Insight's Kai Otton leads Rookie Charge
Just four events into his rookie season on the 2007 World Championship Tour, and ::Insight's Kai Otton has already established himself a major threat to the world's best surfers, holding down 8th position on the current ASP ratings.
'Ottz' wasted no time during his first major event on Australia's Gold Coast in March, reaching the fourth round with a couple big heat wins. He then upped the ante last month in Tahiti during the Billabong Pro Teahupoo, securing a semifinal berth at the infamous wave venue and jumped to #10 on the ratings.
Then in Chile last week he charged more meaty waves during the Rip Curl Pro Search event, posting the highest combined heat scores of round one (including his near perfect 9.93 ride) - which proved the third highest of the entire tournament. He was ultimately stopped in round four, but there is little shame losing to three-time world champion Andy Irons, especially when he goes on to win the same tournament.
The result pushed him further up the ratings to #8, and he now leads the charge for "Rookie of the Year" status.
"At this stage I'm over the moon with my year and my current position," said Ottz. "I was really keen to get of to a good start and I have achieved that. With my good result in Tahiti and then backing it up with a 9th in Chile, it's given me great confidence for the rest of the year... and moved me closer to my goal of 'Rookie of the Year'."
The ASP tour now heads to Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa, so be sure to check out Kai's backhand attack there, as well as fellow Insight WCT'er Luke Stedman on the famed J-Bay walls.
The pair recently spent time together in Bali, together with the rest of Insight's international surf team, creating the next installment in the brand's award winning ad campaign imagery. You'll be seeing the goods from this very soon.
Photo: Kai Otton and Andy Irons in Chile by ASP Tostee @ Covered Images