Smith outclasses J-Bay pack
Jordy Smith (Gallo Images)
Jeffrey's Bay - In what was arguably the best heat of the day South Africa’s Jordy Smith launched himself straight through to the third round of the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2011.
Smith runner-up in the ASP Men’s World Tour in 2010 and defending champion of the Billabong Pro was on fire, scoring the highest total of the day with a 16.87 out of a possible 20. He also produced the highest single-wave score with a 9.00 out of a possible 10 on his way to victory over last year’s event runner-up Adam Melling (AUS), 26, and wildcard Sean Holmes (ZAF), 33.
Smith who is currently ranked fifth in this year’s world tour surfed Jeffreys Bay with absolute ease, making aerial moves look like simple top-turns (a move where a surfer carves the top of the swell he is riding), landing each one with ease and also showed why he is considered one of the best surfers in the world.
“I don’t really feel the pressure to perform,” Smith said. “I’ve got my little programme here with my friends and I’m just focusing on getting waves and surfing well. I’m happy to be through to Round 3.”
Dusty Payne (HAW), 22, into his second season amongst the elite ASP Top 34, punctuated the afternoon with a sensational performance, blasting away a fury of high-octane forehand maneuvers to dispatch Michel Bourez (PYF), 25, and Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 25, to Round 2.
“It was tricky out there this afternoon, but when the good ones come through, they’re still really rippable,” Payne said. “Fortunately, I got that good one at the beginning and that set the pace for me in the heat. Stoked to be back in Jeffreys again and hope we can get some solid surf here in the next few days.”
Mick Fanning of Australia, 29, former two-time ASP World Champion and current No 8 on the ASP World Title Rankings, put in a blitzing performance in this morning’s clean conditions, navigating the Jeffreys Bay walls with speed, punch and bite.
“There were definitely some fun waves out there,” Fanning said. “It’s great to put the jersey back on and mix it up with the boys. Board feels good and I’m happy to be straight through to Round 3. Hope we can get some solid swell out there for the competition.”
Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, in his first showing at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, led the Round 1 rookie charge, posting an impressive 14.10 out of a possible 20 to best veterans Taylor Knox (USA), 40, and Damien Hobgood (USA), 31.
“It was a slow heat out there and I guess that’s how it is at J-Bay sometimes,” Wilson said. “You only get two or three opportunities to make it a good heat for yourself so you need to make sure you make the most of them. This is my first time to Jeffreys and only my third surf out there. I’ve got a really good board right now that Matt Biolis shaped specifically for J-Bay and it’s worked really well so far.”
Wilson was joined by Alejo Muniz (BRA), 21, as the only rookies to advance directly into Round 3 today.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion, and Bobby Martinez (USA), 29, failed to show for today’s Round 1 of competition. Should either surfer fail to show for Round 2, they will be replaced under the new ASP ruling.
Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, current leader in the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title, was dispatched to Round 2 today by lethal goofy-footer Kai Otton (AUS), 31. The young Brazilian will face Gabe Kling (USA), 30, when competition resumes.
Event organisers will reconvene on Saturday morning at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start.
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.04, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 6.66, Cory Lopez (USA) 6.60
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.10, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.17, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.67
Heat 3: Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.90, Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.00, Gabe Kling (USA) 8.13
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.73, Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.17, Bobby Martinez (USA) 0.00
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.87, Sean Holmes (ZAF) 14.93, Adam Melling (AUS) 14.57
Heat 6: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.77, Shaun Payne (ZAF) 7.46, Kelly Slater (USA) 0.00
Heat 7: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.50, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8.50, Chris Davidson (AUS) 4.73
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.70, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.43, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 7.56
Heat 9: Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.70, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.80, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 7.73
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.10, Taylor Knox (USA) 10.46, Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.70
Heat 11: Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.03, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.10, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.77
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.66, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.87, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 7.60
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Shaun Payne (ZAF)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Sean Holmes (ZAF)
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Bobby Martinez (USA)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Cory Lopez (USA)
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 9: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 11: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)