Adrian “Ace” Buchan (AUS) has secured a dream win in paradise after defeating 11x World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in a tight final battle at Teahupo’o for the Billabong Pro Tahiti. The 2013 winner scored a 9.67 and 9.27, a 18.94 heat total against Slater’s 17.90 during the peak of the swell. Watch the heat highlights video of the best waves of the event leading up to the final match-up, including interviews with Slater and Buchan about the final priority call:
Event No. 6 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Billabong Pro Tahiti enjoyed sensational conditions for competition with the world’s best surfers pushing the limits of tube-riding and shaking up the race for the 2013 ASP World Title.
“The swell filled in overnight,” Rich Porta, ASP International Head Judge, said. Round 3 finished off Sunday as the event sped through the remaining rounds with plenty of bombs on offer for the Top competitors, through until the final heat.
The young Australian was on a tear during the final day of competition, posting excellent scores through his five heats today. Buchan’s back-to-back 9-point rides to open up the Final for phenomenally deep forehand barrels proved enough to stave off an inspired recovery from Slater, including a death-defying righthand barrel in the dying moments of the Final.
Slater won the previous four finals he surfed at Teahupo’o. This year, however, he had a hard road to the final, after being held under by a jet ski in an unfortunate accident. Check out the video:
Although he lost the heat, it was in a non-elimanation round and Slater was still able to make it to the final, even after he took a heavy wipeout that injuring his shoulder. The drama continued when he held up his hands twice in the final due to confusion about a priority call, that turned out to be Buchan’s best wave. Despite the runner-up result, the King is back up on top of the world rankings as the No. 1 surfer in the world.
- Kelly Slater now takes the No. 1 spot in the rankings after finishing runner-up in the 2013 Billabong Pro Tahiti. Photo: Surf Channel | Jaredd Bell
“I thought he snatched it from me at the end,” Buchan said about Slater in a post-final interview. “I still can’t believe it.”
“I stepped it up today,” Buchan said. “I knew I had to, especially to compete against Kelly, Mick and John John… I waited and waited, to play my priority smartly… What an incredible day!”
Boats lineup for the Billabong Pro Tahiti championship at Teahupo’o. Photo: Surf Channel | Jaredd Bell
John John Florence (HAW) has been in sensational form since his return from an early-season injury. One of the event favorites in Tahiti, Florence nailed an incredible double barrel Perfect 10 to open his Quarterfinal bout against Buchan this morning but was ultimately unable to overcome a massive heat total from the Australian. Although having to settle for Equal 5th in Tahiti, Florence was awarded the Andy Irons Most Committed Award for the event – honoring the late three-time ASP World Champion and Tahiti’s favorite adopted son.
“I’m very honored to be awarded the AI Most Committed Award,” Florence said. “He was a mentor to me and all my friends growing up. We all miss AI. We all still look up to him and what he did in the water. I obviously wanted to do better in the event, but if I couldn’t make it any further, this award is pretty much the most special one I could win. Looking forward to the next one.”
Super clean conditions with swell about 5-6 feet, and the wind was light all day. Couldn’t ask for much more! Photo: Surf Channel | Jaredd Bell
The next stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) will be the Hurley Pro at Trestles in Southern California from September 15 – 21, 2013.
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.94
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 17.90
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.67 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.80
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.73 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 7.67
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.07 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.06
QF 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 19.17 def. John John Florence (HAW) 17.33
QF 3: Kai Otton (AUS) 16.54 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.90
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.86 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 8.66
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.20 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.40
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.16 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.30
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.00 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.27
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.74 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.97
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.67, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.47, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.67
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 18.67, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.80, Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.10
Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) 18.93, Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.74, Kelly Slater (USA) 14.77
Heat 4: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 18.53, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.47, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.70
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI REMAINING ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.34 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 0.73
Heat 10: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.60 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.10
Heat 11: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.70 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.16
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.33 def. Alain Riou (PYF) 15.76
CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 5 (Following Billabong Pro Tahiti):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 38,950 pts
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 37,900 pts
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 30,700 pts
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 29,200 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 25,400 pts