It has been an electrifying week in the surfing world with the monstrous
waves, carnage and controversy at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Teahupo’o, French
On Monday, 39 year old American icon Kelly Slater, reigning 10-time
ASP World Champion, claimed the title over 21 year old Ozzie, Owen Wright. The
win marked Slater’s 47th elite tour victory out of 67 Finals appearances!
This man is unstoppable and moving fast onto claiming his 11th World
Champ title. Is there any athlete in the world that comes close to him?
The Billabong Pro Tahiti experienced what is being called the best
surf in the 14 year-history of the event. Pristine two metre waves set the
scene for Round 1 before huge and unruly waves provided a stiff test for Round
The French Government issued a Code Red alert for Saturday, keeping
all commercial craft in the harbour, which resulted in some of the biggest
waves ever seen at Teahupo’o being surfed by specialist tow-in teams who had
jetted into the South Pacific Island specifically for the occasion!
The footage truly is remarkable and extremely dangerous! Some of
those walls of water hanging over the surfers could easily kill a man.
The rest of the rounds were held in windless conditions, bright
sunshine and incredibly hollow two to three metre waves. Onlookers witnessed perfect surfing from
Jeremy Flores became just the third surfer at elite tour level to
record an incredible perfect heat of 20 points out of a possible 20! He collected
the coveted Andy Irons Award for most committed performance of the event, honouring
the late Hawaiin three-time ASP World Champion and last year’s Billabong Pro
Tahiti Champion. It was an emotional tribute handed over by his brother, former
winner Bruce Irons, who shone in a surfing tribute to Andy before the Final
Durban’s Travis Logie recorded his career best result in an ASP
World Title Series event when he was placed third in the event. Meanwhile
fellow South African Jordy Smith retained his ASP No. 2 ranking despite being
eliminated by Logie in a re-run Round 3 heat after Smith suffered a dislocated
rib in powerful three metre surf.
We all watched in terror and anticipation when Jordy went down, and
horror when Travis wiped out too, disappearing
for a few minutes. He suffered from cuts, bruises and a strained AC shoulder
joint. There was a lot of controversy
over ASP uncharacteristically stopping the contest for a while, but they have
insisted it was because there was only one rescue boat, not because it was Jordy
Smith that was hurt.
The coveted $1 million Quicksilver Pro New York has been
postponed until Monday in light of the impact of Hurricane Irene and concerns
for the community who have suffered significant damage from the storm, but they
are still excited about the event and support the surfers completely.Lindy Taverner is the editor of the RUSH magazine that was
based in the Eastern Cape and recently relocated to Cape Town. Previous
issues and updated extreme sport news can be found on her site www.whatarush.co.za
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