Ricardo dos Santos: the Slater eliminator

The waves and barrels are back to Teahupoo by the ring of the bell. The Billabong Pro Tahiti recommenced in rapidly-improving three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves.

Kelly Slater was eliminated by Ricardo dos Santos, two-time Von Zipper Trials winner and wildcard into the main event, caused the upset of the day. Needing a major score with 10 seconds remaining in the heat, Dos Santos threaded a lengthy forehand barrel to attain a 9.87 out of a possible 10 and the emotional win.

"That wave came to me at the very end and I was just hoping for a chance to show what I can do," Dos Santos said. "That wave was so good and it just allowed me to pull in early and keep running through it. That was my last chance – it was either make it or go home".

"I knew I had to get the best waves and get as deep as I can. I knew Kelly (Slater) was going to post high scores so I just had to do my best. I'm really happy right now, but there's a long way to go so I need to focus."

While Slater bowed out of the Billabong Pro Tahiti uncharacteristically early in Round 3, the iconic Floridian remained ever-gracious in defeat and will return to competition at the upcoming event in California

"I honestly don't know a whole lot about Ricardo (dos Santos)," Slater said. "I know that he won the Trials last year in huge surf and won the Trials this year in small surf so he's obviously very competent out here in any kind of conditions".

"I'm disappointed to lose early, but more so because tomorrow could be really good. I think that tomorrow could be really classic conditions at Teahupo'o and hopefully I'm able to get waves somewhere."

Mick Fanning survived a tight heat against lethal goofy-footer Fredrick Patacchia, but was able to confidently best Taj Burrow and Julian Wilson, in this afternoon's Round 4 heat.

C.J. Hobgood is one of the most respected Teahupo'o surfers on the planet and the Floridian goofy-footer proved why today with solid wins in Rounds 3 and 4 to advance directly to the Quarterfinals.

Parkinson has advanced directly to the Quarterfinals of the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Gabriel Medina proved that he is one of the most comprehensive young surfers on the planet in collecting the event's second Perfect 10 in the final heat of the day, an incredible forehand drop into a bowling barrel at Teahupo'o.