They might be the best 36 surfers in the world, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t nervous. “The butterflies are getting awfully large” posted Matt Wilkinson on Facebook last night. And well they might be.
The storm that’s headed for Teahupo’o is being called “Andy’s Gift” and as Nick Carroll said on surfinglife.com.au, the winds have already done their work: a flat, broad 800-nautical-mile fetch of 35-to-50-knot winds just east of New Zealand’s South Island, aimed clean and flush at Tahiti.
“This storm and the one behind it are going to rip swell across the Pacific like a gigantic Gatling gun, hammering everywhere from Alaska to Peru, getting humans barrelled from Chicama to Barra de la Cruz … but first in the firing line will be lil ol’ Teahupo’o, and 36 surfers who you’ve got to suspect will be earning their prizemoney in rare fashion.”
So, you know how for the past five years, the Billabong Pro has dragged through its waiting period and the final has been run in dribbly, wind-torn three-footers? Not this year.
The call will be made at 2am Australian time, but if you can’t be arsed getting up that early, the comp will run right through our morning tomorrow. Trust us, it’ll be worth checking the webcast at Billabongpro.com
Speaking of Andy Irons, you may have seen Jamie O’Brien and a few other pro surfers lobbying the ASP on Twitter to give his brother Bruce a wildcard in to this event. If you’re interested in reading the ins and outs of why this ain’t going to happen, check the second half of Nick Carroll’s article here.