World’s Best Surfers Prepare for Start of Tahiti Pro

Courtesy of WSL World Surf League

– World No. 1 Toledo Talks Tahiti Preparation
– 2014 WSL Champion and Event Winner Medina Focused on First Win of 2018
– World No. 2 Wilson Ready to Defend Event Title and Take Back Jeep Leader Jersey

– more information at Worldsurfleague.com

 

 

From Left to Right – Gabriel Medina (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), and Michel Bourez (PYF) at the Tahiti Pro press session. Credit: © WSL / Cestari

 

Location:       Teahupo’o, Tahiti 
Event window:    August 10 – 21, 2018
Today’s call:    First call Friday, August 10, at 7 a.m. local time
Conditions:    TBD
TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Thursday, August 9, 2018) – The waiting period for stop No. 7 of the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT), the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o, will open tomorrow and run through Tuesday, August 21, 2018, hosting the world’s best surfers as they battle one another at the famed South Pacific break.

Filipe Toledo (BRA), current WSL Jeep Frontrunner, is coming off of a dream run at last month’s Corona Open J-Bay. The Brasilian took the win for the second consecutive year in classic conditions, giving him more than enough momentum and confidence heading into the back half of the season. Toledo has never advanced out of the early rounds in Tahiti but flew out early to train in the heavy conditions.

“I came over here two weeks ago to train and we’ve had great waves,” Toledo said. “It’s been great to get some more time out on the reef and get more familiar with it. I haven’t had the best results out here, but I love Tahiti and I’m hoping for a good result this season.

“It’s a super tight race this year and everyone is ripping. Every event is important, but I feel confident and am looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Toledo will take on rookie countryman Yago Dora (BRA) and local wildcard Tikanui Smith (PYF) in Round 1 of competition.

Julian Wilson (AUS), defending Tahiti Pro winner and current World No. 2, arrives in Tahiti with significantly more headway in his World Title campaign than last year. In 2017, Wilson took a gutsy win over Gabriel Medina (BRA), which marked his mid-season comeback. Now ranked No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard and sitting just 3,940 points behind current No. 1 Toledo, this event could mark the tipping point in terms of World Title implications.

“Tahiti, is a really special place, and I love coming here,” Wilson said. “It feels like a second home and I feel like I have a second family here. The forecast looks a little slow this week, but I think there’s some energy on the horizon so we’ll see how we go.”

Wilson is considered one of the most dangerous surfers in title contention throughout the back half of the season, having won three of the remaining five events: Tahiti (2017), Portugal (2012) and Pipeline (2014).

“I feel great and my shoulder has come along nicely since the injury before the season,” Wilson continued. “I’ve had good results at all the remaining events on tour and focused on finishing strong this year.”

Wilson will battle 2012 WSL Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) and local wildcard Mateia Hiquily (PYF) in the opening round of competition.

Medina, 2014 WSL Champion and current World No. 3, is a Teahupo’o specialist and well-ahead of the game at the famed venue. Medina won the event in 2014 – the same year he took home the World Title. Last year, he was again poised to take home the event win, until Wilson came back from a combination situation – earning two 9-point rides. Although he hasn’t landed an event win this season, Tahiti could be the place he gains speed.

“It’s been an okay year, but still waiting for a Final and a win – that’s what you need to be winning titles,” Medina said. “I feel like I’m surfing well and I’m comfortable at Teahupo’o at all sizes. Looking forward to getting some waves.”

Medina has drawn the all-Brazilian Round 1 match-up against Tomas Hermes (BRA) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA).

Michel Bourez (PYF), long-time elite tour standout and French Polynesia’s sole representative on the Championship Tour, Bourez has been passionately representing Tahiti on the CT since his inauguration. While he has yet to win the event, his relationship with the heavy wave spot goes unmatched.

“I love being home and competing here,” Bourez said. “I have all my friends and family here. It’s great and great for Tahiti. It’s the biggest event of the year for sure.”

Bourez will face winner of last week’s Vans US Open of Surfing Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) and Keanu Asing (HAW) when competition commences.



Surfline, official forecaster for the Tahiti Pro, are calling for:

The current SSW-South swell (200-180°), which peaked yesterday with great surf for the Teahupo’o Trials, will fade out rather quickly today through Friday. The better exposed breaks to this energy drop to head high or less by Thursday morning, then waist high or less by Friday. Minimal blend of background SW-South swells lap in through Saturday, which surf remains around waist high or less, basically flat with traces.

The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Tahiti Pro, are calling for:

The first couple days of the event window (Fri/Sat 10th-11th) will see minimal/flat surf and unfavorable winds. Then a pulse of shorter period SSW-South swell is looking to move in over Sun/Mon (12th-13th), with head-overhead sets and favorable wind conditions. That swell fades into mid-week with nothing of much substance on the radar at this point, possibly through the rest of the event window. However, we are watching for a couple possible modest SW swells over the 16th-21st. Still time for things to hopefully change for the better.

The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com

Tahiti Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: 
Wade Carmichael (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Tomas Hermes (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Mateia Hiquily (PYF)
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Tago Dora (BRA), Tikanui Smith (PYF)
Heat 7: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 9: Mikey Wright (AUS), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 12: Conner Coffin (USA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS)

ALL RIGHTS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED ABOVE ARE RESERVED BY WORLD SURF LEAGUE.


About WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

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