CJ Hobgood: he is suffering

Four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) waves opened the 2011 Billabong Pro Tahiti, in the infamous Teahupoo surf peak.

C.J. Hobgood dispatched current frontrunner in the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title, Joel Parkinson, in Round 1 of competition. “The wind got good which allows you to push it a little further up the point and the waves turned on,” Hobgood said.

“I’d like to take a little bit of credit, but the ocean did a lot of work out there. Joel (Parkinson) had a wave that could have been a 10 if he had come out so they’re definitely out there.”

Travis Logie embarked on a white-knuckle trip from Europe to Tahiti, showing up with less that 10 hours before his heat. The trip has already proven fruitful though, with Logie taking out his Round 1 heat and moving directly into Round 3.

“I got the call about 24 hours ago from Renato Hickel (ASP World Tour Manager) and got on the next plane from Europe,” Logie said. “I was over there competing in the 6-Star events and opted to take the opportunity in Tahiti. I don’t have any boards or any equipment so I used my good friend Alain Riou’s board his morning and it felt pretty good.”

Jordy Smith, current No. 2 on the ASP World Title Rankings, kept his 2011 campaign red-hot today, putting on a commanding backhand performance en route to his Round 1 victory. The young South African was enthusiastic with today's conditions and excited for the swell on the horizon.

“I’ve been here most of the day and I’ve just been psyching to get out there,” Smith said. “It’s so much fun – just perfect, blue barrels. I'm so happy to be here in Tahiti and the forecast looks pretty amazing. We'll see how it pans out."

Mick Fanning, former two-time ASP World Champion and former Runner-Up at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, is sitting in the No. 4 on the ASP World Title Rankings and will look a big result at Teahupo’o to ignite his 2011 campaign.

“This leg is going to be the one that determines who is the champ come the end of the year,” Fanning said. “It’s a long leg, but it’s one I generally do pretty well on so I’m looking to get on a roll. Stoked with the first round result and will look forward to the rest of the week.”

Kelly Slater missed out on the last event in South Africa and currently sits at No. 6 on the ASP World Title rankings. While a standout in yesterday’s ASP Top 34 warm-up, Slater scored a last-minute come-from-behind win over opponents Dan Ross and wildcard Heiarii Williams.

“I wanted to get the deep south ones,” Slater said. “I’d seen enough of those ones in the earlier heats to think they were out there. I got a few small ones that didn’t work out. I was a bit greedy and trying to stay in the barrel a bit longer than I should have. Rossy (Dan Ross) got pushed up the point and I was fortunate to bag a wide one and that made the difference.”

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