Billabong Pro Tahiti

With Significant Swell Coming, Round 2 Halted

Day 2 Highlights from the Billabong Tahiti Pro
The Top 34 faced another day of challenging Chopes during the second day of competition.

Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Schedule: Round 2 (Heats 3-11)
Conditions: 8-to-12-foot surf at the Teahupo'o reef
Day 1 Recap

Round 2

Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)

2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti - Round 2, Heat 11
Sebastian Zietz and Alejo Muniz match up in the final heat of Day 2 at Teahupo'o.

After 10 minutes of unridden surf, Sebastian Zietz and Alejo Muniz tested the waters, trying to find barrel rides in an increasingly difficult sets.

But when a gem finally rolled in, the Hawaiian was ready for it. Seabass air-dropped into a clean barrel, tucking and dragging to maximize tube time, and notching a near-perfect 9.97. For his part, Muniz struggled to locate the right takeoff spot, finding himself ahead of the whitewash for minimal scores.

Sebastian Zietz's Massive Score in Tough Conditions
The Hawaiian took a late drop and high line to make a narrow barrel during Round 2, Heat 11.

Muniz continued to battle the turbulence while Zietz found another clean barrel, standing up for a short ride to improve his situation. Seabass moves on to Round 3 with Muniz in a combination situation as the horn sounded.

Result: Sebastian Zietz, 15.80, def. Alejo Muniz, 2.00

Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)

2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti - Round 2, Heat 10
Miguel Pupo (BRA) faces off against rookie Mitch Crews (AUS) in the first elimination round.

Rising talent Miguel Pupo and rookie Mitch Crews clashed next. With swell on the decline, a chess match ensued between the two. Crews established an early lead with a backahand barrel for a 5.00.

The Brazilian fought back, driving through a forehand drainer for a 5.83 and the lead, but the Australian navigated a tight backhand tube for a 5.00 and a heat win at the buzzer.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Crews, competing on the infamous reef for the first time in his pro surfing career. "I hear the tales of how epic this wave is but seeing some of those things come through I couldn't believe it. I got the best five-point ride I've ever had."

Result: Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.17 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.60

Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)

The ASP Desk reported during Heat 8 that South African Travis Logie was withdrawing from competition due to a foot injury he suffered on opening day. Logie reportedly hit the perilous reef as he was being towed out to the lineup by the jet ski.

C.J. Hobgood Talks Round 3 with Peter Mel
C.J. Hobgood (USA) discusses his pass through to Round 3, after Travis Logie withdrawal.

The withdrawal gives his Round 2 opponent C.J. Hobgood (USA) an automatic advance into Round 3.

"I've been on tour for 13 years and I've never had a walk through so I don't really know how to feel," Hobgood said. "Silver lining is swell is supposed to increase tomorrow and I get another chance."

ASP Fantasy Surfing players who had Hobgood in their lineup will receive 10 points.

Heat 8: Freddy Patacchia (HAW) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)

2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti - Round 2, Heat 8
Freddy Patacchia Jr. and Aritz Aranburu battle for Round 3 positioning.

After an awkward finish to Heat 7, Aritz Aranburu proved Teahupo'o wasn't done pumping out big scores, taking off just after the horn and ducking into a hollow barrel for a 9.23. Freddy Patacchia sat patiently out the back, scoreless through the first half of the heat.

When Freddy P got moving, he did so with expert precision, finding a thick barrel and riding a high line behind the white wash for an excellent 8.17. But at the 15-minute mark the Spaniard improved his scoreline with a quick barrel while Patacchia lost his footing and went down with the white water.

Aritz Araburu 9.23 in Round 2
The Spaniard finds the pocket for a nine-point ride at the 2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

As the clock ticked, an epic exchange unfolded with just 10 minutes left, with a deep pit for Aranburu and a ride behind the foam ball for Freddy P. Both surfers earned excellent scores, 8.23 and 8.87 respectively, but Aranburu's early nine-pointer just edged out the Hawaiian.

Result: Aritz Aranburu, 17.46, def. Freddy Patacchia, 17.04

Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)

2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti - Round 2, Heat 6
Julian Wilson battles Portuguese hero Tiago Pires on the second day of competition at Teahupo'o.

Julian Wilson broke his board in an attempt to post a score in his Round 2 bout against Tiago Pires, while the Portuguese veteran established the lead with a 6.67 to start.

Wilson battled back, navigating a technical tube for a 6.00 to get on the board. In need of a just a 1.78 with 30 seconds remaining, Wilson paddled into a small left but was unable to find his feet. Pires advanced to Round 3.

"There's not much we can do in those situations," Pires said. "I just tried to stay in the best position I can. The waves are amazing over here and you're always ready for a bomb."

Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)

2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti - Round 2, Heat 6
Bede Durbidge takes on injury replacement Glenn Hall

Bede Durbidge waited through a slow start with Glenn tHall, but the waves remained tricky to read. After 10 minutes in the lineup, Durbidge took a fall into the reef, quickly recovering and paddling back out for more.

Hall, a former WCT surfer, is competing at the Pro Tahiti as a replacement. He took off on a promising wave, but it didn't hollow out for him. At the halfway point, Tahitian icon Raimana Bastolaer joined the ASP desk for a chat, providing some local knowledge and tales from the break's days as uncharted territory.

Just shy of 14 minutes on the clock, Durbidge took off on a set wave for a quick cover-up in the tube. Seven minutes later, he and Hall were still waiting patiently for waves. Durbidge led with a combined 5.67 to Hall's 0.87. Durbidge took off on a soft wave, getting a carve in before the exit out the back.

In the final seconds of the heat, Durbidge gave up priority, and Hall took advantage. He dropped into a barrel for a brief ride, but it wasn't enough to top the Aussie, ending Hall's run in the competition.

Result: Bede Durbidge, 6.33, def. Glenn Hall, 1.13

Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)

2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti - Round 2, Heat 5
John John Florence and Raoni Monteiro navigate challenging conditions in the first elimination round.

Another lull deterred the competitors in Heat 5, leaving the scoreboard blank for the opening 10 minutes. ASP Head Judge Rich Porta called a restart.

Allowing another 10 minutes to pass, John John Florence found the first opportunity and took full advantage: Dropping into a narrow barrel, the Hawaiian powered through the closeout and notched a 6.00. Raoni Monteiro waited 15 minutes before dropping in. He faltered on his first wave and the score was negligible. His second ride had a similar outcome.

Monteiro's third ride landed him on the reef. On the second wave of the set, Florence managed to slot into another tube that extended his lead with five minutes left on the clock.

"Yesterday was crazy," said Florence. "Waves were really big, it was gnarly. A couple of big sets came through that weren't really paddle-able. [But] I just relaxed, it's such a fun wave out here."

His Round 3 faceoff, though, was a different scenario. "Throughout our heat [today] it just went downhill. It was getting bumpier and bumpier. It was really hard out there."

Result: John John Florence, 11.00, def. Raoni Monteiro, 2.43<br /

Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)

2014 BIllabong Pro Tahiti - Round 2, Heat 4
Simpo and Smith vie for a spot in Round 3.

Following the fireworks of Heat 3, Jordy Smith and Brett Simpson got off to a slow start, with the Californian sliding into a small lead.

With more than half of the heat complete, Simpson continued to lead with a 3.83 heat total, while Smith had just a 1.00 in his scoreline. With just seven minutes on the clock, a crucial exchange unfolded, with both Smith and Simpson trading backhand tubes. Simpson got the best of the resulting scores, earning a 6.00 to Smith's 4.33.

Simpson immediately found another barrel, earning a 5.50 for the ride and his first heat win of the 2014 WCT season.

"It's been a tough year," Simpson said. "I just kept banging at it and kept my chin up. It's a testing wave. Sometimes you think, 'Get me out of here, this wave is gonna kill me,' but other times you get the wave of your life."

Result: Brett Simpson (USA), 11.50, def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 5.33

Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Mitch Coleborn (AUS)

2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 2, Heat 3
Aussies Josh Kerr and Mitch Coleborn faced off in the first heat of the day.

After a slow start in Round 1, Josh Kerr got off to a faster one in the first heat of Day 2. Disappearing behind the curtain for a substantial amount of time, he earned an excellent 8.83 for his first wave. The score established early dominance over Mitch Coleborn, who faltered on his opener. Kerrzy kept busy with a speedy drive through a shorter barrel, while Coleborn jumped on the second wave of the set, keeping a high line and squeaking out with the spit to get the better of the second exchange, for a 7.17.

After a brief lull, another set of clean barrels rolled through. Kerr selected the larger of the two scoring opportunities, which allowed him to extend his lead. Another takeoff for a long ride and a narrow escape earned him the first nine-point ride of the day and put Coleborn in a combination situation.

Kerr continued to bang out solid scores throughout the remaining 10 minutes, though none topped his two excellent rides. Coleborn struggled to find significant tube time, replacing his bottom score in the final minute but only by a fraction of a point.

"I sat in the channel for about an hour this morning and got to catch a few before the heat," Kerr said. "Luckily I got my best ones in the heat and not the freesurf. I made a couple I didn't think I was going to make. The days leading up to the swell are so mentally draining because you're trying to prepare yourself. I was happy to be lying in bed last night in one piece."

Result: Josh Kerr, 17.90, def. Mitch Colborn, 11.24