Epic Opening Day for World's Best at Billabong Pro Tahiti, Mammoth Swell Approaching
Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui was completed today in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 - 2 metre) waves at Teahupo'o.
Event No. 5 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Title season, the Billabong Pro Tahiti is facing a historic week of swell projected for the event, a fitting setting for the current ASP World Title Race as well as for those surfers looking to retain their spot amongst the world's elite after the September rotation.
Following the next event on the 2011 ASP World Title season in New York, the current ASP Top 34 will be rotated with the top 32 surfers on the ASP World Rankings as well as two surfer wildcards. Those sitting on the bubble at the moment will be looking for major results here in Tahiti and at the next event to ensure their position as ASP Top 34 members for the remainder of the season.
C.J. Hobgood (USA), 32, current No. 18 on the ASP World Rankings, is well within the safety zone for the September rotation, but he certainly shook things up today, dispatching current frontrunner in the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title, Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, in Round 1 of competition.
Hobgood netted the day's high heat total of a 19.37 out of a possible 20, including a near-perfect 9.87 out of a possible 10 single-wave score, for a blistering forehand assault amidst Teahupo'o's fanging lefthanders.
Travis Logie (ZAF), 32, current No. 44 on the ASP World Rankings, gained entry into the Billabong Pro Tahiti at the 11th