The world’s best surfers returned to one of the world’s most dangerous waves for the second day of the Billabong Pro Tahiti, stop number seven on the ASP World Championship Tour.
The day saw some impressive performances with an abundance of tube riding in challenging six-to-eight foot conditions at Teahupo’o.
The first heat of the day saw Josh Kerr and Mitch Coleborn go head-to-head. Kerr dominated the round taking an early lead with an impressive 8.83 for his first wave. He went on to log the first nine-point ride of the day for a long tube, putting Coleborn in a combination situation that he would never achieve.
“The days leading up to the swell were so mentally draining because you’re trying to prepare yourself,” said Josh Kerr. “I was just happy to be lying in bed last night in one piece. Yesterday was a great and historical day for this contest.”
[pullquote]A crucial exchange unfolded with Smith and Simpson trading backhand tubes[/pullquote]
After a heavy wipeout yesterday, Jordy Smith was eliminated by Brett Simpson in heat four, round two. The second match-up of the day began slowly, with Simpson taking the lead. Well over the half way point and Smith had only posted a 1.00. Then a crucial exchange unfolded with Smith and Simpson trading backhand tubes, both gave it their all fighting for a place in round three but Simpson managed to stay on top.
“I’ve surfed against a lot of good guys and I’m just stoked to get this win. This is a testing wave. One the one hand you think let me go home, this wave’s going to kill me, but on the other hand you get the waves of your life,” Brett Simpson commented.
John John Florence and Raoni Monteiro went head-to-head in heat five. Florence waited 10 minutes before making his move, dropping into a narrow barrel and powering through the closeout for a 6.00. Monteiro waited 15 minutes before he made his move, but after three failed attempts he was unable to post anything significant. Florence took the win.
“A couple of big sets came through that weren’t really paddle-able. But I just relaxed, it’s such fun out there,” said John John Florence.
As the day continued there were some impressive and trying performances. Aritz Aranburu exploded into his heat, taking off just after the horn and into a hollow barrel for a near-perfect 9.23. His matchup Freddy Patacchia sat patiently and scoreless for the first half of the heat, but eventually got things going with an 8.17 for a thick barrel. Aranburu answered back with another quick barrel, while Patacchia lost his footing and went down in the white water. With 10 minutes left on the clock a critical exchange took place, with both surfers posting some excellent scores. However, it was Aranburu’s early nine-pointer that allowed him to take the win.
“Luckily I got a great wave at the start and that gave me a lot of confidence. I’m stoked to be part of that heat and I really enjoyed it. This is a contest I really like and it suits me really well,” expressed Aritz Aranburu.
Unfortunately Travis Logie suffered a foot injury yesterday and was forced to leave the competition. His match-up for round two, C.J. Hobgood, will progress directly to round three. Hobgood wishes Logie the best: “My first thought is that I hope that Travis is okay. He was on the back of the ski and his foot hit something. It’s a long year and I hope he’s able to come back. I’ve been on tour for 13 year and I’ve never had a walk through. Hopefully the swell increases tomorrow and I get another chance.”
[pullquote]air dropping into a clean barrel, tucking and dragging to maximise tube time[/pullquote]
The final heat of the day tested Sebastian Zietz and Alejo Muniz. Both surfers searched for barrels in increasingly challenging sets, but when that wave finally rolled in it was Zietz who capitalised — air dropping into a clean barrel, tucking and dragging to maximise tube time — posting a 9.97, the highest single wave score of the day. Muniz was left searching and unable to score anything substantial.
“I didn’t sleep well last night because I was jittery after yesterday, it’s not as big today but it’s still really fun and I’m stoked to make it though in such tough conditions,” said Seabstian Zietz.
The competition was but on stand by after heat eleven, the final heat of round two will continue when the competition resumes.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2 Results (1st to Round 3, 2nd finishes Equal 25th):
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17 def. Taumata Puhetini (PFY) 12.50
Heat 2: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 12.00 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 11.77
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.90 def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 11.24
Heat 4: Brett Simpson (USA) 11.50 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 5.33
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 11.00 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 2.43
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 6.33 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 2.93
Heat 7: Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.77 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.60
Heat 8: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 17.46 def. Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 17.04
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA) direct advance to Round 3, Travis Logie (ZAF) withdrawn following injury
Heat 10: Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.17 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.60
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.80 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 2.00
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2 Upcoming Match-Ups (1st to Round 3, 2nd finishes Equal 25th):
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Match-Ups (1st to Round 4, 2nd finishes Equal 13th):
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)