• 32 TRIALS INVITEES PREPARE FOR THE RIDES OF THEIR LIVES!

Nine Australian surfers are 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 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).

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

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

AUSTRALIA
Wade Goodall (Sunshine Coast, QLD)
Ryan Callinan (Merewether, NSW)
Laurie Towner (Yamba, NSW)
Nick Vasicek (Gold Coast, QLD)
Anthony Walsh (Lennox Head, NSW)
Koby Abberton (Maroubra, NSW)
Mark Matthews (Maroubra, NSW)
Damien Wills (Sth Coast, NSW)
Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, QLD)

PERU
Alvaro Malpartida
Gabriel Villaran

USA
Dane Ward

BRAZIL
Ricardo Do Santos

Puerto Rico
Alejandro Moreda

JAPAN
Takayuki Wakita

FRANCE
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!

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

"JJ" - Billabong Int. Event Media Manager.
Mob: +61 (0) 421 384 431
johnathan.jenkins@billabong.com.au
jj@premiummedia.com.au

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

Steve Robertson
+61 (0) 407 706874
steve@surfingaustralia.com