Billabong Pro Tahiti: Day 3
Drama And Upsets Abound At Eight Foot Teahupo‘o
After yesterday’s epic tow-in session, today’s eight-foot and glassy conditions were tame in comparison…until dudes started trying to paddle into ‘em. The morning got off to a quick start as Matt Wilkinson grabbed his balls and threw himself over the ledge on an early morning bomb. He got spat out into the channel and was awarded a perfect ten, setting the tone and pace for the day.
I paddled my trusty blue kayak (there may have been a few Hinano’s on board) out to watch the action for a few hours, here are a few observations…
Jordy vs Travis
The battle of the Saffas. Jordy kicked it off by pulling into a solid one but was too deep and had to abandon ship. Somewhere in the washing machine he injured his ribs, and had to be picked up by the Water Patrol. Once he made it back to the channel he was writhing in pain and contest officials put the heat on hold. But wait, nobody put the contest on hold when Damien Hobgood dislocated his shoulder here a few years ago. It was a pretty heavy moment; Martin Potter (Quiksilver team guy and former World Champ) was blowing up and yelling at the judges in the channel, as was Damien Hobgood. In the end, the ASP did the right thing and re-ran the heat. Travis Logie won and for at least a day, was the best South African on tour. Jordy’s gonna be sore for a while and told me before the second heat, “I’m so fuckin sore, bru.”
Kelly vs Rodrigo
Brazilian trials winner and my housemate, Ricardo Dos Santos started the round three clash against the 10-Time World Champion by taking off on a couple bad waves but collected himself toward the end of the heat and had a chance to beat Kelly but was thwarted by a controversial non-call on what some would say was a paddle for a wave, which would have given the Brazilian a chance at a wave. It sure looked to me like Kelly paddled for the wave in question but the judges saw it differently, giving the Champ a free pass to what could vault him toward another World Title as the other top guys have already been eliminated.
Simpo Goes Brucey
Either that’s really Bruce Irons wearing a jersey out here at Chopes or Huntington Beach’s Brett Simpson has all of the sudden become a hard-charging backside barrel master. HB’s finest is simply on fire and dispatching guys left and right as he fights to retain his spot on the World Tour.
Fred vs Fanning
“I feel like such a dick,” said Fred Pattachia as he paddled up to the media boat after giving Mick Fanning an interference to knock the two-time world champ out of the event. He may feel like a dick but this is the big leagues and you gotta do what you gotta do, especially when fighting for a spot on the World Tour.
Sunday In Paradise Channel Vibe
It’s so fun to drink beer and yell for guys on the World Tour to takeoff on unmakeable waves…especially with the Monster Energy girls serving as eye candy in between sets.
Jeremy Is Perfect…I Am Not
In one of those moments where you want to kick yourself in the face, I paddled the yakker in just before Jeremy Flores erupted for a perfect heat total of 20-points. I talked to Jeremy yesterday as he was debating towing in, “Raimana said I shouldn’t surf. He told me it was that dangerous. He knows what’s up so I guess I’m gonna listen to him.” Flores obviously made the right choice and rode into the history books today…and I didn’t see a lick of it. On another note, how do you think Michel Bourez feels after losing with a heat total of 18.13? As they say in these parts: C’est la vie.