TEAHUPOO, Tahiti (Wednesday, May 16th, 2007) – An extended Billabong Pro Tahiti waiting period has enabled contest officials to send the eight remaining Foster's ASP World Tour surfers out in four to six foot (one to two metre) and building swell this morning.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinals will begin at 11am local time. The first Quarterfinal will feature three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW) and perennial Top 5 surfer Joel Parkinson (AUS).
Irons won the Billabong Pro Tahiti in 2002. Parkison's Quarterfinal berth and guaranteed equal 5th finish today will surpasses his best ever result at Teahupoo – an equal ninth result in 2005.
Damien Hobgood (USA), who will take on French rookie Jeremy Flores in Quarterfinal 2, featured in the 2005 Billabong Pro Final. Like Teahupoo trophy owners Irons and 2001 winner Cory Lopez, Hobgood has enjoyed more success at the venue than many of today's other Quarterfinalists who are either rookies or posting personal bests.
Current Foster's ASP World Tour No. 1 Mick Fanning (AUS) made his way to Tahiti weeks prior to the event to log some practice time at Teahupoo. Like Parkinson, Fanning had failed to advance out of Round 4 at the Billabong Pro Tahiti prior to 2007.
Fanning will meet Luke Stedman (AUS) in Quarterfinal 3 and walk away from the Billabong Pro Tahiti 1st on the ASP ratings regardless of his result today.
Lopez will meet Kai Otton (AUS), the second of two Foster's ASP World Tour rookies still in contention, in Quarterfinal 4.
Visit the media center on www.aspworldtour.com for transcribed athlete interviews, audio downloads, hi-resolution photographs and heat by heat updates for all the Billabong Pro Tahiti action thus far.
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)
QF 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
QF 4: Cory Lopez (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
TIME ZONES FOR 11AM TAHITI:
Los Angeles: 11am in Tahiti is 2pm in Los Angeles
Honolulu: 11am in Tahiti is 11am in Honolulu
Sydney: 11am in Tahiti is 7am in Sydney
Perth: 11am in Tahiti is 5am in Perth
Tokyo: 11am in Tahiti is 6am in Tokyo
Paris: 11am in Tahiti is 11pm in Paris
Jerusalem: 11am in Tahiti is 11pm in Jerusalem
Johannesburg: 11am in Tahiti is 11pm in Johannesburg
London: 11am in Tahiti is 10 pm in London
Buenos Aires: 11am in Tahiti is 6pm in Buenos Aires
Santiago: 11am in Tahiti is 5pm in Santiago
New York: 11am in Tahiti is 5am in New York