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Teahupo’o monster for local surfers

WAVE DANGER: Joel Parkinson, from Tweed Heads, cuts through a barrel during the Billabong Pro Tahiti competition in Teahupo’o this week.
WAVE DANGER: Joel Parkinson, from Tweed Heads, cuts through a barrel during the Billabong Pro Tahiti competition in Teahupo’o this week. GREGORY BOISSYAFP

THE world's most dangerous wave is playing host to at least three Northern Rivers board riders.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti features Lennox Head's Adam Melling and Tweed Heads' Joel "Parko" Parkinson and Josh Kerr tearing it up to take home the title.

Association of Surfing Professionals spokesman Dave Prodan said the competitors had been battling the "biggest waves of the season and some of the biggest waves ever paddled into at Teahupo'o".

"Teahupo'o is one of the most dangerous waves on the planet - an incredibly intense, left-hand barrel breaking over shallow coral reef," he said.

"Yesterday's surf boasted 12-to-15-foot faces and was bordering on the outer threshold of what surfers are physically able to paddle into."

Prodan said it was only early days yet, but our local boys have had mixed results.

Parko was initially the victim of quite the narrow upset before offering up a resounding redemption.

"Defending event winner Adrian Buchan scored a sensational last-second victory over Joel Parkinson in round one," Prodan said.

"Parkinson would bounce back with an emphatic performance of his own in the elimination round two.

"Matt Wilkinson and Adam Melling will face off in heat 12 of round two when competition resumes."

Parko got a score of 16.30 in heat five of round one, just losing out to Buchan, also on 16.30, while Nathan Hedge scored 15.77.

However, Parko scored 17.17 in his heat one, round two match-up against Taumata Puhetini, who scored 12.50.

Melling came in with 5.07 in heat three of round 1, behind Taj Burrow and Brett Simpson, who scored 12.50 and 9.17, respectively.

Josh Kerr scored the first nine-pointer on the second day of competition, but missed out on a backup wave to secure a win.

He scored 7.93 in heat 10 of round one, while Jadson Andre managed 16.64 and Julian Wilson 15.94.

But Kerr was able to earn a victory against Mitch Coleborn in heat three of round one, scoring 17.90 to Coleborn's 11.24.

Prodan said: "Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Adrian Buchan, Joel Parkinson, Kai Otton and Nathan Hedge were all standout performers throughout the opening two rounds of competition.

"That said, every surfer on tour to a person threw themselves over the ledge at Teahupo'o. Inspiring to say the least."

Prodan anticipated building swell at the competition in Tahiti, which he describes as "paradise incarnate with wonderful people and incredible waves".

"That said, the beauty of the place can occasionally mask a real danger that exists," he said.

"This is a serious wave with serious consequences."

Visit aspworldtour.com for live video of Melling, Parko and Kerr and others in action.

Topics:  billabong pro tahiti joel parkinson



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