11 August, 2013 11 August, 2013

Punched in the Chopes – Fisticuffs during Tahiti Wildcard Trials

The wildcard trials for the Billabong Pro Tahiti saw some major controversy at Teahupo’o over the weekend, when Hawaiian Jamie O’Brien allegedly punched last year’s trials winner Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) in the face. It’s claimed JOB smacked Ricardo in the chops while bottom-turning on a last minute wave they both desperately needed a score on.

Ricardo Dos Santos is a past champion at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, winning the 2011 event as a wildcard.

Ricardo Dos Santos is a past champion at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, having won the 2011 event as a wildcard.

There are conflicting stories as to what exactly went down, but what we do know is that Ricardo had out-muscled Jamie in the paddle battle and gained priority for the wave, which led to the altercation when Jamie dropped in on him. It was a double whammy for Ricardo who got a fat lip and missed out on a chance to get the points he needed to see him through the four man heat.

“This was going to be the most important event of the year for me, and (I) got knocked out during my heat by another surfer”, claimed a severely disappointed Ricardo when posting this picture to his Instagram account, which shows the fat lip he copped:


But in a post-heat interview with Stab magazine, JOB claims that’s not exactly how it went down:

“I was deeper than him and I had positioning,” says Jamie. “And the real story is, he paddled straight into me and hit me with an overhand head check. And then he followed up with an elbow to the head. So, when I took off on the wave, I already knew I was burning him, which is no problem. Then I slapped him on the wave.”

“No, I didn’t punch him on the wave,” repeats Jamie. “I slapped him. So we both fell on the wave. And he came chasing after me. He threw the first punch. And y’know, he threw a coupla punches, and I threw a coupla punches, and that was the result of it. It was not a big deal. Yeah, we’re men, and these things happen.”

See the full Stab interview here.

An online community of Ricardo supporters are up in arms over the incident, but whether the ASP will be taking action against JOB or Ricardo is still to be determined. The Hawaiian has made a full apology to Ricardo though, even shaking hands with the Brazilian but JOB now claims Ricardo turned it into a “weak move” with his social media posts and has made it an issue between himself and the whole of Brazil.


Staying out of trouble and giving it a good go at Chopes was Kommetjie’s Matt ‘Bromdog’ Bromley, who charged through to the quarter finals before being eliminated.

Check out www.billabongpro.com/tahiti13 for more.


  1. BraBroBroo
    11 August, 2013 at 8:30 pm · Reply

    What an idiot!

  2. Waste of Talent
    12 August, 2013 at 9:35 am · Reply

    Career wrecker right there.

    I think JOB has now chosen his path and is goin to pay big time at the till.

    He is one of those…. that has the freakish next level talent …..but a headless chicken in a surfing compo.

    What a flippin waste . Guys don’t know how good they have got it.

  3. jimbo2shoes
    12 August, 2013 at 6:20 pm · Reply

    He said soz, they’re men, Ricardo is probably over it already. end of, move on. thanks, bye

  4. Tool
    13 August, 2013 at 6:00 am · Reply

    Looks like JOB & Santos both have a slight case of Rasoolitus. LOL;)

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