THE 2004 BILLABONG PRO TEAHUPOO: ROUND ONE

posted by / News / May 13, 2004

Surf: Two to four feet. Clean all morning, onshore for the afternoon
Events held: Men’s round one heats one through five
Nature’s call: Don’t trip; the good stuff is coming
Predicted: 4 to 6 and juicy“Be-russe. . .” Occy looked over at WCT rookie Bruce Irons, kind of batting his eyes. Bruce sat up on his beautiful Wade Tokoro blade. ” What is it, Occ?” he sent lazily back in the trade wind. ” Member: wave count, Brucie. . .” Occy waited, his underbite held tight in anticipation of a response. “Yeah, I’m waiting for the big boy,” answered the younger Irons, when a little giggle came from Occy who paddled into another fluffy 2-foot Tahitian wave. A set.This was a day or two ago, though I’m not sure which. This sphere’s sickest left reef pass has been more like molasses lately, slow and easy. Like something good for grandma, not tanned wave pros such as The OCC and Bruce. But, then, these past few days of Billabong Pro waiting game haven’t been all bad. Actually, they’ve helped to pose an interesting question: of all the WCT big boys, when the main day finally comes, who’s gonna come through in the clutch? Because that is the word on the charts — ten to twelve and simple — the thing this place is known for, either pull in or die, that’s what we should be expecting come Saturday. So, after five days of cold Hinanos and cat-naps, what kind of surfer will keep it cool when the big day comes?My vote is Bruce. In today’s heat four, not only did he win, he ruled it with an iron fist. Jake Paterson and Lee Winkler really had no chance. Dan Malloy once said of Bruce, “If there’s any chance a tube is makeable, it’s guaranteed he’ll make it.” Bruce Irons is a tube-riding machine. And he’s been sent from the future to win this event in a ridiculously casual fashion. Kind of like when David Bowie catches the flowers in the “Modern Love” video and throws them to someone else in the crowd, that’s something of the way Bruce surfs Teahupo’o. Today he made eight points of a wave he shouldn’t even have rode; one already pitching when he jumped to his feet, when all you could see was his bright yellow jersey melting with the liquid elements, a glowing Technicolor dream. Only Andy or Kelly can stand in his way, if nothing else does, other than absurd ability. Joel Parkinson can’t; after being called home by his girl, Monica, and the pending birth of their first child. Mick Fanning can’t; after showing today, that aside from rail slicing, he’s still a grade below the Iron men, losing to an inform Tim Curran in a wave-barren heat. It will have to be Kelly Slater or brother Andy. Bruce has made his statement. This is Tahiti. Who on tour is ready to talk back?– Hagan KelleyBillabong Pro Teahupoo Round One (1st>Rnd3; 2nd, 3rd>Rnd2)
{{{H1}}}: Guilherme Herdy (BRA) 15.5; Armando Daltro (BRA) 10.33; Peterson Rosa (BRA) 9.83
{{{H2}}}: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.3; Victor Ribas (BRA) 10.83; Luke Hitchings (AUS) 4.74
{{{H3}}}: Tim Curran (USA) 16.07; Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) 9.23; Mick Fanning (AUS) 4.4
H4: Bruce Irons (USA) 15.5; Jake Paterson (AUS) 10.14; Lee Winkler (AUS) 2.67
H5: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 10.96; Toby Martin (AUS) 10.86; Greg Emslie (ZAF) 9.0
Remaining Round One Heats (1st>Rnd3; 2nd, 3rd>Rnd2)
H6: Taylor Knox (USA); Kieren Perrow (AUS); Alain Riou (PYF)
H7: Michael Lowe (AUS); Richard Lovett (AUS); Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
H8: Andy Irons (HAW); Nathan Hedge (AUS); Heimata Carroll (PYF)
H9: Taj Burrow (AUS); Neco Padaratz (BRA); Shane Powell (AUS)
H10: Kelly Slater (USA); Michael Campbell (AUS); Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF)
H11: Dean Morrison (AUS); Raoni Monteiro (BRA); Trent Munro (AUS)
H12: Paulo Moura (BRA); Marcelo Nunes (BRA); Troy Brooks (AUS)
H13: Daniel Wills (AUS); Phillip MacDonald (AUS); Eric Rebiere (FRA)
H14: Luke Egan (AUS); Damien Hobgood (USA); Sunny Garcia (HAW)
H15: Tom Whitaker (AUS); Kalani Robb (HAW); Cory Lopez (USA)
H16: Pat O’Connell (USA); Beau Emerton (AUS); Nathan Webster (AUS)

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