The Billabong Pro Tahara came to an exhilarating conclusion on Sunday, July 29, 2012 in Tahara Aichi, Japan. The surfers were blessed with suitable swell. Here's a quick look at some of the results:
If you ask me, the Billabong Pro Tahara's quarterfinals delivered non-stop, bite your nails to the quick action. It started with a close matchup between Kenta Hayashi and Masatoshi Ohno. Ohno won the heat with 12.43 points. Hayashi completed the heat with 12.33 points.
From there, spectators got to witness a beautiful 9.17 point ride by Hairil Anwar in Heat 2. It was the best wave score of the quarterfinals. Anwar won the heat with 15.90 points. A powerful matchup between Ezekiel Lau and Darren Turner followed.
The quarterfinals ended with another close finish thanks to Kaito Ohashi and Thomas Woods. Woods won his Heat 4 matchup against Ohashi with 11.17 points. Ohashi finished the heat with 10.17 points.
Hairil Anwar was on fire during the semifinals. He opened up his Heat 1 matchup against Masatoshi Ohno with a jaw-dropping 8.50 point ride. He backed it up with an 8 point ride that left Ohno struggling just to catch up. Ohno was never able to narrow the gap. He lost the heat with 9.03 points.
Ezekiel Lau also delivered a noteworthy display of skill during his Heat 2 matchup against Thomas Woods. Lau opened up the heat with a 6 point ride. It was clean and powerful. He backed it up with a 6.07 pointer, which secured his place in the final.
Given their collective talents, I was confident that the final heat between Hairil Anwar and Ezekiel Lau would be a good one. Of course the surfers did not disappoint. Anwar, seemingly tired from his brilliant display of skill in the semifinals, opened up the heat with a few low scoring rides. Lau answered back by delivering a commanding 7.83 point ride.
After that, Anwar appeared to dig deep. He responded to Lau's onslaught by delivering a solid 6 point ride. Lau countered with a 6.67 point ride. Anwar valiantly tried to recover but was unable to do so. Ezekiel Lau won the surf heat with 14.50 points.
The Relentless Energy Drink Boardmasters is the next ASP Star event on the men's calendar. It is slated to start on Tuesday, August 7, 2012. Ezekiel Lau is expected to be one of the surfers in attendance.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys summer sports and recreation with her family. She also has a history of interviewing pro surfers.
More from this contributor: