NOTES FROM THE BILLABONG PRO TAHITI: DAY TEN

posted by / News / May 13, 2006

Surf: 3 to 4 feet and as inviting as Teahupo’o gets
Events Held: Men’s Round 4, Heats 7 and 8, Women’s til the glorious end
Nature’s Call: And you want these girls to leave?!
Predicted: The WLF will have a new leader


Chelsea may have gotten the 10 (a semifinal deep tube plus hack combo that would have legitimately been a dude’s 8), Keala may have the rep, but Melanie Redman Carr, the reinvented xx-year-old with two consecutive wins already to her credit this year, has what could be the last women’s title at Teahupo’o — ever.

Redman Carr got the upside of a wave-starved final today in perfect, bathtub-like conditions at everyone’s favorite bend-in-the-reef, but it’s only further testament that she’s currently unbeatable even when she’s surfing against the unbeatable. It was Chelsea’s day – a near flawless semi against Layne Beachley in melt-in-your-mouth 4-foot sweet somethings. She’s quickly building a rep for being the best in “smaller Teahupo’o”, and it looked as though she’d back that rep with her first win of the year. But once again, Redman Carr found a way to get it done with a smooth backhand and virtually no mistakes. With three straight wins to her credit, she’s now staring at a world title before the season’s even half over. Because of this, we’ve decided to break from our typical reporting style and let Melanie tell it like it is. (This interview has nothing to do with the fact that your correspondent may have missed a few too many heats while surfing Small Pass.)

SURFING MAGAZINE: What’s more fulfilling? Winning at Snapper, Cloudbreak or Teahupo’o?
MELANIE REDMAN CARR: Oh, to win at Teahupo’o is the highest honor. It’s the best contest to win cause everybody talks about it.

At the beginning of the season, most of the talk was about Chelsea repeating or Sofia winning back her title. Did you enjoy being under the radar this year?
It was a bit of a shock to me that I won the first contest. Not that I didn’t prepare, I was surprised to win it with all the brilliant girls we have on tour. I just felt it would be the hardest to win if the event had stayed at Snapper. Just that there’s a lot of girls who live at the wave and really surf it well. So, I was surprised to win it but once I did, I was, like, “Well, why not two?”

And it kept on rolling.
It’s been cumulative. I’m building momentum, but there’s like a force around me, expectations around me pushing me to have more confidence and keep it going. Like, if you can do it twice, you can do it three times. That kind of thing.

Have you done anything differently to prepare for this year?
A little more cross-training – running and swimming and that. But I’ve also had good seeding so that I don’t face the toughest girls until later in the contest. The people I consider the best, at least.

You’ve been on tour for 12 years now. Do you feel like you’re in your best form yet?
Maybe not necessarily in the best form, it’s just that…how do I say this…things are falling into place for me because I’m not working against anything. Things are provided for you when you’re happy to receive them.

Now, in your third round heat, you had quite a scare with wildcard Nicola Atherton.
I sort of knew from the beginning that Nicola would be a tough one. I considered that my final. You have to get past Nicola to make the finals and win. It’s sort of poetic, you know? You can lose to the wildcard so easily, and it would have been a good story. Tour leader goes down to wildcard. So, if I got through her, I figured I was well on my way.

Is the Women’s WCT doing anything to bring this event back?
All of us want it. A lot. All of us really passionately want to have the event here. We need to. For all the guys who say, “Yeah, yeah, women’s surfing.” But then they see us surfing Teahupo’o, and they’ll say, “Oh, credit to you.”

Year after year, the women have improved out here so much. Are you feeling more and more confident?
I’ve kind of always felt pretty confident because I’m from West Oz and I’ve spent a lot of time in Indo. I know what it’s like surfing reefbreaks and over coral and it’s not as scary for me as it might be for some. But with some of the other girls, I’ve seen so much improvement over the past few years. The level just rising all around and, um, well I only got one good barrel today, but. [laughs] It’s such a shame, though, you know? Everyone’s getting better and better and better and now they’ve stopped it and there hasn’t been a good reason given to me yet.

Do you think a lot of the girls on tour are supportive of your winning streak?
Yes, I suppose. They keep telling me how great it is, but they don’t realize that it makes me stronger and more confident. I’m sure they all want it to come to an end, but it’s been good, for sure.

You have quite a big break between events. Any strategy on how to maintain this competitive momentum?
I’m gonna go to Indo, I think. Or maybe practice in some really crap waves for a while, because we got some of those on the schedule coming up. Chances are, though, I’ll be surfing good waves somewhere [laughs]. Northwest Oz or Indo.

You don’t want to think title yet since it’s so early in the season, but it has to be on your mind at least a little bit.
Well, I know it’s going to be a fight. In the past, I’ve always enjoyed being the one who sneaks up from behind and steals a heat. But now I’m in the front, so I hope I can stand the pressure.

ADDENDUM: We did happen to see Danny Fuller take another WCTer out with his vicious, “fourhand” tuberiding, and Bobby Martinez surf a better “Hobgood heat” than the Hobgoods. He had {{{CJ}}} comboed within the first 10 minutes with a 9.8 and a 9.1. On his 9.8, he got hung up on the foamball three separate times and still found a way to bust through. With a final, 6-foot pulse forecasted for tomorrow, we could be looking at Bobby’s World.

Here’s the Quarterfinal matchups:
Heat One: Freddy P versus Hira Terinatoofa
Heat Two: Kelly Slater versus Bruce Irons
Heat Three: Taylor Knox versus Dean Morrison
Heat Four: Bobby Martinez versus Danny Fuller

As Barca would say, “Leeeet’s go.”

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts