The Inertia

2016 Billabong Pro Tahiti Event Preview


Owen Wright standing tall in a bus-sized Tahitian tube. Photo: WSL

The Inertia

The 12-day window for the 2016 Billabong Pro Tahiti begins on August 19th and runs through August 30th. The event will take place at Teahupo’o, Tahiti’s daunting mutant left hand reef slab that is hands-down the heaviest wave on the World Tour. Event defending champion Jeremy Flores currently sits at #31 on the CT and has yet to advance beyond Round 3 in 2016. Jeremy requires an excellent result in Tahiti in order to turn around his dismal 2016 season and start building momentum for 2017 qualification.

Surfline’s Official Event Forecast (Updated: Wednesday, August 17th):

A modest run of inconsistent SW shifting SSW swell slowly fills in over Friday, the weekend, and into early next week; with Mon/Tues the 22nd-23rd looking to see the best of it, then easing thereafter. Overall, conditions are looking good for this run with easterly Trades. The longer range is not looking too promising at this point, but there is certainly plenty of time for things to possibly change for the better.

Former Event Champions:

2015 Jeremy Flores, 2014 Gabriel Medina, 2013 Adrian Buchan, 2012 Mick Fanning, 2011 Kelly Slater, 2010 Andy Irons, 2009 Bobbly Martinez, 2008 Bruno Santos, 2007 Damien Hobgood. 2006 Bobby Martinez, 2005 Kelly Slater, 2004 CJ Hobgood, 2003 Kelly Slater, 2002 Andy Irons, 2001 Corey Lopez, 2000 Kelly Slater, 1999 Mark Occhilupo

Former Event Andy Irons Most Committed Performance Award Recipients:

2015 C.J. Hobgood, 2014 Owen Wright, 2013 John John Florence, 2012 Ricardo dos Santos, 2011 Jeremy Flores

Round 1 Heat Draw

Heat 1: Jordy Smith, Dusty Payne, Ryan Callinan
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira, Kanoa Igarashi, Keanu Asing
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza, Miguel Pupo, Kai Otton
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina, Conner Coffin, Alex Ribeiro
Heat 5: John John Florence, Davey Cathels, Hira Teriinatoofa
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson, Stu Kennedy, Bruno Santos
Heat 7: Michel Bourez, Kelly Slater, Matt Banting
Heat 8: Julian Wilson, Nat Young, Jeremy Flores
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz, Josh Kerr, Jadson Andre
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan, Joel Parkinson, Alejo Muniz
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli, Kolohe Andino, Jack Freestone
Heat 12: Filipe Toledo, Wiggolly Dantas, Adam Melling

WSL Fantasy Surf Picks:

Tier A: John John Florence and Gabriel Medina; simply the two best surfers currently on Tour. If all is right in the surfing world, they will meet up for a figurative battle royale in the Final.
Tier B: Adrian Buchan; won the 2013 event in similarly forecasted conditions, Joel Parkinson; runner up in 2012 Joel’s backside barrel riding technique should be a difference maker, Nat Young; after back to back 25’s Nat will be focused to get back on track with a solid result, Kelly Slater; 4x event champ should never be counted out at “the end of the road”.
Tier C: Jeremy Flores; it would be silly to pass on the events defending champion in Tier C, Kai Otton; screamingly overdue for an inspired performance.

Teahupo’o Moments:

August 17th, 2000 Laird Hamilton’s groundbreaking millennium wave
Andy Irons pre event confidence/career building air drop in 2002
Kelly Slater’s perfect heat score in the 2005 Final
Andy Irons shotgun claim backfire in 2006
Bobby Martinez’s blistering 2006 performance
2011’s Code Red Swell
Owen Wright’s monumental performance in 2014
2014’s absurd semifinal heat of the year between Kelly and John John
Nathan Florence’s 2015 paddle in boundary shattering beast

See all the Live and On-Demand action for the 2016 Billabong Pro Tahiti at the

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