Even small Teahupoo can be maddeningly beautiful!
There are days in the pro surfing game when nothing of note happens. When everything hums beehive perfect, the telecast is good, the commentators are in form, there are no technical glitches, but absent is any form of drama.
Today, very near the southern tip of Tahiti, on Tahiti-iti, in three-to-four-foot waves under gloomy skies, six hours of heats were processed without surprise.
Low heat totals. Fickle sets. A channel empty but for photographers and filmers and caddies obligated by friendship or employers to record a dozen forgettable heats.
You can imagine the early-morning interiors of the home-stays around Teahupoo, still but for the guest who would be fidgeting and grinning hideously as he crept out of the house to surf for his life in three-foot waves.
Results were par.
Filipe Toledo disappeared with a last place in an odd heat where he appeared determined to conjure a reputation-changing six-footer out of nowhere.
The tenuous world number one Matt Wilkinson beat the almost-forty-year-old wildcard Hira Teriinatoofa with a switchblade layback.
Dusty Payne armlocked Conner Coffin in a tight, last-minute win that made Conner bare his teeth in frustration.
Alex Ribiero cocked a six-point heat total to bomb the reigning world champion Adriano de Souza out of the event. “Yeah…um…the waves were… tricky,” said the perpetually diplomatic de Souza.
Joel Parkinson stilled thoughts of retirement when he snorted Jack Freestone off the reef.
Watch the post show here! (Game on tomoz and the next day too!)
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.17 def. Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 13.50
Heat 2: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 6.23 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 5.70
Heat 3: Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.67 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.57
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.84 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.50
Heat 5: Matt Banting (AUS) 10.93 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.33
Heat 6: Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.43 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 6.63
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.17 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 6.23
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.00 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 2.03
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.17 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.00
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) 11.40 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 10.10
Heat 11: Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.27 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 13.74
Heat 12: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.34 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.33
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Bruno Santos (BRA)
Heat 7: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)