Billabong Pro Tahiti
ASP Men's World Tour event #5 of 11
Teahupoo, Taiarapu French Polynesia
20 - 31 August 2011
Kelly picks up steam throughout event, ousting Wilko, Kerr and finally Wright | Slideshow
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 August, 2011 : - - Teahupo'o, Taiarapu/French Polynesia -- Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion, has claimed the Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui over Owen Wright (AUS), 21, in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 2 metre) waves at Teahupoo. Event No. 5 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Title season, the Billabong Pro Tahiti culminated a historic incarnation of the event today, with the worlds best surfers pushing the performance envelope in incredible conditions.
Slater began to really pick up steam in todays conditions, dispatching of an in-form Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, in the Semifinals before meeting lethal goofy-footer Wright in the Finals. The iconic American utilized his superior backhand tube-riding technique to post an 18.43 heat total out of a possible 20, which would prove too much for his younger opponent to overcome.
I felt like I finally hit my stride in the Semifinals this morning, Slater said. In the Final, I fell on a couple of waves that were maybe better than what I ended up getting scored on. It put the pressure on me, and took the pressure off him (Wright). He got that really big one at the end that could have gotten pretty close to the score. These are the best conditions this event has ever run in. Its been a phenomenal week..
Kelly Slater © ASP / Robertson | Slideshow
Coming into Tahiti rated No. 6 on the ASP World Title rankings, Slaters win today rockets the Floridian to the No. 1 spot after a number of top seeds suffered early eliminations at the hands of an unmerciful Teahupoo
Its one of those weird events where you have to scramble through the early rounds, Slater said. Every year at this event, there are few of the top guys that lose in the early rounds and you have to scramble if you want a result here. You have to be in tune with the tides, swell direction and everything to make sure you get those waves that get you the score.
Todays win marked Slaters 47th elite tour victory (out of 67 Finals appearances).
Owen Wright © ASP / Kirstin | Slideshow
Wright secured the best result of his young career today, finishing Runner-Up at the Billabong Pro Tahiti. The progressive Australian was a standout at Teahupoo, notching perfect rides and impressive victories with ease. I thought it was an incredible Final, Wright said. We both got really good waves and I felt like I did what I needed to on them. Kelly (Slater) just happened to find ones that opened up a little better. Congrats to him, and hoping I can get him in the next one.
Travis Logie (ZAF), 32, gained entry into the Billabong Pro Tahiti will the withdrawal of Bobby Martinez (USA), 29, from competition. Formerly sitting at the 44th spot on the ASP World Rankings, Logies Equal 3rd place finish at Teahupoo moves the South African up to 34th on the rankings in hopes of cementing himself as an ASP Top 34 member after the September rotation.
Travis Logie © ASP / Robertson | Slideshow
Its been an unbelievable week for me, Logie said. I dont think it has all sunk in yet. I was in Europe, I barely made it here in time, Ive been on borrowed equipment, Ive been banged up on the reef, I had a re-surf with my good mate Jordy (Smith) and Ive also scored the best result of my career. Its all happened very fast. So yeah, Im happy with how everythings worked out, but would have liked to have made that Final.
Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, although one of the standouts in both the free surfs and the event, was not be able to overtake Slater in an inconsistent Semifinal. It was pretty frustrating out there, Kerr said. We had a little exchange in the beginning and there just werent any more opportunities through the heat. I thought wed have a bit more action with the tide push, but it was the opposite. Im pretty disappointed. Its a good result for me of course, just thought I could go a little better.
Jeremy Flores (FRA), 23, put in some of the most inspiring performances of the event, bagging the biggest waves and even surfing a Perfect 20 heat in yesterdays idyllic conditions. For his heroics, Flores was awarded the Andy Irons Award for most committed performance of the event. This is the inaugural year for the award, honoring the late ASP and Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion Andy Irons.
Josh Kerr © ASP / Robertson | Slideshow
Andy (Irons) meant everything to me, Flores said. He has been the guy Ive looked up to my whole life. In heavy waves, in all waves, he was the best and to earn this award is so special for me. He inspired everyone on tour and hes been my inspiration in Tahiti. I know he was smiling on this event. Thank you Andy.
Highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui will be available via billabongpro.com. For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com
Jeremy Flores © ASP / Robertson | Slideshow
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI FINAL RESULTS:
1 Kelly Slater (USA) 18.43
2 Owen Wright (AUS) 17.10
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.60
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.50 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.40
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.83
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.17
QF 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 18.07 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 17.14
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.10
ASP WORLD TITLE RANKINGS TOP 5 (After Billabong Pro Tahiti)
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 26,950 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 26,500 pts
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 26,200 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 22,750 pts
5. Owen Wright (AUS) 21,900 pts
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Billabong International Media
Dave Prodan / ASP International
Steve Robertson / ASP Australasia
ASP World Tour - Surfersvillage