2005 BILLABONG PRO TAHITI: EVENT ON HOLD

posted by / News / May 11, 2005

CONTEST POSTPONED BUT PARTNERSHIP FORGED

SURF conditions that are less than desirable for a Foster’s Men’s World Tour event have seen the Billabong Pro Tahiti postponed this morning.

Although the boys are struggling to keep themselves occupied, this time next year competitors on such a Teahupoo lay day will be able to watch themselves surfing on the world famous MTV network after a multi-year global partnership was announced today between Billabong and the music/television giant.

There are several MTV crews here at Teahupoo filming all the free-surfing action and lifestyle around the Billabong Pro Tahiti, which will be presented as the first show of the exciting new partnership. Entitled ‘MTV and Billabong’s Back Door to Teahupoo’, the show will air on MTV Australia, nine Asian countries and South America in June, and across MTV channels internationally during July.

Billabong’s International CEO Derek O’Neill, a fanatical surfer and music buff himself, is understandably stoked with the deal, which brings together the ‘Who’s Who’ of music and international surfing.

The deal will also include coverage of Billabong’s snow and skate teams and events. Groms around the globe will be stoked with action coming at them from all angles of the boarding phenomena.

“We are excited with this partnership which will bring youth, music and entertainment together with action board sports to a global audience,” said O’Neill, getting it right by a long way.

The MTV/Billabong partnership is also a bonus for the proliferation of surfing as both a sport and culture to the world, with MTV’s broadcasting reach beaming to a potential audience in excess of one billion people in 166 countries or territories, including such far-flung locations as China and Russia, surfing could very well be headed further than we could ever imagine.

Motley Crew’s infamous Tommy Lee is quoted as saying something to the effect of “MTV changed the face of music.” Maybe MTV can do the same for surfing and its kindred boarding sports of snowboarding and skateboard riding.

If today was a shooting day for the MTV camera crews though, they’d be working inside because the rain has continued to pelt down here, actually intensifying over the past 18 hours.

“It’s lumpy and messy out there, and even a bit cold – not what you expect when you come to surf the tropics,” commented ASP Head Judge Perry Hatchett after his 6.15am check of the crossed-up 2-4’+ lineup this morning.

“Yeah, we’re off today for sure,” added Billabong Pro Tahiti Contest Director Chris O’Callaghan as he surveyed meteorological maps on his laptop computer.

There is promising news ahead though, with good sized straight swell expected to mount under clear and sunny skies this coming Friday. The swell is predicted to maintain over the weekend.

Anything is obviously possible in the meantime, but the next call for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, which will hopefully see the introduction of the Foster’s Men’s World Tour surfers, will be at 6.30am tomorrow (Wednesday May 11th).

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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