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News provided by ASP World Tour on 9 May 2006

Round one of the men’s will run right through today and will feature the world’s best on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour plus a smattering of local wildcards.

The swell has lifted to around the one to 1.5 metre mark (four to five foot), as predicted, and is coming from a westerly direction which is perfect for allowing the deep tube riding that Teahupoo is renowned for.

All eyes will be on reigning seven-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA) who has been in hiding prior to the event.

After winning the first two events of the season, the first on Australia’s Gold Coast and the second at Bells Beach, also in Australia, Slater is a in a commanding position to claim yet another crown.

He is also a former two-time winner at this location, last year creating history by scoring two perfect 10 point rides on his way to victory in the final against Damien Hobgood (USA).

Slater will be coming up in heat eight of the day and he will directly be followed by possibly the heat of the round, which includes Andy Irons (HAW), Cory Lopez (USA) and Manoa Drollet (AUS).

Irons and Lopez are both victors here at the Billabong Pro in 2002 and 2001 respectively and Drollet has been giant killer at this event on numerous occasions over the years as his local experience combined with an incredible backhand tube riding technique make for a deadly combination.


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