Challenging conditions ignite the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti

August 16, 2015 | Surfing
Mick Fanning: no fear | Photo: Cestari /WSL

Challenging conditions welcomed the world's best surfers on the opening day of competition at the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti, in Teahupoo.

Only eight of the 12 heats of Round 1 were completed. The event was called off for the day due to inconsistent surf. Nevertheless, there was time for a few surprises.

Kelly Slater posted the highest heat total of the day and he is through to Round 3. The Floridian suffered a massive wipeout, but he managed to find the best caverns.

"I slept a lot on the plane and then got all psyched and was up waxing my boards until late. I went out and surfed for about an hour and a half before my heat to get familiar with what the sets were doing and the lineup," said Kelly Slater.

"That one wave lurched and landed on my back. It slammed my face into the water, and I thought I lost a tooth. I'm surprised I didn't hit the bottom."

Mick Fanning put fear behind his back and delivered a competent performance in the Teahupoo barrels. The Australian fought the shark attack paranoia and sent Adam Melling and Taumata Puhetini to Round 2.

"It was great to get back in the singlet and focus on surfing again. There's been so much hype about the incident in J-Bay and so much media attention and I just want to move on. It happened and will be one of those stories when I'm old," explained Fanning.

"It was really tough out there, and there weren't too many opportunities and I lucked out with a 5 and a 6. I feel pretty confident, but there's so much that goes into a world title. You have to be on at all times, and you have to focus on yourself and try and do the right thing at the right time."

Bruno Santos also sent ratings leader to Round 2. Adriano de Souza was not able to advance directly to Round 3 because his fellow Brazilian found the best waves.

"I was excited because Adriano (de Souza) is number one, and Michel is a local here, so he knows a lot about this wave. I was lucky, and I got one good one. I'm super happy to be here again, the last time I was in the main event was in 2009," concluded Santos.

Billabong Pro Tahiti 2015 | Round 1 Results

Kelly Slater (USA) 15.10, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.23, Brett Simpson (USA) 4.70
Owen Wright (AUS) 11.67, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.67
Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 13.10, Keanu Asing (HAW) 7.16, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 5.37
Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.66, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.00, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 1.30
Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.17, Adam Melling (AUS) 6.26, Taumata Puhetini (PYF) 1.33
Bruno Santos (BRA) 8.67, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 5.30, Michel Bourez (PYF) 2.44
Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.00, Nat Young (USA) 5.14, Kai Otton (AUS) 1.30
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.83, Taj Burrow (AUS) 4.77, Glenn Hall (IRL) 2.96

Billabong Pro Tahiti 2015 | Round 1 Match-Ups

Josh Kerr (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Italo Ferreira (BRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Bede Durbidge (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Jeremy Flores (FRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)

The Summer Surf Gear Guide 2019