|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
"The goofy footers finally got some love today," laughed Damien Hobgood after the final heat of round one of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
Hobgood, who had won his heat today was looking back through the draw and counting up how his fellow goofy-footers had done in the first real left on tour this year. So far this year all the contests have been right-handers.
Hobgood continued, "Guys like Ace Buchan and Owen Wright have been holding up the goofy-footers over the past couple of years, but today some of the other goofys on tour finally got to hold up their end."
The results of Round One was an equal split, with six heat wins for both the regular and goofy-footers but this was the first time in 2011 that those who surf with their right foot forward had such a dramatic impact. The ironic thing was that Buchan and Wright didn't make it through while guys like Freddie Patacchia, Cory Lopez, Kai Otten and the Hobgood brothers all had big results -- and none bigger than CJ's win over current world number one Joel Parkinson.
|CJ Hobgood had the heat of the round, and there was nothing that number one ranked Joel Parkinson (in the foreground) could do about it.|
CJ not only won the heat, he had Parko needing a combination of two scores at heat's end. It's doubtful if Parko has been "comboed" in any heat for a very long time, and don't kid yourself, he was upset with the outcome.
CJ and Damien first surfed Teahupoo in 1999, both have won the contest here, and over the past 12 years collectively they have a bunch of runner-up and semifinal appearances between them. You can lay odds that nobody in the Top 34 wants to draw either brother in a heat here, as Parko found out today.
"Joel had a wave at the start of the heat and I was paddling out," explained CJ later. "I went, 'Gosh if he comes out of this he's going to get a 10, but he didn't come out. If he had made that wave maybe the heat would have gone a different way. After I got my (scoring) waves I don't know whether he was feeling the pressure or what, but he was paddling up and down the lineup trying to find the right spot to take off. I was just monitoring the situation, as I would, and it got a little intense out there, but in three man heats there isn't any priority and it's every man for himself."
"For some reason I've had some great heats against Joel, and Joel has had some amazing heats against me," continued an elated CJ. "We've met in the final a couple of times and he's beaten me and I've beaten him. I'm not even sure of the head-to-head record but we always have great heats against each other. He brings out the best in me, and hopefully I bring out the best in him. Whenever we surf against each other it's always on."
|Never discount Cory Lopez at Teahupoo. The bigger it gets the better he gets.|
Parkinson was very disappointed by his loss and left the lineup immediately without commenting on the result. The comments were left to the web commentary and post heat reviews where CJ came in for some very unfair criticism being described as an "angry man on tour" and a "hassler" by sources close to Parkinson.
While the goofy-footers had a very successful day, so did a couple of the natural-footers, and it wasn't just the usual suspects. Slater had a heat he'd rather forget -- even if he advanced on directly into Round 3 -- while guys like Julian Wilson and Dusty Payne really stood out.
In the last heat of the day Wilson backdoored one wave, disappearing into the pitching tube, standing upright. From the channel looking in he was bouncing around deep inside the barrel, at one stage he crouched down grabbed his outside rail and guided himself through the barrel. The tube collapsed, spitting spray and nobody watching thought Wilson could make it out, but somehow he negotiated his way through the curtain of white water, emerging standing up straight again. The ride was enough for the judges to give him a 9.8, the highest wave score of the day.
With the talk of an increasing swell, perhaps the best swell ever for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, we could be in for a big rocky ride.
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Cory Lopez (USA) 12.83, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.47, Chris Davidson (AUS) 4.67
Heat 2: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.83, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.73, Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.27
Heat 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 16.07, Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.40, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.73
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.23, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.97, Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.97
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.36, Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 14.47, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.47
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.96, Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.07, Heiarii Williams (PYF) 10.47
Heat 7: Kai Otton (AUS) 11.47, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.53, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.33
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 19.38, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.60, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.33
Heat 9: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.90, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.10
Heat 10: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.73, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.10, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.83
Heat 11: Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.76, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.63, Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.17
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.50, Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.84, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.27
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Heiarii Williams (PYF)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 9: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 10: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)