C.J. Hobgood : photo ASP/Robertson
Billabong Pro Tahiti
Presented by Air Tahiti Nui
ASP World Tour event #5
23 August - 3 September 2010
C.J. Hobgood Finishes Runner Up at Billabong Pro Tahiti
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 September, 2010 : - - Floridian champion C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 31, logged in his best result of the 2010 ASP Dream Tour season, finishing runner-up behind former three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (Hanalei, HI), 32, at the 10th annual Billabong Pro Tahiti, while talented rookie Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 24, survived the dreaded midyear reduction with a career best fifth place finish.
Stop No. 5 of 10 on the ASP Dream Tour season, the Billabong Pro Tahiti represented a crucial stop for all competitors, with the original 45 man field being reduced to the Top 32 rated surfers for the remainder of the season after the event. Hobgood, whose best result on the 2010 season was an equal fifth place finish entering the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
Navigated his way through several tricky Teahupoo barrels to charge his way into the Final against Irons, but was unable to find the waves needed to stop the Hawaiian champion and finished with an impressive second place finish overall. I had good waves that I could have got the score on and I tried a little harder than I had to, Hobgood said.
My highest score was only an 8 through every heat leading up to this one and I hadnt had a breakout performance. No one to blame but myself. Im stoked all the same though. After the win, I told Andy (Irons) theres a lot of people pulling for you, including myself. Its emotional and you take what you can from it.
Although the former ASP World Champion was disappointed in falling short of the Billabong Pro victory, the runner up result shoots Hobgood to No. 15 on the ASP World Title Rankings and Hobgood hopes he can carry his momentum from the Final appearance through to the remainder of the season.Ive been in four finals out here and I dont remember the years I got second, Hobgood said.
Still, its a huge result for me, and I had the opportunity out there. I finally got the monkey off my back this season and I hope I can build on this moving forward. Patrick Gudauskas, who was desperately in need of an impressive result entering the Billabong Pro Tahiti due to the midyear reduction from 45 surfers to 32, rose to the challenge, posting his career-best result, an equal fifth place finish, moving the talented Californian to No. 22 on the ASP World Title rankings.
The solid performance launches Gudauskas well within the dreaded midyear cutoff, guaranteeing the ASP Dream Tour rookie the chance to compete in the remaining five ASP World Title events on the 2010 calendar. My mind is still here for the moment, Gudauskas said. But its been my dream of mine since I can remember to surf at this level at home and at Pipe, and Im over the moon. First and foremost though, focus remains here.
Gudauskas also locked into a piece of ASP Dream Tour history en route to his result, successfully punting the first ever rodeo flip in elite competition while advancing through to Round 4. It was really tough out there, Gudauskas said. There werent a lot of waves coming through and I didnt know if I should wait for the good ones or if there were even any good ones left. I knew I needed to go big at the end there so I thought, whatever, Ill just try this.
It had a really nice section and when I came out of the rotation, I knew I had it so I just kind of rode out and gave the judges a little thumbs up. After the midyear reduction from 45 surfers down to 32, mainland America now has eight surfers competing amongst the elite for the remaining five events of the ASP Dream Tour season including nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 38.
Current ASP World No. 4 Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 24, Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 28, current ASP World No. 15 C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 31, twin brother Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL), 31, Patrick Gudauskas, Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 25, and 2010 ASP Dream Tour wildcard for the remaining season, Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), 30.
The next stop on the ASP Dream Tour will be mainland Americas only ASP World Title event, the Hurley Pro at Trestles, which holds a waiting period from September 12 through 18, 2010. For LIVE action and additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org
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#11 : Major upsets as Billabong Pro Tahiti gets underway
#12 : ASP frontrunner Jordy Smith out of Billabong Pro Tahiti
#13 : Lay day for Billabong Pro Tahiti, final day tomorrow
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