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SWELL ON THE WAY FOR BILLABONG PRO ROUND ONE
News provided by ASP World Tour on 6 May 2006
Surfers competing in the third event on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour – The Billabong Pro Tahiti – will be treated to another day of rest as tiny conditions prevail at Teahupoo.
With the normally ferocious wave serving up small 0.5 metre (one foot) waves on sunrise this morning, there was no option for organisers other than to call the event off for the day (Saturday May 6).
Swell charts do however look positive in that waves of around one to 1.5 metres (four to five feet) should begin to show themselves by the middle of the day tomorrow (Sunday).
“A new southerly swell is expected to arrive on Sunday,” said Ben Matson from www.swellnet.com.au “But it will probably remain small at Teahupoo up until lunchtime. However, the leading edge of this swell is expected to push through early in the morning, and we should start to see the ocean stirring by mid-late morning. A more prominent increase in size is expected after lunch. Sunday's largest waves will occur right on dusk building to four to five feet by this time.”
Surfers are beginning to become restless and co-contest director, former Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour participant now Billabong marketing guru Luke Egan is eager to get the ball rolling
“We definitely want to start with something of the event tomorrow, whether it be men's or women's,” said Egan. “The swell should start increasing throughout tomorrow, so even if it's not there when we wake up first thing, we'll be on hold until we see it and we'll definitely have someone, either men's or women's in the water for a start.”
There are 10 days still remaining in the waiting period and the event in total will take approximately six days to run.
One surfer eager for the Billabong Pro Tahiti to begin is South African dynamo Greg Emslie, who finds himself sitting in a career best position of seventh place on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour ratings.
The naturalfooter from Cape Town, who goes by the nickname of “Bigfoot”, has had a tremendous start to 2006 logging in two ninth place finishes in the opening Australian events.
With another solid result here, Emslie will be in a commanding position to finish the year in the esteemed top 10, which is not only a great personal result but also a great one for his country.
“Yeah I looked at the ratings and saw myself at seventh and I thought, this is really cool, “ said Emslie. “I’ve had a good start and the biggest thing about this tour is consistency and that’s normally an area where I fall down.
“Last year I managed to get third at the Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay but then had a run of 33rds. I just want to focus on getting through that first round as it takes the pressure off you.”
Acknowledging the challenge of surfing at Teahupoo Emslie arrived at the venue early to get in some serious practice.
“I came out here early to put some time in at this wave,” said Emslie. “I’ve had all my best results on righthand point break waves so if I can pull a good result here and in Fiji then we’re back to righthanders where I feel more at home. It’s a daunting wave and anyone who gets a good result here will be a good position for the rest of the year.”
Also looking to get on a roll here at the Billabong Pro is former three-time world champion and 2002 event winner, Andy Irons (HAW).
Given that Kelly Slater (USA) has taken wins in the first two events Irons is eager to grab the victor’s spoils here and put himself in a position to put pressure back on his Floridian nemesis.
“This is an event where I expect a lot out of myself,” said Irons. “I like to do well here. Hopefully there are waves and we get a good start. If I can pull something out here that would be a good turning point for my year. This is where Kelly turned his year around and I'd like to do the same thing this year for myself.”
Another call on competition status will be made tomorrow at 7am local time.