Home > ASP Tour > South Africa’s Dale Staples invited to Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupo’o

South Africa’s Dale Staples invited to Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupo’o

August 4th, 2010


Pictured: Tahitian Manoa Drollet in action at  Teahupoo, Tahiti, where  South Africa’s Dale Staple will face Surfing’s ultimate challenge in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials Photo: Stacey / Billabong 




in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials

(Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010) South African surfer Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) is among an elite field of 32 internationals who have been invited to contest the prestigious Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials scheduled to take place at the notorious break of “Teahupo’o” in Tahiti over four days beginning August 16th.

The Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials is a precursor to stop 5 on the ASP Men’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro, Tahiti and only the winner is guaranteed a wildcard seed direct into the Billabong Pro’s elite main event. A second position is open to the highest placed local Tahitian surfer.

All surfers have been chosen based on previous performances at either Teahupo’o or abroad, and for their dedication to riding the world’s most intimidating surf spots.

The nature of the Teahupo’o break and the intensity of competition make the competition like no other. In surfing circles, the trials winner is lauded as a minor hero – required to put his life on the line inside the huge barrels that break across dangerously shallow, tropical reef – and the respect earned from his peers is on par with the eventual champion of the main event.

From there, further glory lies in overcoming one of the Billabong Pro’s top three seeds in Round 1 of the main event. In 2010 those seeds include current world ranked no. 1, Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF), world ranked no. 2 Taj Burrow (WA, AUS) and world ranked no. 3 Kelly Slater (Fl, USA).

Historically, the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials champions have a habit of putting a dent in the world title campaigns of their top-seeded rivals. Most notably in 2007 when relative unknown Brazilian Bruno Santos and local wildcard Manoa Drollet went all the way to the final, finishing first and second respectively.

Drollet is a two-time trials winner at Teahupo’o and sits at the top of the wildcard heap. As a result, the 34 year-old has earned a seed direct into the main event in 2010.

Billabong Pro, Tahiti competition director and former world no. 2, Luke Egan (Gold Coast, AUS) says Drollet’s performances at the infamous break surpass anything he has witnessed during his career as a competitor and previous four years as Contest Director.

“Manoa’s surfing over the years at Teahupo’o is regularly above and beyond anything I have seen from any of the Top 45 rated men,” said Egan.

“There is not one world rated surfer in the competition, from Kelly Slater down, who will risk holding back when Manoa is in the water. He is the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons at Teahupo’o. It’s very probable that by having him in the competition he could knock out one of the top guys and it will affect the world title race.”

Along with 32 internationals, an additional field of 32 local Tahitian surfers make up the total trials field of 64.

The VonZipper Air Tahiti Nui trials begins from August 16th.

A series of pre-event webisodes will be made available over coming days and weeks for websites. Stand by for further info.

Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials

2010 Official International Invitees

Jon Florence
Conan Hayes
Bruce Irons
Danny Fuller
Sion Miloski
Kamalei Alexander
Reef McIntosh
Ian Walsh
Kalani Chapman
Marcus Hickman
Steven Koehene
Gavin Gillette
Jamie Sterling
Hank Gaskell
Clay Marzo

Dane Ward

Wade Goodall
Ryan Callinan
Laurie Towner
Nick Vasicek
Anthony Walsh
Koby Abberton
Mark Matthews
Damien Wills
Ryan Hipwood

Alvaro Malpartida
Gabriel Villaran

Ricardo Do Santos

Puerto Rico  
Alejandro Moreda

Takayuki Wakita

Ben Sanchez

New Zealand
Blair Stewart

South Africa 
Dale Staples

Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials 

Former Champions

2009 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2008 Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
2007 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2006 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2005 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2004 Heimata Carroll (PFY)
2003 Alain Riou (PFY)

2002 Vetea David (PFY)

2001 Bruce Irons (HAW)

 Celebrating 10 years of the Billabong Pro, Tahiti!



Trials highlights and TV newsfeed will be made available, contact:

“JJ” – Billabong Int. Event Media Manager.
Mob: +61 (0) 421 384 431

Rights free digital photos and full press release will also be made available via ASP Australasia contact:

Steve Robertson
+61 (0) 407 706874

Please Note: High resolution versions of the above images are available to South African MEDIA outlets from Life’s a Beach Communications – see contact details below.

Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

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