Check Out Spectacular Moments of the 2017 World Surf League Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o!

by Chandler
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2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti Event Recap

The 2017 World Surf League Men’s Championship Tour series continues on with the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti, which is one of the most spectacular non-Big Wave contest on the WSL event scheduling. The main reason that the Billabong Pro Tahiti is such a spectacular and extreme competition along the WSL Championship Tour circuit is that it is held at Teahupo’o.

This is one of the heaviest and most massive wave breaks on the planet, and it has one of the most consistent break shapes as well. Not only is the Teahupo’o break one of the biggest and heaviest waves on the planet, but it is also one of the most beautiful, known for its deep blue water color and smooth tubular shaping. The 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti is a major contest not only for the athlete rankings, but also in terms of the prizing levels and structuring.

Final Round Results: Billabong Pro Tahiti 2017

First place at this year’s Billabong Pro Tahiti takes home a total of $100,000.00, second place takes home $50,000.00, and third place will be taking home a total of $25,000.00. The Billabong Pro Tahiti is also an important competition in terms of league rankings, with a large amount of WSL Championship Tour points riding on this event. Stay tuned to learn more about this year’s 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti as we continue to break down surf conditions and podium finalists!

Surf & Weather Conditions At Teahupo’o For The 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti

With overcast skies looming over the beautiful tropical mountains of Teahupo’o, Tahiti, the professional surfers of the World Surf League Men’s Championship Tour took to the water to express their skills on the Teahupo’o breaks. Thankfully, the breaks at Teahupo’o were relatively manageable for this competition, and not nearly at the true life threatening potential of what Teahupo’o can be at its biggest and most powerful.

2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti Event Recap

The somewhat shallow and reef filled Teahupo’o breaks take the utmost level of concentration and focus from the athletes involved in the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti, since a fall there can be catastrophic in terms of injury potential even in a seemingly light fall. The perfect tubing and barrel shaped breaks at Teahupo’o are definitely a major draw for why it is a true world class surfing destination, and they provide an ideal canvas for the WSL Championship Tour surfers to express their technical prowess and ability to execute aerial tricks. Continue reading on for the entire podium and top five final results from the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti!

1st Place – Julian Wilson – Australia:

1st Place – Julian Wilson – Australia - 2017 WSL Men’s CT: Billabong Pro Tahiti

Taking home the first place victory at the prestigious 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti competition was the Aussie surfing professional Julian Wilson. Julian demonstrated some world class surfing during this competition, surfing consistently without any real blemishes to his performance. Starting out with Julian’s quarterfinal performance, he was matched up against the Frenchman Joan Duru to see who would advance to the semifinals and who would be eliminated.

Fortunately for Julian Wilson, Joan had a very poor Wave 1 performance in Heat 4, Quarterfinals, which came out to only 1.90 points for Duru. This basically sunk Duru’s chances to advance, and pretty much guaranteed that Julian Wilson would advance. Julian came in strong during Heat 4, Quarterfinals, bringing in a towering 8.33 points in total. In this way, it wasn’t much of a battle, with Julian Wilson winning Heat 4, Quarterfinals by a margin of over six whole points. Finishing out the quarterfinals with a scoring total of 15.16 points, Julian’s Heat 4 saw an average wave scoring of 6.04 points.

1st Place – Julian Wilson – 2017 WSL Men’s CT: Billabong Pro Tahiti

Moving into the semifinal round, Julian Wilson was riding some serious momentum, and that momentum definitely carried into the semifinals. Competing in Heat 2, Semifinals, Julian Wilson was pitted against the young superstar Jordy Smith to see who would enter the final round of competition. Similar to what happened in Julian’s quarterfinal round, where his competitor faltered during the first wave scoring, the same scenario played out with Jordy Smith in Heat 2, Semifinals.

Jordy had a tough time on the first wave scoring, and it really destroyed his ability to mount a significant effort against Julian Wilson in the semifinals. Jordy only pulled in a 2.50 pointer for his Wave 1, which basically sealed the deal since Julian’s Wave 1 scoring came in at 7.33 points. Julian nearly doubled Jordy Smith’s total semifinal scoring, finishing out Heat 2, Semifinals with a 14.26 point score from the judges. The average wave score in this heat came in at 5.40 points, brought down a bit due to Jordy Smith’s weaker wave scores.

1st Place – Julian Wilson – 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti

For the final round, the Australian surfing powerhouse Julian Wilson was matched up against Brazilian professional surfer Gabriel Medina. This was the first time that Julian was really pressed during the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti, and it turned out to be a fantastically exciting conclusion to the event. Julian was able to pull off two of his best wave runs of the whole competition during the finals, with his Wave 1 scoring coming in at 9.23 points, and his Wave 2 scoring settling out at 9.73 points.

With two nearly perfect ten scores, it is no surprise that Julian was able to secure the victory at the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti. With that being said, however, Gabriel Medina was no pushover either, putting up an 8.67 point Wave 1 score and a 9.20 point Wave 2 scoring. Julian Wilson was able to seal the deal by just over one point, executing a variety of insane snaps and aerials leading him to a total final round score of 18.96 points. The average wave score in the finals rolled in at 9.21, the best average of the entire competition.

2nd Place – Gabriel Medina – Brazil:

2nd Place – Gabriel Medina – Brazil - 2017 WSL Men’s CT: Billabong Pro Tahiti

Gabriel Medina has been having a strong 2017 season in the World Surf League, and the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti represented a continuation of that trend. Medina was able to make his way into the second place podium spot, with some really incredible highlights along the way. One of these massive highlights took place during Medina’s quarterfinal round performance, where he was matched up against the Australian surfer Owen Wright. Medina came out of the gates full throttle, executing a series of cutbacks and aerials with basically no mistakes, earning him the towering perfect ten score he deserved in Heat 1, Quarterfinals.

Even though Owen Wright put up some fairly solid scores, with a Wave 1 score at 7.17 points and a Wave 2 score at 6.77 points, it wasn’t nearly enough to defeat Gabriel Medina. Medina had his perfect ten point score on the Wave 1 evaluation, and then put up another strong score with an 8.23 pointer for Wave 2. Gabriel was able to finish out Heat 1, Quarterfinals with an especially impressive 18.23 points scoring total, defeating Owen Wright by almost five whole points. In this way it wasn’t much of a contest between Gabriel Medina and Owen Wright, with Medina advancing into the semifinals after this round. Medina’s Heat 1, Quarterfinals rounded out with an average wave scoring of 8.04 points in total.

2nd Place – Gabriel Medina – 2017 WSL Men’s CT: Billabong Pro Tahiti

Gabriel was destined to have a bit of a tougher time in the semifinals however, in spite of still being successful in this round as well. Competing in Heat 1, Semifinals against United States surf professional Kolohe Andino, Gabriel Medina came out on top by a slim margin. Things were looking quite precarious for Gabriel Medina as the semifinals got underway, given that Kolohe Andino was able to put up a strong 8.90 point score right off the bat for his Wave 1 evaluation.

Considering that Medina had a significant points disparity to clear up at that point, it could have gone either way and Andino might have actually taken the victory. Fortunately for Gabriel Medina, he was able to put up a 7.83 point score for his Wave 2 evaluation, and Andino choked and only managed to generate a 5.00 point score. This took Gabriel’s total semifinal scoring to 15.16 points, and left Kolohe Andino back a bit at 13.90 points overall. This turn of events put Gabriel Medina in a position where he was moving on into the final round, with a chance to take on Julian Wilson for the title. The average wave scoring in Heat 1, Semifinals came in at a moderate 7.27 points in total.

2nd Place – Gabriel Medina – Billabong Pro Tahiti

The final round of the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti was a difficult one to swallow for Gabriel Medina, primarily because he actually performed very well and came up short by just over one point. Those tend to be the toughest losses to deal with, since you know that the victory was so close and you missed it by such a tiny margin. Gabriel definitely left it all out on the breaks, holding nothing back, and his scored certainly reflect that effort. Medina’s Wave 1 scoring came in at 8.67 points in total, so he wasn’t even losing by very much at this point compared to Julian Wilson’s 9.23 point score for Wave 1 evaluations.

Medina was even able to step up his game even further during the Wave 2 performances, bringing in a strong 9.20 pointer for his Wave 2 scoring. Even that was not enough to salvage a victory for Gabriel Medina though, and he finished out the competition in second place with a total final round score of 17.87 points. With Wilson finishing at 18.96 points, this was definitely a contest finish for the record books in terms of fierce and close competition. With a 9.21 average wave score in the finals, this fact alone illustrates how well both Medina and Wilson were surfing in the final round of the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

3rd Place – Kolohe Andino – United States:

3rd Place – Kolohe Andino – United States - 2017 WSL Men’s CT: Billabong Pro Tahiti

Rounding out the podium in third place at the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti was Kolohe Andino, who was able to power through most of the competition until he met his match against Gabriel Medina in the semifinals. In Heat 2, Quarterfinals, Kolohe Andino was matched up against Wiggolly Dantas of Brazil, and he made short work of Dantas.

In all fairness, this was likely due to the fact that Dantas had a horrible Wave 1 performance, where he was only able to generate a 1.50 point score for that wave. If Dantas could have pulled off a stronger Wave 1 scoring, it might have gone a different way, but that basically opened the door for Kolohe to take the easy win in Heat 2, Quarterfinals. Kolohe won that heat by almost seven whole points, a massive margin, and finished out with a 14.33 point total score for that round where the average wave scoring was 5.50 points altogether.

3rd Place – Kolohe Andino – 2017 WSL Men’s CT: Billabong Pro Tahiti

In the semifinals however, it would be Kolohe Andino’s turn to end up in defeat due to an especially poor Wave 2 scoring. Matched against Gabriel Medina in Heat 1, Semifinals, Kolohe started off very strong with an 8.90 point Wave 1 scoring. This actually generated a significant lead for Kolohe right from the start, but unfortunately that lead would be quickly dissolved after the Wave 2 scorings were in.

Andino earned a meager 5.00 point Wave 2 scoring after a handful of smaller mistakes in the lineup, which severely dented his total semifinal scoring. When it was all said and done in the semifinals, Kolohe Andino finished out with a 13.90 point scoring overall. This was compared to Medina’s 15.16 point total score in the semifinals, meaning Andino lost the round by just over one point and was therefore barred from entering the final round. The average wave scoring in Andino’s Heat 1, Semifinals rolled in at 7.27 points in total.

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