Matt Wilkinson


Caption: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), currenåt World No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard, will face compatriot Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Trials winner Bruno Santos (BRA) in Round 1 Heat 6 when competition commences at Teahupo’o, Tahiti.
Image: WSL / Cestari

Event: Billabong Pro Tahiti
Location: Teahupo’o, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Event Window: August 19 – 30, 2016

TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Thursday, August 18, 2016) – The world’s best surfers have arrived in the South Pacific for Stop No. 7 of 11 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti, which holds a competitive window from August 19 – 30, 2016.

Matt Wilkinson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) lead the WSL Top 34 in Tahiti with past WSL Champions Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA) and Adriano de Souza (BRA).

“There are no easy heats these days,” Wilkinson said. “Anyone on tour can win any heat. This event is going to be a battle. I’m feeling good though and I love surfing warm-water lefts.”

Taj Burrow (AUS) surfed his last Championship Tour event during June’s Fiji Pro. His position on the 2016 WSL Top 34 has been taken by Adam Melling (AUS).

Owen Wright (AUS) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) remain out with injury and have been replaced by Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Sebastian Zietz (HAW).

Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion and winner of the previous event in Jeffreys Bay, continues his personal year in 2016 and has elected not to surf Tahiti this season. He has been replaced by Dusty Payne (HAW).

Bruno Santos (BRA) and Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) earned the two wildcard spots into the main event via the Trials held last weekend.

Surfline, forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for:

A modest run of inconsistent SW shifting SSW swell slowly fills in over Friday, the weekend, and into early next week; with Mon/Tues the 22nd-23rd looking to see the best of it, then easing thereafter. Overall, conditions are looking good for this run with easterly Trades. The longer range is not looking too promising at this point, but there is certainly plenty of time for things to possibly change for the better.

When competition commences, up first will be Jordy Smith (ZAF), Dusty Payne (HAW) and Ryan Callinan (AUS) in in the opening heat of Round 1.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti has a competitive window from August 19 – 30, 2016 and will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app.

The event is also being carried by the WSL’s LIVE broadcast partners Fox Sports Australia, CBS Sports in the United States, ESPN Brasil, Globosat, Edgesport, Sky NZ, Sport TV, Canal + Deportes, Channel Nine, MCS, Starhub, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable 250 & 1250 in Hawaii.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com

Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Dusty Payne (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW), Davey Cathels (AUS), Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF)
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Bruno Santos (BRA)
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kelly Slater (USA), Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Josh Kerr (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 12: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com