Jordy Smith on fire in Rio
Watch Jordy Smith claim gold in the inaugural X-Games surfing competition.
Rio de Janeiro - Top-rated South African surfer Jordy Smith had an incredible start to event No 3 on the ASP Men’s World Championship Tour, The Billabong Rio Pro, in challenging three-to-five foot surf.
Smith, who is the currently rated seventh on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT), was in blistering form and opened up his campaign with an impressive 16.94 out of a possible 20 points to advance directly into Round 3.
Jordy was the runner-up to the world title chase in 2010, and is on a world title hunt this year.
“I got really lucky in that heat,” said Jordy on the beach afterwards.
“Adam (Melling) was deeper than me on that one and I thought he was going to go, and then I looked behind at one point and he wasn’t there, and I thought ‘bonus!’”
Jordy went on to get a long tube ride on that wave and was awarded one of the highest scores of the heat. Jordy defeated Melling and Kai Otton, both from Australia.
Jordy has been traveling to Brazil for many years, and feels comfortable in and around Ro de Janeiro.
“It reminds me a bit of Durban. The waves aren’t exactly the same, but there are many similarities to Durban. The people of Rio are very passionate about surfing and they cheer ad support surfing events quite enthusiastically.”
The 11-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA) was also in top form, locking in the two highest scoring waves of the day to win his first round heat. Slater has made it known that he is aiming for his 12th world title this year, and is looking determined. He has been suffering from a minor back ailment but is currently on the mend and aiming for a podium finish. Slater currently sits at No 1 on the world ratings.
Another tenacious competitor is current world champion Joel Parkinson from Australia. He was also a clear heat winner in his opening exchange. Parkinson currently sits at No 5 on the World Tour and is determined to get back up the ratings.
However all eyes are on Smith, with his amazing return to form in the first two events, and an impressive third place finish at Bells Beach a few weeks ago for the Rip Curl Pro.
“I’ve got the best equipment this year, and I’m feeling totally confident with these magic boards,” said Smith.
“I feel relaxed and I’m ready for this year. Last year wasn’t my best year on tour, and the year before I had a few niggling injuries, but this year all seems to be going well.”
The Billabong Pro Rio live webcast can be found HEREBILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.50, Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.27, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 1.40
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.07, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.56, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 1.83
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.66, Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 8.93, Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.67
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.20, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.27, Jack Freestone (AUS) 7.96
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.34, Messias Felix (BRA) 9.83, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 2.47
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.30, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 4.63, Gustavo Fernandes (BRA) 1.46
Heat 7: Glenn Hall (IRL) 15.46, Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.00, Julian Wilson (AUS) 1.46
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.00, Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.26, Damien Hobgood (USA) 4.04
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) 11.46, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.74, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.37
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.94
, Adam Melling (AUS) 12.44, Kai Otton (AUS) 5.53
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.27, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.77, Brett Simpson (USA) 9.27
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.43, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.56, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 7.43