2005 BILLABONG PRO TAHITI: EVENT UPDATE

posted by / News / May 12, 2005

AND THE WEATHER MAN REPORTS…

Well, what shall we write about today, this our eighth day of the waiting period for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, and our sixth straight day of basically non-stop showers? As yesterday, this morning’s 6.30am call was an almost automatic one because the swell has dropped even further. It’s off for the day! It’s ALL good though…good stuff is on the way. We’ll leave it to Swellnet’s Ben Matson to describe when and how.

Go Ben…

As the risk of sounding like a broken record, Wednesday has delivered yet another day of poor surf and adverse weather conditions at Teahupoo. Additionally, there’s been no change in weather data from both the Tahiti Faaa Airport and overhead satellites, with local winds swinging from a light easterly around to a light/mod SW/NW’er at dawn, and Quikscat data indicating a strong ESE airstream in the 20-25kt range throughout Tahitian waters.

Unfortunately, there is no new swell expected for Thursday, and with local conditions expected to remain similar to today, it is highly likely that conditions will be unsuitable to run the first round of the Billabong Pro.

We have a succession of new groundswells on the way for Tahiti, and the last four days of the waiting period are expected to deliver very good surf at Teahupoo. A small but long-range pulse of SW swell is expected slightly lift wave heights on Friday, but at this stage it is not viewed highly as a strong contender for anything notable due to the inconsistent nature of the swell. However, it is around Friday when we can expect to see a change in the local weather, with the strong SE airstream starting to wind back in strength and the surface conditions starting to improve in quality.

Several new groundswells are expected for Saturday, and although there is a chance that the day may begin a little sluggishly, we should see a strong increasing trend as the day progresses. We have a new short-range WSW groundswell expected to arrive before lunch, presently being generated by a mid-latitude system that has developed off the NE Coast of New Zealand. It hasn’t quite swung into position as yet (most of its energy is being directed towards Fiji), but this should change in the next 12-24 hours and the associated swell is likely to be quite punchy once it arrives. Additionally, we have a new long-range SW swell expected to ramp up wave heights during the day, having been generated from a strong storm track beneath Australia earlier this week. The combination of these swells should increase surf size from 3-4′ in the morning towards a peak late Saturday afternoon or perhaps early Sunday morning in the 5-6′+ range.

The swell trend is then expected to ease temporarily on Sunday afternoon (with reasonably good conditions) ahead of another long-range SW groundswell for the start of the working week. This round of energy was generated by a series of low pressure systems that have occupied the distant SW swell window for a little longer than usual, and therefore we can expect more consistency in the surf for Monday and Tuesday. Wave heights are expected to build from around 4′ in the morning up into the 6′ range with occasional 8′ bombs by the mid-late afternoon, and this peak in size currently anticipated to hold throughout the majority of Tuesday.

As far as local weather in concerned, the recent bout of Maramu winds are expected to ease throughout Friday, and at this stage the general consensus is that we’ll see a light to moderate easterly flow throughout the weekend and into the start of the new week. Although this should improve weather prospects significantly over what we’ve seen recently, periods of gusty winds can’t be ruled out completely – there is a reasonable chance that a small depression may develop just north of Tahiti on Saturday, and this may instigate localised thunderstorms throughout the day. However, the chances of an extended spell of driving onshore winds and heavy rain is low compared to the last week.

The next report for the event will be at 6.30am tomorrow, Friday morning.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti delivered by Air Tahiti Nui is proudly supported by Von Zipper, Bose, Kustom and The Tahitian Surfing Federation.

Billabong Pro Live Webcast: via www.BillabongPro.com and www.ASPWorldTour.com each day of the event utilizing live coverage in English, French and Portuguese, with the event websites being translated into these three languages plus, Japanese and Spanish. Various camera angles, highlights and replays, weather and scoring information, direct viewer interaction, celebrity guests, interviews and more are a part of the daily webcast program.

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