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Thursday, September 9, 2010
Updated: September 10, 10:58 AM ET
World Tour Surf-tistics: Trestles

By Mike Newman
ESPN Action Sports

Kelly Slater, not quite Number One in the world going into the Hurley Pro, but when you really look at the numbers, that's probably about to change.

The best thing to come from the Billabong Pro Tahiti, save the resurrection of Andy Irons, was the thickening of the world title plot. And while Kelly Slater may not have been able to best Irons in the battle for Teahupoo, he may well be on his way to winning the war for a record tenth world title. And where else should it happen but Lower Trestles.

Plainly put, Slater owns Lowers. Not only was it the site of his breakout win at the 1991 Body Glove Surfbout, but in the nine years since the San Clemente pointbreak has been on the Dream Tour calendar he's never missed an event. From 2004-2008 he never even missed a final. He owns three titles and a win ratio of 85 percent. He also holds the record for the highest heat score at Trestles. Need we say more?

And then there's the contender, Jordy Smith. The argument could be made that since moving to Newport he's spent a lot more time out at Lowers. To that we say Slater's girlfriend is a San Clemente native, and when the champ's not out surfing, he can be found playing rounds of golf on the muni with her old man, so yeah, he knows the ins and outs of town. Breaking down his World Tour showing at Lowers, Smith won two heats in both his first two starts, then last season lost his Rounds 1 and 2 heats by a combined total of 1.06 pts to finish 33rd.

Advantage Slater.

But Slater and Smith are hardly the only two in the hunt. Halfway through the season Taj Burrow, Dane Reynolds, Mick Fanning and even Andy Irons are still very much in this thing if they can get some momentum going. And to make it all just a little more interesting we're looking at a slightly upgraded format, and a forecast that's looking a little more then promising.

Based on gossip and forecast models, expect Round 1 to commence on Sunday, Sept. 19 in moderate conditions, then come Sept. 16-18 a proper southern hemisphere swell shows up and we could be looking at some highly contestable conditions. Put it this way, when the guys at Surfline start getting excited about the impending show, you know it's going to be good.

Format wise, welcome to the era of the "Dane heat." Technically it's Round Four, which is a three-man heat in which the winner goes directly into the quarters and the two losers go into Round 5. The idea here being that this adds another level of elimination, so even if your favorite surfer loses you have multiple opportunities to watch them surf. And the boys on tour have dubbed it the "Dane heat" because there's not a lot to lose and guys will be surfing like Dane Reynolds most of the time: going for "two's or ten's."

It's the first event since the World Tour field was cut down from 45 to 34. Change has been implemented. Welcome to the Greatest Show in Surf 2.0.

2010 Hurley Pro Event Rankings

A Surfers Ratings Explained:
Add the sum of events surfed to the number of final 16 heats surfed. Divide that number by the surfer's average event result. Then add bonus points for heats surfed in the final 16 (1st = 1.0, 2nd = 0.5, 3rd = 0.25, 5th = 0.1).

SAMPLE: Kelly Slater
(9 events + 13 finals = 22)
(22 / 7.67 ave result = 2.868)
(2.868 + 3.50 bonus points = 6.370)

NAME RATING STARTS ASP RANK AVE. RESULT LAST THREE YEARS
1. Slater (USA) 9.718 9 2 5.67 1, 1, 3
In 9 starts, made final rounds 8 times, with 3 wins ('05, '07, '08), 2 2nds, 2 3rds, and 1 5th.
2. Fanning (AUS) 3.883 7 6 6.43 17, 5, 1
Last years winner ('09), he finished 3rd in '05, and 5th in '03, '06, '08.
3. Burrow (AUS) 3.063 9 3 13.67 33, 2, 33
In 9 starts, has 5 final series and 6 top-16 finishes. Runner-up in '03 and '08, third in '05 and '06, and fifth in '00.
4. Durbidge (AUS) 2.553 5 7 11.40 17, 3, 3
Bede's first tour win (06) was here where he beat Slater in the final. He has also placed 3rd in the last two years (08 & 09).
5. Parkinson (AUS) 2.283 8 16 12.00 33, 9, 7
Out with injury, to be replaced by Tom Whitaker.
6. Reynolds (USA) 16.57 8 4 16.57 9, 5, 2
Last year's runner-up, he's posted four heat scores at Lowers over 18.00.
7. Knox (USA) 2.010 9 23 8.33 5, 9, 5
Has 8 top-16 finishes in nine starts with 3 final series appearances. Never missed a contest at Lowers.
8. Irons (USA) 1.827 8 7 16.50 17, 33, --
Won first event in '00, also has a fifth ('05) and a ninth ('06), other 5 starts he has won just 3 heats.
9. Flores (FRA) 1.413 3 19 7.67 3, 3, 17
Has had 3 starts here with two thirds in his first 2 starts ('07 and '08). Last year he finished with a 17th.
10. C Hobgood (USA) 1.115 8 15 13.50 5, 17, 9
Been to the finals series 3 times for 3 fifths ('04, '05, '07), has another top 16 finish with a 9th last season.
11. Whitaker (AUS) 0.623 7 34 21.13 3, 33, 33
6 of his results here have been failures, but 3rd in '07 was his best.
12. D Hobgood (USA) 0.614 8 17 17.50 --, 33, 9
Been to 1 final series with a 5th in '02. Has 2 ninths ('06 and '09), only 3 heat wins in 5 starts.
13. de Souza (BRA) 0.517 4 5 12.00 17, 9, 5
He has progressively improved here and will go into the event as one of the tipster's favorites.
14. Bourez (PYF) 0.500 1 17 5.00 --, --, 5
Trying to reproduce the great event last season. '09 victims included Jordy, Dingo, and C.J.
15. Martinez (USA) 0.378 4 11 18.00 17, 5, 33
Made the finals here for a 5th in '08, but his other 3 starts have only seen 2 heat wins.
16. Stedman (AUS) 0.327 6 24 18.33 33, 9, 17
Best result two years ago with a 9th. 4 seventeenths and a thiry-third.
17. Patacchia (HAW) 0.269 5 13 18.60 9, 33, 17
Won 5 heats here in 5 starts, far from his best venue, and goofy-footers tend to do poor here.
18. Otton (AUS) 0.257 3 28 11.67 17, 9, 9
Out with injury.
19. Perrow (AUS) 0.248 5 33 20.20 --, 9, 9
3 bad results here in his first 3 starts here but his last two seasons have been better.
20. Reyes (USA) 0.235 4 N/A 17.00 --, 17, 33
Two 9th placings in (06 & 07) but has only won one heat in the last 2 seasons. Injury wild card.
21. Logie (ZAF) 0.211 4 29 19.00 33, 17, --
Record is identical to that of the last venue at Teahupoo and he didn't do well there.
22. Powers (HAW) 0.209 3 27 14.33 --, 17, 9
He's always won at least one heat here, and last season he won 2 heats for a best ever 9th placing.
23. Buchan (AUS) 0.190 4 9 21.00 17, 33, 17
3 heat wins in 4 years, but has posted some low heat totals here.
24. Davidison (AUS) 0.134 3 21 22.33 --, --, 17
Davo has only won two heats in his 3 starts at Trestles.
25. Smith (ZAF) 0.176 3 1 17.00 9, 9, 33
Four starts with just a heat win, and that was in '99 -- the first World Tour event here.
26. Munro (AUS) 0.080 2 29 25.00 33, 17, --
Earned seventeenth in his third start last year with his highest heat score of the year: 16.00
27. Pires 0.080 2 13 25.00 --,17, 33
Made progress at Teahupoo, and he's in ripping form. I expect a lot from him.
28. Ross (AUS) 0.059 1 29 17.00/td> --, 17, --
Back from injury. In 2008 ran into Parko in Round 3 and went down in a high scoring heat.
29. Simpson (USA) 0.059 1 29 17.00 --, --, 17
In 2009 he surfed with a wildcard, and after barely requalifying, he could be charged up to stay on.


2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti Rookies (Current ASP Rank):

  • Owen Wright (10)

  • Jadson Andre (12)

  • Adam Melling (20)

  • Patrick Gudauskas (22)

  • Dusty Payne (24)

  • Mat Wilkinson (24)