Teahupoo Comp Forecast: Expectation Vs Reality

Jason Lock

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Updated 2242d ago

Teahupoo looms. Tahiti's hyper-wave, renowned for horror wipeouts and huge kegs is the next stop on the WSL's Championship Tour, with the competition window opening from August 19.

What we expect from Teahupoo is heaving conditions as the world's best descend on Tahiti. Remember that semi-final between Kelly and John John? It was arguably one of the most exciting heats of all time. Sometimes, the expectation vs reality lives up to the hype. But this year's forecast looks as if Chopes won't be serving up its typically freakish pits – sure, there may be barrels, just much smaller than what we're all hoping for.

As Magicseaweed forecaster, Francisco Silva, explains: ''The forecast for Teahupoo does not look enthusiastic at this point. The swell we hope for during the competition will be heavily influenced by the presence of a high pressure system located east of New Zealand, which will block any storm activity during a large part of next week and limiting the fetch area for the Tahitian spot.

The opening day conditions. But what we want is huge, foreboding waves.

The opening day conditions. But what we want is huge, foreboding waves.

''We are currently tracking a low pressure system travelling south of New Zealand, but that may not be able to give us the numbers we hope to see at Teahupoo, since it does not have the wind intensity needed for a storm tracking so far south.

''During the first few days of the waiting period we can expect a series of mid-sized pulses, with two distinct peaks, one over the weekend and the other during Tuesday/Wednesday. After this, the conditions deteriorate as the period drops significantly. Although we might see a change in the forecast, given how far out we are looking, the current and short-term atmospheric conditions do not point in that direction.''

On to the comp and Bruno Santos is in, after qualifying by winning the CT trials event. Remember Santos' win in 2008? And his charge last year when he took out Adriano de Souza in round three? It was Kai Otton who put an end to Bruno's run in round five – but the Brazilian could cause upset, especially as he's facing off against world number 1 Matt Wilkinson, who typically doesn't perform well at Chopes, and Stu Kennedy in round 1. Hira Terriinatoofa makes up the other wildcard.

Owen Wright, one of the standouts at last year's Chopes, confirmed he is now out for the season, as you know, and Bede's still out injured, so, Stuey Kennedy and Sebass return as injury replacements. Mick Fanning's skipping Chopes – but did promise after winning J-Bay that he'll return for Lowers, he's replaced by Dusty Payne, and, with Taj's retirement, Adam Melling's stepped up to full-time member of the CT. Who's your money on?

Round 1 match-ups
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), TBD
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), TBD
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)

Cover shot by Raihei Tapeta of Matahi Drollet in 2014.