Jamie O'Brien Wins Von Zipper/Air Tahiti Nui Trials.
Teahupoo, Tahiti (Monday 28th April 2008): HAWAIIAN hot-shot Jamie O'Brien, 24, has added another prestigious title to his list of achievements by winning the Air Tahiti Nui – Von Zipper Trials in heaving 6-8ft slabs at Teahupoo in Tahiti.
The 2006 Pipeline Masters Champion defeated talented Brazilian Bruno Santos in an epic final that saw the natural footer steal victory in the last 40-seconds with a perfect ten point ride.
After locking in some of the most amazing tube rides of the day on his way to the final, O'Brien started strong in the 30 minute decider with an 8.50 followed shortly after by a 7.17 score.
Santos fired back quickly and took what looked like an unassailable lead courtesy of a 7.93 and a near perfect 9.50 for a super deep and committed Teahupoo tube ride. But O'Brien wasn't done, scratching on to a huge set with only moments on the clock to lock in the perfect score and claim the win.
"I've never came from behind the eight ball like that in the last minute," said O'Brien. "I figured it's the kind of stuff Kelly (Slater) does, so I thought I would give it a try."
O'Brien was the standout performer of the event, scoring two 10-point rides on the way to the final and a near perfect 19.93 out of 20.00 in the Quarters.
"I knew the swell was going to be bombing when I came down here and the wind looked insane, so the whole event was super special," he said. "One of the things I have always wanted to win was a Teahupoo Trials and I put that on my list a few years ago.
"I have nailed that and now I have a chance to be in the main event and have fun."
With a Men's World Tour event title already credited to his name after winning the Pipeline Masters as a wildcard, O'Brien looks set to shake things up when the big guns arrive at the fishing village of Teahupoo to contest the Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui on May 8th.
The brash Hawaiian faces a tough task in round one, pitted against countryman Pancho Sullivan and reigning world champion Mick Fanning.
"I'm not worried about it (Main Event), barrel riding is what I do, I travel the world so I can go and surf barrels."