Clean conditions and pulsing three-to-four foot surf greeted the worldâ€™s best surfers today as Round 2 was completed at the primary venue of Teahupoâ€™o. Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti enjoyed historic conditions for the 2011 installment, but faces the challenge of a less-than-ideal swell forecast for this seasonâ€™s event. Despite this hurdle, the worldâ€™s best surfers have been tearing into the chunky lefthander of Teahupoâ€™o the past two days and, once again, the Brazilians proved to be in top form.
Miguel PupoÂ (BRA), 20, led the South American charge today, netting an incredible 18.97 out of a possible 20 to eliminateÂ Yadin NicolÂ (AUS), 26, and advance through to Round 3. In the young Brazilianâ€™s first competitive showing at Teahupoâ€™o, Pupo exhibited superb tube-riding skills on his forehand.
â€œThe waves were really fun for our heat,â€ Pupo said. â€œThe waves are stop and go out there. Some heats have waves and some do not. We were happy to have a lot of waves in our heat. This is my first time competing at Teahupoâ€™o so I am just trying to get as many waves as I can and build my experience.â€
Pupo will take on Owen Wright (AUS), 22, in Round 3 of competition.
Jeremy FloresÂ (FRA), 24, current No. 11 on the ASP WCT ratings and last yearâ€™s recipient of the coveted Andy Irons Award, posted a commanding win today overÂ Dusty PayneÂ (HAW), 23. Floresâ€™ comfort in the South Pacific reef pass is indicative of his development in powerful reefs all over the world.
â€œI grew up in Reunion and now live in New Caledonia so I spend a lot of time surfing over reefs,â€ Flores said. â€œUnfortunately, we donâ€™t have conditions like we did last year, but when the waves come, Teahupoâ€™o is still an excellent barrel. Most places in the world would kill to have waves like we have today so itâ€™s all good.â€
Flores will face Heitor Alves (BRA), 30, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
Kieren PerrowÂ (AUS), 35, tour veteran and current ASP WCT No. 31, broke through a rough slump at the start of the year with a convincing win overÂ Tiago PiresÂ (PRT), 32, today. The 2011 Billabong Pipe Masters champion pig-dogged his way to an impressive 16.60 out of a possible 20 heat total and advanced directly to Round 3.
â€œItâ€™s been a tough start to 2012 for me so it feels great to get a heat win again,â€ Perrow said. â€œI feel like Iâ€™m surfing well and Iâ€™m getting good boards off of Darren (Handley) so everything is there. Itâ€™s just about putting smart heats together. Todayâ€™s conditions are so much cleaner than yesterdayâ€™s so when the waves do come through they have great potential.â€
Perrow will take on Round standout Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, in Round 3 when competition resumes.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7am start.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti are calling for a mixed bag of pulsey, shorter to medium period South and SSW swells in the 3-5â€™ range on the face (chest-head high) for tomorrow.
When competition resumes, up first will be two-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 1Â Mick FanningÂ (AUS), 31, up againstÂ Fredrick PatacchiaÂ (HAW), 30, in the opening heat of Round 3.
Highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti will be available viaÂ billabongpro.com/tahiti12
For more information, log ontoÂ aspworldtou.com
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI REMAINING ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 3:Â Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.50 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 6.93
Heat 4:Â Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.50 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.73
Heat 5:Â Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.33 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 3.40
Heat 6:Â Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.00 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.97
Heat 7:Â Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.60 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.00
Heat 8:Â Miguel Pupo (BRA) 18.97 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.97
Heat 9:Â Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.60 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.34
Heat 10:Â Brett Simpson (USA) 10.27 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 3.43
Heat 11:Â Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.50 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.67
Heat 12:Â Kai Otton (AUS) 13.73 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 5.67
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Â Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 2:Â Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 3:Â Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kai Ottonn (AUS)
Heat 4:Â Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 5:Â C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 6:Â Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 7:Â Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 8:Â Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 9:Â Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 10:Â John John Florence (HAW) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 11:Â Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12:Â Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)