Durban’s Travis Logie recorded his career best result in an ASP World Title Series event when he placed third in the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
Meanwhile fellow South African Jordy Smith retained his ASP No. 2 ranking despite being eliminated by Logie in a re-run Round 3 heat, after Smith suffered a dislocated rib in powerful three metre surf. Smith’s rib injury could see him miss the next two events in New York and at Trestles in California during September.
Logie, 32, received a late call-up following the withdrawal of Bobby Martinez (USA) and encouraged by his wife, he flew to Tahiti, arriving without surfboards and riding, and breaking, several of good friend Alan Riou’s boards as he progressed through the event.
Logie’s fairy-tale run to the semi-finals saw him win his Round 1 heat over fourth seed Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Jadson Andre (BRA) to advance directly to Round 3. There he lost in the injury affected heat against Smith which the ASP decided to re-run and Logie, himself suffering from cuts, bruises and a strained AC shoulder joint resulting from a wipe-out during the heat, won through to Round 4.
A victory over Brett Simpson (USA) and Chris Davidson (AUS) in the three-man demo round heat saw Logie skip Round 5 and progress directly to the quarterfinals. On the final day of the event he again defeated Simpson to reach the first semi-final of his five year career in ASP Title Race events, before meeting his match against in form Australian Owen Wright.
“It’s been an unbelievable week for me,” Logie said. “I don’t think it has all sunk in yet. I was in Europe, I barely made it here in time, I’ve been on borrowed equipment, I’ve been banged up on the reef, I had a re-surf with my good mate Jordy (Smith) and I’ve also scored the best result of my career. It’s all happened very fast. So yeah, I’m happy with how everything’s worked out, but would have liked to have made that Final.”
Logie is now ranked No. 34 and will be hoping that the carnage suffered by the top 32 surfers in the phenomenal surf in Tahiti will enable him to get an injury-replacement spot in that event and to force his way into the top 32.
Slater, ranked No. 6 before Tahiti, benefited from the early elimination of Parkinson, Smith, Taj Burrow (AUS) and Flores to leapfrog them all into the rankings lead, thanks to his haul of 10 000 precious points for the victory.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Final Results:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.43
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 17.10
Billabong Pro Tahiti Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.60
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.50 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.40
Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.83
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.17
QF 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 18.07 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 17.14
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.10
ASP World Title Rankings Top 5 (After Billabong Pro Tahiti)
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 26,950 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 26,500 pts
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 26,200 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 22,750 pts
5. Owen Wright (AUS) 21,900 pts