South Africa

Third place in Tahiti puts Jordy on top of the world

2017-08-15 11:23
Jordy Smith (©ASP/Kirstin)

Cape Town - South Africa’s Jordy Smith has moved to the top of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) rankings after posting a career-best third place finish in the Billabong Pro Tahiti on Sunday.

According to the SASCOC website, the 28-year-old Durbanite, who started the event ranked No 3, recorded hard-fought victories over Conner Coffin (USA) and reigning WSL champion John John Florence of Hawaii on the final day before losing out to eventual winner, Julian Wilson of Australia in their semi-final encounter.

‘I’m still learning a lot and I wish I had figured it out earlier in the event,’ Smith said.

‘I am stoked to be in the top spot. Obviously, it’s a long way to go, but it’s sick to be in the front there. This is a new year and I just want to bring something new, something fresh, and keep trying my hardest.’

Smith will be eager to keep his lead over the world’s best surfers and improve his World Title campaign at the next event, the Hurley Pro at Trestles, which is close to his adopted home town of San Clemente in California and where he’s also the defending event winner.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti was won by Wilson who defeated Brazil’s Gabriel Medina in the final held in 1.5-2 metre waves at the fabled break of Teahupo’o to clinch his third CT victory and best result in Tahiti. The victory moves Wilson up from 8th to 5th place on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into Trestles.

‘It’s been a few years,’ said Wilson.

‘It’s so special to win. I am ecstatic and I have nothing left in me. I am just so happy and relieved to finally win an event again. It took so many good waves to win this event and I was lucky enough to get those. I was already enjoying myself on tour and even more so now. I cannot wait for the rest of the year.’

The exciting final saw an all-out battle between Medina and Wilson. The Brazilian took the lead with an incredible 17.87 combined score including a near-perfect 9.20 and an excellent 8.67. Wilson was stuck in a combination situation and needed two new scores with time running out but he fought back with a critical 8.10 and an outstanding 9.23. Still trailing by 1.09 points, Wilson found his way out of a deep tube to earn a near-perfect 9.73 for the win in the dying minutes of the clash.

The next stop on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro which run from September 6-17 at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California.

Read more on:    jordy smith  |  surfing
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