Miguel Pupo: building momentum

Miguel Pupo led the fleet of surfers during Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti 2012, at the primary venue of Teahupoo.

Pulsing three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) surf greeted the world’s best surfers today as Round 2 was completed. In the young Brazilian’s first competitive showing at Teahupo’o, Pupo exhibited superb tube-riding skills on his forehand.

"The waves were really fun for our heat," Pupo said. "The waves are stop and go out there. Some heats have waves and some do not. We were happy to have a lot of waves in our heat. This is my first time competing at Teahupo’o so I am just trying to get as many waves as I can and build my experience."

Jeremy Flores, last year’s recipient of the coveted Andy Irons Award, posted a commanding win today over Dusty Payne. Flores' comfort in the South Pacific reef pass is indicative of his development in powerful reefs all over the world.

"I grew up in Reunion and now live in New Caledonia so I spend a lot of time surfing over reefs," Flores said. "Unfortunately, we don’t have conditions like we did last year, but when the waves come, Teahupo’o is still an excellent barrel. Most places in the world would kill to have waves like we have today so it’s all good."

Kieren Perrow broke through a rough slump at the start of the year with a convincing win over Tiago Pires. The 2011 Billabong Pipe Masters champion pig-dogged his way to an impressive 16.60 out of a possible 20 heat total and advanced directly to Round 3.

"It’s been a tough start to 2012 for me so it feels great to get a heat win again," Perrow said. "I feel like I’m surfing well and I’m getting good boards off of Darren (Handley) so everything is there".

Official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti are calling for a mixed bag of pulsey, shorter to medium period South and SSW swells in the 3-5’ range on the face (chest-head high) for tomorrow.

Billabong Pro Tahiti 2012 Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kai Ottonn (AUS)
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 5: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 11: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)