Billabong Pro Tahiti Kicks Off

Image Source: WSL

Image Source: WSL

August 20, 2016, Teahupo’o, Tahiti: The World Surf League’s Billabong Pro Tahiti Kicks off as stop number 7 of 11 for the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League Championship Tour. A display of excellent tube riding skills were up all day as round 1 saw four to five foot waves.

The current Jeep Leaderboard number 1 Matt Wilkinson (AUS) has failed to hold off the wild card entry Bruno Santos (BRA) in heat 6 of round 1. Santos was able to establish an early lead with his 5.67 and backed it up with a solid 6.23. This has increased pressure on Wilkinson and Stuart Kennedy (AUS) to come up with better second wave scores but they were both unable to answer back with any solid scores and will have to go through elimination round 2.

Current World No. 2, John John Florence (HAW), put on a clinic with his near perfect 18.40 (out of a possible 20.00) The Hawaiian had two no-grab barrels and was able to score a 9.40 and a 9.0 which caught WSL Rookie Davey Cathels (AUS) and event wildcard Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) in a combination situation. Cathels tried to answer back with an excellent 7.50 but came short of Florence’s huge lead. Florence will advance to the third round while Cathels and Teriinatoofa will have to go through round 2 eliminations.

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Former event winner and current World No 3. Gabriel Medina (BRA) has dominated his round 1 heat against Conner Coffin (USA) and Alex Ribeiro (BRA), both WSL rookies. His 13.60 has given him a large margin over the other 2 competitors in round 1.

The defending event winner, Jeremy Flores (FRA) has established a strong start on his attempt to win back to back event title wins. He won against Julian Wilson (AUS) and Nat Young (USA). His 11.43 helped him skip round 2.

Eleven-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has advanced to round 3 with a narrow margin against Michel Bourez (PYF) and Matt Banting (AUS). Slater pulled out of a deep barrel to earn a near-perfect 9.00.

Kelly Slater © WSL/Cestari

Kelly Slater © WSL/Cestari

Heat 3 had Kai Otton (AUS) winning against reigning WSL Champion Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Miguel Pupo (BRA). His 14.33 heat score has put him on the lead against the Brazilians.

Italo Ferreira (BRA) won against 2016 WSL Rookie Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Keanu Asing (HAW) in heat 2 and will advance to round 3.

Adam Melling (AUS) closed out Round 1 with his incredible 17.67 heat score. His combined total included the highest single-wave score of the day, which was a near-perfect 9.67 and the second highest combined score of the day behind Florence’s 18.40.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS) and Kolohe Andino (USA) were also able to win their Round 1 heats and will advance straight to Round 3.

Round 1 Results:
Heat 1:
Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.00
Ryan Callinan (AUS) 3.27
Dusty Payne (HAW) 0.00

Heat 2:
Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.50
Keanu Asing (HAW) 7.40
Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 5.34

Heat 3:
Kai Otton (AUS) 14.33
Adriano de Souza (BRA) 5.33
Miguel Pupo (BRA) 4.66

Heat 4:
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.60
Conner Coffin (USA) 5.60
Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 3.47

Heat 5:
John John Florence (HAW) 18.40
Davey Cathels (AUS) 12.33
Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 4.50

Heat 6:
Bruno Santos (BRA) 11.90
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.50
Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 7.37

Heat 7:
Kelly Slater (USA) 15.00
Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.83
Matt Banting (AUS) 9.30

Heat 8:
Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.43
Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.20
Nat Young (USA) 5.33

Heat 9:
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.07
Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.03
Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.44

Heat 10:
Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.00
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5.87
Alejo Muniz (BRA) 2.96

Heat 11:
Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.50
Jack Freestone (AUS) 12.80
Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.70

Heat 12:
Adam Melling (AUS) 17.67
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.24
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.10

The Event:
World Surf League Men’s World Championship Tour
Teahupo’o, Tahiti, French Polynesia
19 – 30 August, 2016

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