Durban’s Travis Logie has been given a welcome opportunity to re-qualify for a spot amongst the elite Top 32 surfers in the Billabong Pro Tahiti which gets underway at Teahupoo on Saturday.
Logie will contest the annual ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals’) World Title Race when he replaces Bobby Martinez (USA) . Logie finished 2010 ranked No. 36 in the world, narrowly missing out on re-qualifying for the so-called Dream Tour.
Despite a number of decent results in Prime and Star rated events this year, highlighted by a 3rd place in Brazil in February, along with a 13th place finish in the Billabong Pro J-Bay last month when Kelly Slater (USA) chose not to compete, the 32 year-old former ISA World Champion is currently ranked No. 44, a dozen positions and just over 5 000 points away from the coveted No. 32 berth
The new ASP mid-year rotation system, where the top 32 on the rolling 12 month One World Tour rankings replace the top 32 from the previous year-end rankings, is set to be implemented in the middle of the September. A start in Tahiti, where the winner earns a massive 10 000 rankings points, presents Logie with the chance to accumulate the points required to force his way back into competition surfing’s top tier.
The Durbanite goofy-foot has the advantage of facing the notorious Teahupoo wave, considered by many to be the world’s most treacherous surf spot, and has competed there on four previous occasions, posting the highest score of Round 2 back in 2005.
Logie will be joined by compatriot Jordy Smith in Tahiti. Smith won his second consecutive Billabong Pro J-Bay title at Supertubes last month and is currently No. 2 on both the ASP World Title Race rankings, which are used to determine the annual ASP World Champion, and on the ASP One World Tour rankings, which are used for the seeding in every event.
Joel Parkinson (AUS) heads the World Title Race rankings while reigning and 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater will be the top seed for this event.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, is calling for plenty of swell in the first week of the contest waiting period. Medium size SW / SSW swell is predicted for this weekend followed by slightly larger S swell for early next week. Long range charts indicate a very solid SSW swell could move in around Thursday/Friday the 25th-26th, with even more way out on the horizon.
Michel Bourez, the only Tahitian in the ASP Top 32, has tweeted his fellow competitors to make sure that they bring bigger surfboards for the swell expected next week.
All the action from the Billabong Pro Tahiti can be followed live on www.billabongpro.com. Tahiti is situated at GMT -10, i.e. 12 hours behind South Africa. 8am in Tahiti is 8pm in SA.
Billabong Pr Tahiti Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Chris Davidson (AUS), Cory Lopez (USA)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Daniel Ross (AUS), Heiarii Williams (PYF)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 10: Damien Hobgood (USA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS)
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