And The Weather Man Reports…

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).
Foster’s Men’s World Tour.
Women’s ASP World Championship Tour.Billabong Pro Tahiti Men’s May 5-17th
Billabong Pro Tahiti Girl’s May 5-15th

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WELL, what shall we write about today, this our eighth day of the waiting periodfor the Billabong Pro Tahiti, and our sixth straight day of basically non-stopshowers? As yesterday, this morning ‘ s 6.30am call was an almost automatic onebecause the swell has dropped even further. It’s off for the day! It ‘ s ALLgood though … good stuff is on the way. We ‘ ll leave it to Swellnet ‘ sBen Matson to describe when and how.

Go Ben …

As the risk of sounding like a broken record, Wednesday has delivered yet anotherday of poor surf and adverse weather conditions at Teahupoo. Additionally, there’sbeen no change in weather data from both the Tahiti Faaa Airport and overheadsatellites, with local winds swinging from a light easterly around to a light/modSW/NW’er at dawn, and Quikscat data indicating a strong ESE airstream in the20-25kt range throughout Tahitian waters.

Unfortunately, there is no new swell expected for Thursday, and with localconditions expected to remain similar to today, it is highly likely thatconditions will be unsuitable to run the first round of the Billabong Pro.

We have a succession of new groundswells on the way for Tahiti, and the last fourdays of the waiting period are expected to deliver very good surf at Teahupoo. Asmall but long-range pulse of SW swell is expected slightly lift wave heights onFriday, but at this stage it is not viewed highly as a strong contender foranything notable due to the inconsistent nature of the swell. However, it isaround Friday when we can expect to see a change in the local weather, with thestrong SE airstream starting to wind back in strength and the surface conditionsstarting to improve in quality.

Several new groundswells are expected for Saturday, and although there is a chancethat the day may begin a little sluggishly, we should see a strong increasingtrend as the day progresses. We have a new short-range WSW groundswell expected toarrive before lunch, presently being generated by a mid-latitude system that hasdeveloped off the NE Coast of New Zealand. It hasn’t quite swung into position asyet (most of its energy is being directed towards Fiji), but this should change inthe next 12-24 hours and the associated swell is likely to be quite punchy once itarrives. Additionally, we have a new long-range SW swell expected to ramp up waveheights during the day, having been generated from a strong storm track beneathAustralia earlier this week. The combination of these swells should increase surfsize from 3-4′ in the morning towards a peak late Saturday afternoon or perhapsearly Sunday morning in the 5-6’+ range.

The swell trend is then expected to ease temporarily on Sunday afternoon (withreasonably good conditions) ahead of another long-range SW groundswell for thestart of the working week. This round of energy was generated by a series of lowpressure systems that have occupied the distant SW swell window for a littlelonger than usual, and therefore we can expect more consistency in the surf forMonday and Tuesday. Wave heights are expected to build from around 4′ in themorning up into the 6′ range with occasional 8′ bombs by the mid-late afternoon,and this peak in size currently anticipated to hold throughout the majority ofTuesday.

As far as local weather in concerned, the recent bout of Maramu winds are expectedto ease throughout Friday, and at this stage the general consensus is that we’llsee a light to moderate easterly flow throughout the weekend and into the start ofthe new week. Although this should improve weather prospects significantly overwhat we’ve seenn recently, periods of gusty winds can’t be ruled out completely -there is a reasonable chance that a small depression may develop just north ofTahiti on Saturday, and this may instigate localized thunderstorms throughout theday. However, the chances of an extended spell of driving onshore winds and heavyrain is low compared to the last week.

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

Billabong Pro Live Webcast: via www.billabongpro.comand each day of the event utilizing live coverage in English, French and Portuguese, with the event websites being translated into these three languages plus, Japanese and Spanish. Various camera angles, highlights and replays, weather and scoring information, direct viewer interaction, celebrity guests, interviews and more are a part of the daily webcast program.

(From Paul Sargeant)