Jordy into quarters at Bells
Victoria - Jordy Smith posted yet another impressive performance in the Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro presented by Snickers in Victoria, Australia earlier today, defeating giant-killing wildcard Owen Wright (AUS) in Round 3 to move into the quarter-finals of the ASP World Tour event.
Following a lay day due to inclement weather on Wednesday, Bells Beach produced the world-class surfing conditions it is famous for earlier today and organisers completed the final four heats of Round 2 this morning as well as the first three heats of Round 3 in excellent conditions before relocating to nearby Winkipop to accommodate the increase in swell.
The Smith vs. Wright match-up, the first heat held at Winkipop, was one of the most exciting encounters of the day. Wright, who defeated defending event champion Slater in Round 2 of competition, looked in-form once again, but Smith’s forehand mastery proved too much for the young Australian.
“That’s probably the biggest heat I have had nerves-wise this whole event,” Smith said. “I keep getting the wildcards and they are the best guys as they have nothing lose. I’m stoked to get that out of my way. Owen (Wright) is a great surfer. I kind of just got lucky and had the first wave and that allowed me to control the heat from there."
Smith, 21, from Durban, will take on former ASP World Champion and past Rip Curl Pro winner Mick Fanning (AUS), 27, in Quarter-final 2. This is the first time Smith has reached the quarter-finals as a full-time member of the ASP World Tour. His best result in a World Tour event was third at Jeffreys Bay in the 2007 when he reached the semi-finals competing as a wildcard.
Fellow Durbanite David Weare, the only other South African remaining the R3.2 million event at the start of the day, was narrowly beaten by No. 16 seed Frederick Patacchia (HAW) in the last heat of Round 2 to repeat his 17th place finish at the first event on the Gold Coast last month.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, current ASP World No. 1 and past winner of the Rip Curl Pro (2004), continued this season’s devastating form, eliminating Kai Otton (AUS), 29, in Round 3 with an excellent-scoring 9.00 out of a possible 10 for a deep barrel followed by a series of rail-carves.
Parkinson will face former ASP World Champion C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, in Quarter-final 1 when competition resumes.
Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 23, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie, continued the afternoon onslaught, netting an excellent total of a 17.34. The stocky natural-footer’s frame synched harmoniously with the Winkipop walls as he bashed his way past fellow rookie Drew Courtney (AUS), 29.
"Super stoked that the contest director moved the event down here,” Bacalso said. “The waves are cranking. I just found the number and dialled it in. What do you know, four bomb waves or something."
Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 27, continued the Hawaiian onslaught, posting the day’s highest heat total of a 17.57 out of a possible 20 for a series of critical backhand blasts.
Patacchia will take on ASP Dream Tour veteran Kieren Perrow (AUS) in Quarter-final 4 while Bacalso goes up against local wildcard Adam Robertson in Quarter-final 3.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8am for a possible 8:30am start (midnight tonight Central African Time) with forecasts indicating that the conditions will provide a forum for completion of the event.
Highlights from today’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach pres. by Snickers will be available via www.live.ripcurl.com and all the action is webcast live at the same address
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Quarter-final Match-ups:
QF 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
QF 3: Adam Robertson (AUS) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
QF 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.17 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 13.00
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.57 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 9.63
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.26 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 3.43
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.84 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.67
Heat 5: Adam Robertson (AUS) 15.50 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 13.13
Heat 6: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 17.34 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 11.17
Heat 7: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.50 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 9.00
Heat 8: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 17.57 def. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Remaining Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 2 Results:
Heat 13: Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.84 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.83
Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.56 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 10.84
Heat 15: Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.50 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 6.13
Heat 16: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.50 def. David Weare (ZAF) 10.50