World Rated #1 Jordy Smith Eliminated by local Wildcard Manoa Drollet
Twelve surfers have been cut from full-time competition following losses today at stop five on the ASP Men’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro, which continued in excellent 1.5 plus-metre waves at Teahupo’o in Tahiti.
Teahupo’o is famous for breaking boards, but today the reef break shattered dreams as surfers were forced to accept career-ending losses as the ASP makes its adjustment to a new One World Ratings system.
The revamped ASP format will see just the top 32 rated surfers compete at elite level instead of 45, ending an 18-year tradition at the completion of the Billabong Pro.
By region, surfers officially eliminated by the adjustment to the One World Ratings today included:
Australia (8): Dean Morrison (Gold Coast, QLD, AUS), Mick Campbell (Port Macquarie, NSW, AUS), Drew Courtney (NSW, AUS), Blake Thornton (Maroubra, NSW, AUS), Jay Thompson (Gold Coast, Qld, AUS), Tom Whitaker (Bronte, NSW, AUS), Ben Dunn (Old Bar, NSW, AUS) and Kieren Perrow (Byron Bay, NSW, AUS).
USA (2): Nate Yeomans (San Clemente, CA, USA), Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA, USA).
Brazil (1): Neco Padaratz (Florianopolis, BRZ).
Hawaii (1): Kekoa Bacalso (Oahu)
For tour rookies like Gudauskas and Thornton, the losses ended their brief stint among surfing’s avant guard.
For tour veterans like former number two (1998), Mick Campbell, and former world rated number seven, Keiren Perrow, the losses were a bitter pill to swallow as they came to terms with the new system they helped implement.
But even the highly ranked surfers were not immune from upset today.
Local wildcard Manoa Drollet (PFY) continued his giant killing form, causing the elimination of world rated number 1, Jordy Smith (ZAF).
Local knowledge was undeniably a factor at his homebreak as Drollet waited patiently for the best waves, tube riding his way to victory over the South African.
Yesterday Drollet was cheered on by exuberant local fans as he accounted for the scalp of world rated number 2, Taj Burrow (AUS) and today they screamed even louder – Drollet advanced to Round 4 over Smith 15.10 to 12.36 points.
Nine times ASP Men’s World Champion, Kelly Slater (Fl. USA) remained composed to overtake another wildcard in the form of local Heiarii Williams (PFY).
Williams had the world’s best surfer on the ropes until the final wave of the heat, but the champ did what he does best, pulling into one of the highest scoring waves of the day, an excellent 8.80 out of a possible perfect 10 point ride, to overtake the local and advance to Round 4.
With Burrow and Smith eliminated, one more heat win will see Slater regain the world number 1 ranking as he continues his quest for an unprecedented 10th ASP Men’s World Title.
The day’s highest single wave score – a near perfect 9.8 out of a possible 10 – belonged to Australian Adam Melling (AUS), who advanced to Round 4 comfortably over Hawaiian Dusty Payne (HAW).
Organisers will reconvene tomorrow from 5:30am for a possible 6:30 start, when action will recommence with remaining Round 3 heats.
Just one more day of competition is required to crown a Billabong Pro, Tahiti winner.
It’s intended that the new One World Ratings field will see the best surfers perform more often in better waves, as well as making competition more cut-throat and exciting for spectators.
Ten new surfers will qualify for 2011 via the World Qualifying Series (WQS), breathing fresh life into the top rankings.
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI REMAINING ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 14.50 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 7.77
Heat 8: Chris Davidson (AUS) 9.77 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 8.60
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.50 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 7.00
Heat 10: Andy Irons (HAW) 15.06 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 5.20
Heat 11: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.44 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 14.40
Heat 12: Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.16 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 6.33
Heat 13: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.20 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 10.74
Heat 14: Dean Morrsion (AUS) 17.23 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.10
Heat 15: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.83 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.17
Heat 16: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.77 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 11.93
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI REMAINING ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.00 def. Blake Thornton (AUS) 12.67
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.84 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 4.37
Heat 3: Tiago Pires (PRT) 16.03 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.66
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.10 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 11.00
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.33 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 2.17
Heat 6: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 18.50 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.07
Heat 7: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.87 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 5.07
Heat 8: Manoa Drollet (PYF) 15.10 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.36
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.73 def. Heiarii Williams (PYF) 15.64
Heat 10: Adam Melling (AUS) 17.83 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 6.84
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.13 def. Nate Yeomans (USA) 15.77
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.17 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 4.50
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI REMAINING ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Tamaroa McComb (PYF)
Heat 14: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 15: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 16: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)