For a couple of highly fashionable, yet relatively underground Aussie surf
stars, Kai Otton and Luke Stedman flew to Tahiti without much pressure to
secure a result at Teahupoo. Against the world’s best at the most infamous
wave on tour, any heat win is considered an awesome achievement, but they
had their sights set higher.
To those in the know, Ottz was definitely a dark horse given his
reputation in solid surf, but 2007 marked his first event at ‘Chopes’ and
the swell never looked menacing. Nonetheless, the goofy-footer charged
past fellow Aussies Mick Lowe in round two, Danny Wills in the third, and
then current ratings #3 Bede Durbidge to reach the quarterfinals.
Up against 2001 Teahupoo winner Cory Lopez, Kai upped the ante even
further, securing the second best ride of the entire tournament for an
epic 9.9 score to find himself in the semis… as a rookie.
Ottz continued his momentum with another 9.0 against Mick Fanning, but
when the current ratings leader posted the only perfect 10 soon after, his
dream of reaching a WCT final was put on hold.
But check it, his 3rd placing, combined with a 9th at the start of this
year, sees Kai sitting very pretty in 10th position on the current ASP
As for good mate and fellow Insight team rider Luke Stedman, the story
was virtually as sweet. The stylish natural footer unleashed an awesome
backhand attack throughout the tournament, defeating 2001 world champion
CJ Hobgood in round two, and defending champion Bobby Martinez in the
third. In round four he got past Brazilian Bernardo Miranda to earn a
quarterfinal berth, but Mr. Fanning managed to end to his epic run there.
For all the latest Insight team info, check out: www.insight51.com