Billabong Pro Tahiti 2010: Jordy Smith Eliminated

By the end of the Billabong Pro Tahiti, the 2010 ASP World Tour will have completed half the season, and the ASP Top 45 will be reduced to 34, meaning that 13 surfers will be relegated back to the ASP PRIME and Star events.

Billabong Pro Tahiti 2010.  Photo: ASP/ScholtzAfter a chain of lay days, the Billabong Pro Tahiti finally completed Round 2 and the first 12 heats of Round 3.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti is event No. 5 on the 2010 ASP World Tour and the world rankings have already been reorganized by the major upsets of the day.

One of the wildest upsets was the elimination of ASP World No.1, Jordy Smith, by Manoa Drollet in Round 3. Drollet took advantage of his familiarity with the break and chose a better set waves, which put him in control and earned him the win.

“Smith was sitting on priority and he only needed a small wave at one point,” Drollet said. “He waited forever and he didn’t catch anything. I managed to get scores and get back in the lead there towards the end. I was expecting Jordy Smith to come back with a 9 at anytime.”

Jordy Smith kept his head held high and remained gracious in his defeat.

“It was pretty tough out there,” Smith said. “Wave-starved a bit and difficult to find the right one. I’m looking forward to the next one at Trestles.”

Immediately following Smith’s ousting, Kelly Slater, nine-time ASP World Champion, scored a sensational come-from-behind victory to overtake dangerous wildcard Heiarii Williams. Needing a major score with moments remaining Slater failed to emerge from an excellent wave, only to paddle straight into another impressive barrel to secure the 8.80 and the win.

“I knew what Williams was going to do from the beginning,” Slater said. “He and Manoa (Drollet) have the same game plan: be patient and they know the wave better than anyone.”

With his Round 3 victory, Slater moves from No. 3 to No. 2 in the hunt for the 2010 ASP World Title, but the Floridian is pragmatic when discussing his campaign this season.

“If the roles were reversed from J-Bay to here and I won out here, then we’d be right back where Smith and I were before the last one,” Slater said. “It’s especially hard when you go out early and someone else goes to win a contest, like in J-Bay..”

Today saw 12 of the 13 decided throughout Rounds 2 and 3 of competition: - Drew Courtney (AUS), 31 - Neco Padaratz (BRA), 34 - Tanner Gudauskas (USA), 22 - Mick Campbell (AUS), 34 - Kieren Perrow (AUS), 33 - Tom Whitaker (AUS), 30 - Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 25 - Blake Thornton (AUS), 25 - Dean Morrison (AUS), 29 - Jay Thompson (AUS), 28 - Nate Yeomans (USA), 29 - Ben Dunn (AUS), 24

ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 6, Mick Fanning, will be up against wildcard Tamaroa McComb in Heat 13 of Round 3 when the Billabong Pro Tahiti continues.

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