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 ratings.

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.

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