In 2001 Kieren Perrow (AUS), who was competing as a wildcard, posted one of the highest heat scores of the day (28.20 out of a possible 30 points) to advance into Round 3. The then-upstart beat 1999 World Champion Mark Occhilupo (AUS) and Jake Paterson (AUS) in the process.
In 2002 Kelly Slater -- then a six-time World Champion -- was sidelined to the losers' round when he arrived 10 minutes late for his Round 1 heat against Mick Fanning (AUS) and Peterson Rosa (BRA), and narrowly missed out on advancing into Round 3.
The late Andy Irons (HAW) faced local wildcard Hira Terinatoofa in 2003 in one of the day's most anticipated clashes. Irons didn't disappoint: He posted the second Perfect 10 of the event that year and scored the highest combined tally of 19.70 out of a possible 20 points.
2001 World Champion CJ Hobgood (USA) clinched the Billabong Pro Tahiti title that year, posting a near-perfect 19.83 to eliminate six-time World Champ Kelly Slater (USA) in the Semis, and going on to defeat Nathan Hedge (AUS) in the Final. Hedge suffered a head injury after a nasty wipeout during the heat, leaving victory in Hobgood's hands.
In 2005, local wildcard Manoa Drollet (PYF) was towed into a wave that locals claimed was one of the biggest ever ridden at Teahupo'o. Drollet had won the Tahiti Nui/VZ Trials the week prior, and enjoyed some heart-stopping moments towing in with the late Andy Irons (HAW) and his brother Bruce (HAW).
Shane Dorian (HAW) dominated the shifting lineup during the event that year, charging straight into the takeoff zone without waiting for a set. The former CT-surfer-turned-big-wave-enthusiast scored three huge backside tube rides before anyone else had caught a wave.
The late Malik Joyeux (PYF) and his tow partner, fellow Tahitian Manoa Drollet, proved they were the tow-in Dream Team at Teahupo'o. No one in the world at the time was riding as deep in so many enormous tubes as Joyeux and Drollet in May of 2005.
Three-time World Champion and 2002 Billabong Pro Teahupo'o winner Andy Irons (HAW) rode a 12-foot wave during his second warmup session in 2005. Perfect conditions allowed the world's best to test their mettle at the dangerous lefthander prior to the start of that year's waiting period.
Kelly Slater (USA) celebrated his sensational victory by drinking a beer on his last wave of the 2005 Billabong Pro Tahiti Final. Moments before he paddled into his final wave of the event, he requested a beer from a fan, then proceeded to ride deep in a tube. Seconds later he emerged and sipped the sweet taste of success, making history with his victory score, a perfect 20 out of 20.
Surfing against Dean Morrison and needing a 7.00 to win, Andy Irons (HAW) came flying out of a barrel in the dying seconds. Knowing he had gotten the score he needed, he claimed it by pretending to fire a shotgun. While he was busy doing that, Morrison got an even better barrel on the next one but Irons didn't see it. There was an announcement that Morrison had won, but Irons still did not hear it, and Deano had to paddle over and say, "Umm, sorry mate, I think I won."
Damien Hobgood (USA) won the 2007 Billabong Pro Tahiti, beating Mick Fanning (AUS) in a last-minute victory in 5-to-7 foot (1.5-2 metre) surf.
Hobgood had bowed out of the 2005 Billabong Pro Final halfway through after dislocating his shoulder -- which made his win two years later all the sweeter.
In 2010, Andy Irons (HAW) captured his first World Tour victory in three years, defeating C.J. Hobgood (USA) in the 2010 Final. Along the way, he also defeated Mick Fanning, Patrick Gudauskas and Kelly Slater, before unleashing his unparalleled backhand tube-riding skills to collect the win.
Julian Wilson (AUS) capped off a flawless day of competition in 2011, netting a near-perfect 9.83 out of a possible 10. The Houdini-esque, no-hand barrel saw him steal victory away from an in-form Josh Kerr (AUS).
Jeremy Flores (FRA) proved the ultimate showman in 2011, pulling into what was arguably the heaviest wave of Round 2. He would go on to become the second surfer in history to lock in a Perfect 20 heat total, scored in his Round 5 matchup against Michel Bourez (PYF).
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) became the third surfer of the event to be awarded a perfect 10-point ride, after he threw himself over the ledge and into a cavernous Teahupo'o tube in Round 2 of 2011. Wilkinson attempted to repeat the feat, but his zealous approach came with a price: The 22-year-old was gobbled whole and rag-dolled across Teahupo'o's razor-sharp coral, resulting in cuts and bruises and a third trip to the doctor.
Slater won the Billabong Pro Tahiti that year, picking up steam in the flawless conditions. He eliminated an in-form Josh Kerr (AUS) in the Semifinals before meeting the lethal goofyfooter, Owen Wright, in the Final. Slater utilized his backhand tuberiding technique to earn an 18.43-point heat total, which was more than Wright could muster.
Mick Fanning (AUS) defeated friend and fellow Aussie Joel Parkinson in the Final of the 2012 Billabong Pro Teahupo'o. Fanning staked his claim to a third World Title as he won the legendary event in Tahiti by just a half of a point, 18.87 to Parkinsonâ€™s 18.37.
In 2013, John John Florence (HAW) was one of the early standouts at Teahupo'o. He dropped a perfect 10 in Round 3 with one of the biggest barrel-to-snap combos of the event. Ultimately he came up short in the Quarterfinals, where he dropped another 10-point ride against Aussie Ace Buchan, and won the Andy Irons Most Committed Award.
Buchan won the 2013 Billabong Pro Tahiti over Kelly Slater, scoring back-to-back 9-point rides in the Final. His scores rewarded phenomenally deep forehand barrels, including a death-defying tube in the dying moments of the contest.
The 2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti saw historic swell -- and heavy wipeouts to match. After suffering one of the most brutal wipeouts of the contest, Owen Wright (AUS) paddled back out to the lineup and grabbed two excellent-range (8.00 points or better) scores in his 2014 Quarterfinal matchup against Slater. His heroics came short of winning the heat but they did earn him the A.I. Most Committed Award.
The 2014 Semifinals pitted heavyweight chargers John John Florence (HAW) and Kelly Slater (USA). They had been the undisputed stars of a historic event; between them they scored 17 rides in the nine-point range throughout the contest and each had scored a perfect 10. When their last scores of the heat dropped, they were tied at 19.77. In a tense tie-breaker, the win went to Slater. Their heat won the WSL Award for 2014 Men's Heat of the Year.
In the end, though, the Final saw Gabriel Medina (BRA) earn his third and final event win of 2014 in Tahiti. It was enough to carry him through the rest of the year to become Brazil's first World Champ.