiting period
Large follow-up WSW swell for the second half of the waiting period
Very large swell next weekend/early next week
Generally favourable conditions

Quick 5-day overview:

Mon: short-range SW swell holding 3-4′ at first, easing during the day, but a new long-range SW groundswell is expected after lunch with sets building towards 6’+ mid-late arvo, possibly bigger, generally light variable winds

Tues: strong pulsing SW groundswell with bomb sets in the 8-10′ category at times (upper end of this range a little inconsistent), size easing by a couple of feet later in the day, generally light var winds

Wed: poss early 8′ sets at first easing to 4-6′ around lunch, generally light variable winds, poss N’ly tendency at times tending S’ly laterThurs: plenty of SW swell in the 4-5′ range, but an additional WSW swell is expected to ramp up wave heights towards 8’+ during the morning, generally light variable winds, poss N’ly tendency at times

Fri: strong 8′ WSW swell swinging more SW during the day, generally light variable winds

Longer Term: very large swell from late Sat thru’ Tues

Marine Synopsis/Prognosis
A couple of swells are expected to ve impacted the southern coastline of Tahiti over the weekend, originating from separate swell windows in the Southern Ocean and South Pacific. A sub-tropical storm that traversed east of New Zealand mid-late last week (along latitude 38S) set up a brief but very strong southerly swell event that was expected to have increased wave heights on Saturday before a peak early Sunday morning. This swell is anticipated to ease steadily throughout Sunday afternoon, but at the same time, a short-range WSW swell is expected to arrive at Teahupoo, originating from the western flank of ex-TC Shelia. This system passed rather quickly through the swell window, so this burst of energy is not expected to last very long nor deliver a huge amount of size – wave heights should have started to build this afternoon, but they’ll back off in size on Monday and should max out around 4′.

Local observations over the last 24 hours from Tahiti-Faaa Airport show that the region has experienced southerly winds between around 5kts throughout the morning, increasing slightly to 10kts this afternoon.

Tahiti’s SW swell window fired up significantly last week as a strong succession of storms powered underneath New Zealand, and as a result the next week or so is looking very active for Teahupoo. The first pulse of new swell is expected to arrive around lunchtime on Monday, having been generated mid-last week south of New Zealand. The first half of the day is expected to exhibit leftovers from the last couple of swell events (small background SW swell around 2-3′, an easing short-range WSW swell in the 3-4′ range at first, and some small leftover S’ly swell around 2-3′), but once the new swell hits we should see the primary swell energy focus in from the SW. Surf size should build all day, and by the late afternoon we’re likely to see sets waves in the 6’+ range on dark. Tuesday is expected to deliver the most size from this swell event, but it’ll be heavily reinforced by a much more powerful swell that was generated a few days later below New Zealand. Very strong wind speeds at the core of the swell source is likely to result in a large swell period (around 17-18+ seconds), and this will assist in significantly ramping up wave heights at Teahupoo. Current projections are that we’ll see a peak in size in the morning somewhere between 8′ and 10′, and the SW swell direction (along with the large size) is expected to result in very powerful waves across the region. The peak size from this event is not expected to last for much more than 4-6 hours, and the large distance between the swell source and Tahiti will result in some inconsistency in the upper size range throughout the day. Wave heights are likely to ease a little during the afternoon, and although Wednesday morning may still have a few rogue 8′ waves on offer at first light, it’s expected to level out to around 4-6′ during the day.

Surface conditions throughout this time frame are expected to be reasonable – there’s not expected to be any major driving force in the local synoptic wind, so we’re looking at a light and variable pattern below 10-12kts all day. However, a weakening tropical depression currently located just north of Fiji is expected to track quickly SE over the next few days – it won’t affect Tahiti to any major degree, but we may see a slight influence in the local winds around Wednesday with a possible northerly tendency swinging southerly as this surface feature traverses SE of Tahiti’s longitude.

The second half of this week is also looking very busy, with a couple of new swell sources expected to light up Teahupoo with new swell energy. A powerful low pressure system presently undergoing cyclogenesis east of New Zealand has developed a very impressive band of winds on it’s western flank (50-60kts), but at the present time they are aimed towards Fiji/Tonga. However, this low is expected to be steered into Tahiti’s swell window around Monday (Tahiti time) as a strong frontal system approached from the west (this front and low will eventually merge mid-week). This low is expected to generate a significant round of punchy WSW swell for the region, likely to fill in sometime around Thursday morning. Although the system is not expected to be large in diameter, wind speeds at the centre of the low should still be in the 40-50kt+ range and this will contribute to a very large swell period. As a result, we’re likely to see a solid 8’+ from this system, and the strong westerly component in the swell direction will make for very challenging conditions at Teahupoo.

However, this swell is expected to be overshadowed by a much more significant swell event next weekend. The merger of the aforementioned front and low is expected to result in a very large system SW of Tahiti, and it’s expected to track quite a reasonable distance north in association with a strong upper level long-wave trough. At this stage we’re looking at a very significant swell event arriving sometime late on Saturday (30th April), peaking Sunday afternoon and holding through Monday and possibly even Tuesday. Although it’s still some time away, we’re likely to be looking at a very strong round of SW swell in the 12’+ range, possibly even bigger near 15′ at times if the system continues to follow current model guidance. The only downside is that we’ll see a period of unfavourable winds at the start of this time frame, due to the close proximity of this system to the Tahitian region – but this should clear over the course of a day or so with very large surf on offer at Teahupoo early next week.system approached from the west (this front and low will eventually merge mid-week). This low is expected to generate a significant round of punchy WSW swell for the region, likely to fill in sometime around Thursday morning. Although the system is not expected to be large in diameter, wind speeds at the centre of the low should still be in the 40-50kt+ range and this will contribute to a very large swell period. As a result, we’re likely to see a solid 8’+ from this system, and the strong westerly component in the swell direction will make for very challenging conditions at Teahupoo.

However, this swell is expected to be overshadowed by a much more significant swell event next weekend. The merger of the aforementioned front and low is expected to result in a very large system SW of Tahiti, and it’s expected to track quite a reasonable distance north in association with a strong upper level long-wave trough. At this stage we’re looking at a very significant swell event arriving sometime late on Saturday (30th April), peaking Sunday afternoon and holding through Monday and possibly even Tuesday. Although it’s still some time away, we’re likely to be looking at a very strong round of SW swell in the 12’+ range, possibly even bigger near 15′ at times if the system continues to follow current model guidance. The only downside is that we’ll see a period of unfavourable winds at the start of this time frame, due to the close proximity of this system to the Tahitian region – but this should clear over the course of a day or so with very large surf on offer at Teahupoo early next week.