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Archive for July, 2010

Greg Emslie rides to victory in the Cold Water Classic on a Safari Surfboard

July 30th, 2010 No comments

O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa 2010 champion Greg Emslie in action. Photo: Pierre Tostee 
Cape Town (Friday 30 July 2010) – Greg Emslie, South Africa’s highest earning professional surfer, rode to victory in yet another internationally rated event on a Safari Surfboard shaped by master craftsman Spider Murphy when he won the ASP 4-Star rated O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Cape Town on Thursday.

The 33 year-old East Londoner was in scintillating form throughout the event, using the same board to overcome the near gale-force winds and heaving two metre surf on the Cape Peninsula in the earlier rounds and in the milder conditions and well-shaped one metre surf on the final day.

“I’ve been working with Spider for quite a few years now and we’ve probably been experimenting with more different shapes since I retired from the ASP World Tour last year. But I rode my standard shape, the one I’ve got my best results on, throughout this event” Emslie explained.

“Our relationship is more than just the surfboards though,” he continued. “Spider and I speak virtually daily and he’s so knowledgeable he gives me great advice about everything in surfing.”

Emslie was rightfully chuffed to have defeated current world No 1 Jordy Smith in Round 3, saying “I was stoked about that! Jordy has always been respectful of me and now he’s leading the rankings. I really hope he goes on to win the World Title, but I kept the pressure on him and went on to win the heat.”

Emslie really stepped up his performance on the final day, taking out the dangerous Shaun Cansdell (AUS) in the quarters, outpointing Antonio Bortoletto in the semis and then snatched the event title from Dion Atkinson (AUS) with an outstanding ride of 7.83 in the dying seconds of the final.

“The crowd were all supporting me in the final and I was thinking that after Jordy had won in Durban and J-Bay, we’ve got to keep all the trophies at home. So I’m stoked I managed to do that,” Emslie said of his victory.

The win earned Emslie 1 000 points on the ASP World Tour and the ASP Africa rankings and he pocketed US $12 000, taking his career prize-money earnings over the US $626 000 mark.

Despite a shock elimination in Round 3 in Cape Town, fellow Safari Surfboards team rider Royden Bryson has taken the lead in the five-event O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series. The winner of the second event in Scotland a couple of months back, Bryson is marginally ahead of the Aussie trio of Tasmania event winner Stu Kennedy (AUS), Cansdell and Atkinson in the chase for the US $50 000 CWC prize-pool.

“What a great result for Greg in Cape Town,” said legendary surfboard shaper Spider Murphy. “He’s a true professional and pleasure to work with.”

“This result shows that even though he has retired from the World Tour, Greg still has a lot to offer South African surfing and I’m looking forward to seeing him perform as part of the SA Team at the ISA World Surfing Games in Peru later this year.”

Safari Surfboards was established in 1963 and is the exclusive provider of Spider Murphy’s shapes. Contact boards@safarisurf.com for more information.

/ends

Issued on behalf of:
Lonnie Tiegs
Safari Surf
E:  lonnie@safarisurf.com

Compiled & Distributed by:
Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Jordy Smith wins Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010 and leads ASP World Title Race Rankings

July 18th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Jordy Smith (Durban) became the first South African surfer to win an ASP World Tour event since Shaun Tomson in the mid-eighties when he clinched the Billabong Pro J-Bay title at Jeffreys Bay on Sunday. Smith, 22, now leads the ASP World Title Race rankings. Credit: © ASP / SCHOLTZ

Jordy Smith was crowned the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010 champion at Jeffreys Bay today, convincingly defeating Adam Melling from Australia in the final to become the first South African surfer to win an ASP World Tour event since the legendary Shaun Tomson back in the mid-eighties and cementing the 22 year-old Durbanite’s position at the top of the ASP World Title Race Rankings.

Smith’s maiden victory and ascension to the rankings lead in home waters could not have been scripted better, coming on master statesman Nelson Mandela’s birthday and adding further momentum to the tremendous outpouring of South African sporting pride following the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup.

Coming into Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour ranked ASP World No. 2, Smith was the form surfer throughout the event. He stamped his authority on the final from the outset, locking in excellent scores of 8.90 and 9.03 in the first five minutes to leave his opponent in a combination situation and needing to improve on both his scores throughout the 35 minute match-up.

“This is the best day of my life,” a beaming Smith said on the podium. “The crowd on the beach has been supporting me the last few days and hearing the cheers and the Vuvuzelas just get me fired up to perform. It feels like they’re pushing me along. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

“I knew the swell was dying and I had to take advantage of every wave that came through,” Smith said of the final. “Adam (Melling) is such a dangerous surfer. He’s been in form all day and I knew that if he got the waves, he would get the scores. I went out there knowing I had to open up strong.”

Smith defeated Nate Yeomans (USA), Owen Wright (AUS) and Adriano De Souza (BRA) before facing his biggest test in the semifinal against Bede Durbidge (AUS). The experienced Australian seemingly had a berth in the final sewn up with the swell dropping and less than three minutes remaining. However, urged to catch a hip- high wave by his advisers on the dunes, Smith raced down the line and punted a high-risk ‘Superman’ aerial that he landed successfully and performed a couple more moves before the ride ended.

In a classic never-say-die effort before the scores for the ride were even in, Smith then paddled into what was to be the last wave of the heat which opened up and allowed him to execute a series of progressive manoeuvres. Needing 7.41 to advance, his score of 7.93 resulted in rapturous applause and a cacophony of vuvuzelas and cheering from the packed partisan crowd basking in the mid-winter sunshine.

“I’m still not too sure what happened – it’s all a blur,” Smith said of the semifinal. “I got that first one where I did the little grab air that I didn’t think was good, but the judges scored the whole wave pretty well. Then I backed it up and put everything I had into it.”

Melling’s “Cinderella” climb to the finals was nothing short of sensational. Rated a lowly 41st on the ASP World Title Race rankings heading into Jeffreys Bay, the 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie who had not won a single heat in the first three events of the year powered his way through five rounds of competition, including defeating compatriot and 2007 Billabong Pro J-Bay winner Taj Burrow in the semifinals. His runner-up finish sees the Australian bumped up to ASP World No. 19, well inside the safety zone for the dreaded mid-year reduction in the field from 45 to 32.

“The ocean didn’t cooperate with me in the final so that’s a shame, but I couldn’t be happier,” Melling said. “We had amazing waves and to get the best result of my career is huge. I came into Jeffreys with a long road ahead if I was to make the mid-year cut-off, and now that I’m 19th, I feel like I have a bit of a buffer heading into Tahiti. I worked really hard to get here and I want to stay here.”

Durbidge suffered one of the hardest losses of the event, having victory snatched from him by Smith’s last-minute heroics. Despite the bitter loss, Durbidge’s equal third place finish vaults him from 10th to 7th on the ASP World Title Race rankings heading into the fifth event of the year.

“I had him comboed with only four minutes to go,” Durbidge said of the semifinal against Smith. “He took off on that one-footer and pulled a ‘Superman’ air and finished off well, then came out and got another one. I think he got two waves in a minute or something. It’s a hard way to lose, but a semifinal is my best result of the year and it’s something to build on. The focus is on Tahiti now.”

Burrow consistently wowed audiences with his performance from Round 1 onwards, collecting the event’s highest heat total of 18.87 out of 20 in yesterday’s Round 4 to win the Nixon WTA award of a US $10 000 custom built Nixon timepiece. Despite today’s semifinal loss at the hands of Melling, Burrow moves up to the ASP World No. 2 ranking heading into Tahiti.

Sean Holmes’ rampaging run through the event was finally ended by Durbidge in the quarterfinals. The 32 year-old wildcard from Cape Town, who eliminated former ASP World Champions Kelly Slater (USA) and Andy Irons (HAW) yesterday, came within half a point of upsetting Durbidge too, but came up short in the small wind affected waves early this morning.

“The way these guys train and their ability to perform in conditions like this is so good,” Holmes commented after his loss. “On top of his ability, I think Bede (Durbidge) is one of the hardest guys in the world to beat. He’s smart and he’s powerful.”

“Yesterday was a very special day for me. Not so much in terms of my surfing as I’ve definitely surfed better, but more so from a tactical perspective. Kelly (Slater) and Andy (Irons) are the best guys on their days, but I feel like I surfed smart and anticipated what both of them would do in their situations. It paid off and it was a great day for me.”

The superb surf produced at Supertubes for the first three days of the event, and the smaller but still contestable waves today, saw the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010 completed in the first four days of the 11 day waiting period for the first time since it became an ASP World Tour rated event in 1996.

All the action from the Billabong Pro J-Bay can be viewed live at www.billabongpro.com and where the “video on demand” and ground-breaking “waves on demand” facilities enable every wave surfed in the event to be re-played. All the content is also available on your mobile phone at www.asptogo.com or download the iPhone application ASP ToGo from www.apple/iphone/.

Highlights footage is also available on the channels of Fuel TV (on Top TV in South Africa) and a wrap of the day’s highlights will be broadcast on the SuperSport channels at 10pm this evening and repeated at 7am tomorrow.

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010
Final Results:
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.93 10 000 pts US $50 000
2 – Adam Melling (AUS) 10.00 8 000 pts US $25 000

Billabong Pro J-Bay Semifinal Results: (Winner to final; Loser = 3rd, 6500 points, US $ 14 500
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.83 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.40
SF 2: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.00 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.67

Billabong Pro J-Bay Quarterfinal Results: (Winner to semifinals; Loser = 5th, 5250 points, US $10 000)
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.43 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.20
QF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.17 def. Sean Holmes (ZAF) 11.83
QF 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 3.66
QF 4: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.43 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.67

Billabong Pro J-Bay Round 4 Results: (Winner to quarterfinals; Loser = 9th, 3750 points, US $8 000)
Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) 17.07 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.50

Current ASP World Title Race Top 5 (after South Africa):
1. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 28500 pts
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 24750 pts
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 23500 pts
4. Dane Reynolds (USA) 20000 pts
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 19500 pts
6. Mick Fanning (AUS) 19250 pts
7. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18750 pts
8. Bobby Martinez (USA) 16500 pts
9. Jadson Andre (BRA) 16000 pts
10. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14750 pts

South Africans
30. Travis Logie (ZAF) 6500 pts

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272 def. Kommetjie 7976 def. South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

SA’s Sean Holmes eliminates World No. 1 Kelly Slater from Billabong Pro J-Bay

July 17th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Sean Holmes (Cape Town, South Africa) in action at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay this morning. Holmes produced the upset of the event by eliminating current ASP World No. 1 and 9 x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) from the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010. Image Credit: © ASP/ Kirstin Scholtz

South African wildcard Sean Holmes added another scalp to his storied list of giant-killing acts at the Billabong Pro J-Bay when he eliminated current World No. 1 and 9 x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) from the event in a massive result that has reverberated throughout the ASP World Tour.

Holmes, competing with a back injury incurred on Day 1 of the event that has required extensive physiotherapy and pain-killing injections, waited patiently for the best waves during the 30-minute Round 3 clash before scoring the narrowest of victories over the former four-time J-Bay champion, securing his place in the last 16 by just four-hundredths of a point – 13.10 vs. 13.06 – out of a possible 20.

“I’m definitely feeling a lot of pain in my lower back and am very stiff so I entered the heat knowing that I was going to have to surf smart,” Holmes, 32, from Cape Town explained. “I focused on getting the biggest waves I could and applying as much power as I could.”

“Kelly (Slater) and I have surfed once before out here when it was a bit smaller and he got me by taking off on a lot of insiders. There wasn’t as much opportunity out there today so being selective played a big role.”

Both surfers rode waves in the final minute and Slater, needing just 5.51 to snatch victory, produced a potentially heat-winning ride of 7.23. The judges kept the packed beach on tenterhooks for two minutes after the heat-ending siren had sounded before awarding Holmes 5.77 points and a berth in Round 4 to a roar of patriotic elation.

In his next clash Holmes takes on former 3 x ASP World Champion Andy Irons in a continuation of their long-standing rivalry in which the South African holds the upper-hand with two victories to the Hawaiian’s one.

“Andy (Irons) and I are great friends now so any rivalry that we may have had I don’t think exists anymore,” Holmes commented on his next encounter. “He’s a fantastic surfer and I don’t think he even thinks about who he has in a heat. He just goes out there and does his thing. It will be a fun heat.”

The result has sent shock-waves through the 2010 ASP World Title Race as Slater’s early exit at J-Bay opens the door for a number of the top contenders to take over the No. 1 ranking after this event. The biggest beneficiary could be SA’s Jordy Smith who came into the event ranked No. 2, but the likes of Taj Burrow, fellow Australian and reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning, Bobby Martinez (USA) and the rest of the top 10 will be eyeing the opportunity to improve their standings with a good result here.

Slater, who only arrived in Jeffreys Bay at 10am on the opening day of the event on Thursday after a 40 hour, weather delayed trip from the USA, was complimentary of Holmes’ performance and philosophical about the defeat and the rest of the year.

“I never felt in sync here this year,” Slater said. “I’ve been tired ever since I arrived. I’ve been going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 1am. I’ve been up today for 8 hours already. That said, Sean is always in sync out here at Jeffreys. He knows the spot really well and is always on the best waves.”

“It’s a long year ahead. I think I entered this event two or three heats ahead of Jordy (Smith) and if he wins this event, he’ll be two or three heats ahead of me. So I’ve got a month to think about it before the next one. I’ll go home, recharge and focus on Tahiti.”

For the third consecutive day, the Billabong Pro J-Bay started at 7.30am in clean offshore winds. However today’s small one metre waves come from an unusual ESE direction generated by a weather system in the Indian Ocean below Madagascar, forcing the competitors to start their rides halfway down the famed Supertubes point. The predicted new swell from the traditional SSW direction has started to appear and organisers expect the waves to rise to overhead through the day and have scheduled completing Round 3 and at least the first four heats of Round 4 before nightfall.

All the action from the Billabong Pro J-Bay can be viewed live at www.billabongpro.com and also on your mobile phone at www.asptogo.com or download the iPhone application ASP ToGo from www.apple/iphone/. The “video on demand” and ground-breaking “waves on demand” facilities enable every wave surfed in the event to be re-played. Live and highlights footage is available on the channels of Fuel TV (on Top TV in South Africa).

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay has a waiting period that runs from 15-25 July and is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010

Round 3 Results: (Winner to R4; Loser eliminated in equal 17th place; 1 750 pts; US $6 500)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.33 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 8.50
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.80 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 3.97
Heat 7: Andy Irons (HAW) 12.33 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 9.43
Heat 8: Sean Holmes (ZAF) 13.10 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.06
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.93 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 10.64
Heat 10: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.60 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 13.80
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.23 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 12.50

Remaining Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 15: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 16: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272 def. Kommetjie 7976 def. South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Jordy Smith charges into last 16 at Billabong Pro J-Bay

July 16th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: ASP World No. 2 Jordy Smith (Durban, South Africa) stamped his authority on his round 3 heat, defeating ASP World Tour rookie Nate Yeomans (USA) to advance to the last 16 in the Billabong Pro J-Bay. Image Credit: © ASP/ Kirstin Scholtz

South African surf star and current World No. 2 Jordy Smith made his legions of local fans happy by powering into the last 16 in the US $400 000 (approx. R3 million) Billabong Pro J-Bay, Africa’s most prestigious surfing event, at Jeffreys Bay on Friday.

Smith produced a consummate display of high performance surfing in the last heat of the day to dispatch dangerous rookie Nate Yeomans (USA) from the event. Using his extensive knowledge of the waves at Supertubes, and the help of his advisers on the dunes, the 22 year-old Durbanite selected the best waves early in the encounter and compiled a winning total by the halfway mark of the 30 minute heat held in glassy but inconsistent one metre waves.

Smith then clinched victory by establishing priority, outstripping the American in a 60 metre paddle-battle to be the first back to the lineup, and used this tactical advantage to see out the remaining time with his opponent needing to replace both his top scores to advance.

Smith faces a tough encounter in Round 4 against 19 year-old rookie Owen Wright who has impressed everyone with his dynamic brand of backhand surfing in his first visit to Supertubes. The lanky 19 year-old has more than justified his billing as Australia’s next ASP World Title challenger and seems able to string together the combinations of progressive manoeuvres that net scores in the excellent range, between 8 and 10 points, on virtually any wave he catches.

Today’s smaller but flawless conditions provided the canvas for several exceptional rides. Australian Jay Thompson was awarded the first perfect 10 point score of the tournament for a ride in which he spent so long behind the falling curtain of water that the crowd looked away, convinced that he had wiped-out, only to issue a roar of disbelief as he emerged from the tube more than 50 metres down the point.

Thompson also racked up scores of 8.33 and 8.27 out of 10 during the same heat, the latter score being discarded in his final tally, to post the event high a heat total of 18.33 out of 20 and take the lead in the Nixon WTA, a specialty award that sees the surfer recording the highest two-wave heat score receiving a custom-made, one-of-a-kind Nixon timepiece valued at around US $10 000!

Day 2 of the Billabong Pro J-Bay started well for the South African contingent when giant-killing wildcard Sean Holmes eliminated Jadson Andre (BRA), the current World No. 4 and the winner of the previous event on the 2010 ASP World Tour in Brazil, in the first heat run. Holmes advanced to a Round 3 clash with top seed Kelly Slater (USA) and can significantly enhance compatriot Smith’s chances of taking over at the top of ASP World Title Race Rankings if he can oust the current World No. 1 who is bidding for an unprecedented 10th world title this year.

Durban’s Travis Logie then improved his chances of surviving the looming cut in the number of ASP World Tour campaigners from the present 45 to just 32 after the next event in Tahiti when he produced a gutsy come-from-behind victory over Australian Luke Munro. Logie waited patiently while Munro built up his wave-count and then unleashed his trademark lightening fast backhand attack on the best wave of the heat to secure his place in Round 3.

Unfortunately Logie could not repeat the feat in a wave-starved Round 4 match-up and, despite delivering the heat high-score of 8.33, he was overtaken by Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan (AUS) and eliminated in equal 17th place overall, earning 1 750 precious ranking points and banking US $6 500.

The remaining 12 heats in Round 3 will see the event top seeds and those who won their opening clashes on Thursday doing battle in waves that are expected to be bigger than today as a new swell from the SSW arrives at Jeffreys Bay. Surfline, the official surf forecasters for the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010, predict that Saturday morning will start off on the slow side, but a new, medium size south-southwest swell will build over the afternoon/evening, before dropping on Sunday.

Contest director Mike Parsons will make a call at 7am on when to get the event underway with the encounter between Bede Durbidge (AUS) and Tanner Gudauskas (USA) the first to take to the waves.

All the action from the Billabong Pro J-Bay can be viewed live at www.billabongpro.com and also on your mobile phone at www.asptogo.com or download the iPhone application ASP ToGo from www.apple/iphone/ . Live and highlights footage is available on the channels of Fuel TV (on Top TV in South Africa).

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay has a waiting period that runs from 15-25 July and is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010

Round 2 Results: (Winner to R3; Loser eliminated in equal 33rd place; 500 pts; US $5 500)
Heat 3: Sean Holmes (ZAF, Cape Town) 13.50 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.07
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.83 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 11.50
Heat 5: Tim Reyes (USA) 13.34 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.23
Heat 6: Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.86 def. Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.50
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.04 def. Marco Polo (BRA) 11.30
Heat 8: Jay Thompson (AUS) 18.33 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.47
Heat 9: Neco Padaratz (BRA) 11.36 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 10.93
Heat 10: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.03 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 9.00
Heat 11: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.40 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.26
Heat 12: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.83 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.37
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS) 14.14 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 12.93
Heat 14: Travis Logie (ZAF, Durban) 13.60 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 12.00
Heat 15: Ben Dunn (AUS) 16.33 def. Pat Gudauskas (USA) 9.83
Heat 16: Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.84 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 9.03

Round 3 Results: (Winner to R4; Loser eliminated in equal 17th place; 1 750 pts; US $6 500)
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.67 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 9.27
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.27 def. Travis Logie (ZAF, Durban) 11.80
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 17.00 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 10.74
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF, Durban) 15.07 def. Nate Yeomans (USA) 9.10

Remaining Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 6: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Sean Holmes (ZAF, Cape Town)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 10: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 15: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 16: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272 def. Kommetjie 7976 def. South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Wildcard Sean Holmes into Round 3 as Billabong Pro J-Bay gets underway on Day 2

July 16th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Sean Holmes displays his tube riding prowess at Supertubes on Day 1 of the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010. The Cape Town based wildcard won his Round 2 heat and will be up against Kelly Slater (USA), the top seed and 9 x ASP World Champion, in Round 3. Image Credit: © Karen / Billabong

Giant-killing South African Sean Holmes again justified his reputation as the ‘uber-wildcard’ by eliminating current World No. 4 Jadson Andre (BRA) to progress to Round 3 when the Billabong Pro J-Bay got underway in 1 to 1.5 metre offshore waves at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay this morning.

In a tightly contested encounter Holmes led from start to finish, counting scores of 6.0 and 7.50 to outpoint the young Brazilian who won the last stop on the ASP World Tour in his home country in May. The victory sets Holmes up for a highly anticipated clash with current World No. 1 and 9 x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in the next round.

“Certainly, any heat in this competition can be difficult,” Holmes commented on his heat against Andre. “Even though Jadson (Andre) hasn’t had a lot of experience here he’s still an excellent surfer. He won the last event at home in Brazil so I wasn’t taking him lightly. That said, I certainly back myself at Jeffreys. I feel comfortable out here in any conditions and I’m happy to advance through.”

“I’ve been looking for the barrel for the past two heats but the conditions haven’t really been conducive to it. Of course I prefer it to be a bit bigger as it suits my surfing better. Conditions permitting, it looks like I may have another heat today so I’ll be focusing on that one before I get too far ahead of myself.”

First light saw clear skies and clean waves peeling down the point with contest director Mike Parsons, head judge Richie Porta and the surfers’ representatives debating whether to run the single or the overlapping dual heat format. While the dual format significantly reduces the time required to complete the event and enables the organisers to make optimum use of the best surf conditions, the inconsistent nature of the bigger set waves eventually settled the matter in favour of the single heat format.

“We have another beautiful day of swell on offer this morning and we’ll be commencing as soon as possible with the first heat looking to start around 7:30am,” Porta, ASP International Head Judge, said. “We’re running 30-minute heats at the moment, but will monitor conditions to see if there is an opportunity to run the Dual Heat System and take advantage of the surf we have today.”

The intention is to run the remaining 14 heats of Round 2 today and, surf permitting, continuing on into the opening heats of Round 3 which would see several of the top seeds in action before nightfall.

All the action from the Billabong Pro J-Bay can be viewed live at www.billabongpro.com and also on your mobile phone at www.asptogo.com or download the iPhone application ASP ToGo from www.apple/iphone/ . Live and highlights footage is available on the channels of Fuel TV (on Top TV in South Africa).

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay has a waiting period that runs from 15-25 July and is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010
Round 2 Results:
(Winner to R3; Loser eliminated in equal 33rd place; 500 pts; US $5 500)
Heat 3: Sean Holmes (Cape Town) 13.50 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.07
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.83 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 11.50
Heat 5: Tim Reyes (USA) 13.34 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.23
Heat 6: Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.86 def. Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.50

Remaining Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 8: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 9: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 10: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 12: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 14: Luke Munro (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 15: Pat Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 16: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

World’s surf stars in Port Elizabeth for autograph session at Surf Centre on Friday

July 15th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Jordy Smith displays his patented aerial attack on the way to an historic victory in the Mr Price Pro Ballito last weekend  

A star studded line-up of international and local surf stars will be in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening (16 July) for an autograph signing session at the Surf Centre store in Walmer Park.

Surf fans in the Friendly City can meet and mingle with several of the world’s top 45 ranked surfers who are visiting Jeffreys Bay for the Billabong Pro J-Bay as team riders from multinational apparel and accessories brands Hurley, Oakley and O’Neill sign autographs and memorabilia.

Attending the signing session will be:

O’NEILL

Current World No.2 Jordy Smith (Durban) along with Bobby Martinez (USA)

HURLEY

Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA) and PE local Donavan Zoetmulder

OAKLEY

Brazilians Adriano de Souza and Jadson Andre, Australians Tom Whittaker and Adam Melling and South Africans Greg Emslie and Shaun Joubert

The function, which starts at 6pm, also provides Eastern Province Surfing with the opportunity to raise funds for their Junior surfing team, The awesome prizes up for grabs in the raffle include:

O’Neill Psycho 3/2 Wetsuit
Hurley Wetsuit & Accessories
Oakley Fuelcell Sunglasses

For more information contact:

Dave Lipschitz at Surf Centre
C:        082 322 1150
E:        surf@agnet.co.za

Ends

BILLABONG PRO J-BAY : Top seeds star in pumping surf on Day 1

July 15th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Mick Fanning (Tweed Heads, NSW, AUS), current and 2X ASP World Champion advanced directly into Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay after defeating Sean Holmes (ZAF) and Roy Powers (HAW) with the highest score of the opening round today. Image Credit: © ASP/ Kelly Cestari

The top four seeds in the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010 progressed directly to Round 3 after winning their opening encounters in what will go down as one of the best opening days of competition at Jeffreys Bay with pumping 2 to 2.5 metre waves peeling down the internationally acclaimed point at Supertubes.

Current World No. 1 and 9 x ASP World Champ Kelly Slater (USA), 2007 event winner Taj Burrow (AUS), reigning ASP World Champ Mick Fanning (AUS) and South Africa’s Jordy Smith took full advantage of the pristine conditions to produce a master-class in high performance surfing, carving powerful top to bottom turn combinations and ducking into and emerging from deep tubes.

It was Fanning who was the top scorer on the day, posting rides of 8.83 and 7.87 (out of 10) to amass a total of 16.70 (out of 20) and leave his opponents, wildcard Sean Holmes (Cape Town) and Roy Powers (HAW), in a combination situation where they could not overtake Fanning with one ride and needed to improve on both their best two scores.

“This year, you have to take every heat seriously,” Fanning said. “There are so many threats and even the rookies can do damage. I feel like I’ve been surfing well all year and I’m just focusing on every heat, and hopefully that takes me to a solid result.”

Bobby Martinez (USA), ranked No. 6 coming into the event, racked up the second best heat total of 16.37 and led the charge of the goofy-foot surfers (those riding with their right foot in front) who included Round 1 heat winners Frederick Patacchia (HAW) and Australians Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan and the highly impressive rookie Owen Wright who fully justified the hype surrounding his debut on the ASP Dream Tour with phenomenal tube-riding and beyond vertical backhand turns.

The day got underway with local Jeffreys Bay standout Dale Staples clinching the coveted third and final wildcard by winning the VonZipper Superheat, defeating fellow St Francis Bay surfer Ryan Payne and international stars Heath Joske (AUS), who narrowly missed out on the opportunity to take on the world’s best surfers by finishing second, and fourth placed Keanu Asing (HAW).

Former 3 x ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW) recorded a heat-winning performance in his first heat at Supertubes for two years after taking a sabbatical in 2009 and Dane Reynolds (USA) produced his trademark mind-blowing progressive manoeuvres while rookie ASP World Tour campaigners Nate Yeomans (USA) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), both goofy-footers, were deserving Round 1 heat winners.

“J-Bay is a special place for me,” Irons said. “I’ve had some of the best results of my career here and I’ve also had some of the hardest losses. To come back here after taking last year off and to get such amazing surf for Day 1 is a great feeling.”

It was not a good day for the wildcards though with Staples, Holmes and ASP Africa Pro Junior Champion Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay) losing out to Burrow, Fanning and Slater respectively. Joubert and Staples were then eliminated from Africa’s most prestigious surfing event when they lost to Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) in the first two heats of Round 2 ,which were run at the end of today’s action The pair finished equal 33rd overall in the US $400 000 (approx R3 Million) event with earnings of $5 500 each.

The first heat when competition resumes pits wildcard Sean Holmes against current World No. 4 Jadson Andre (BRA), the winner of the last ASP World Tour event in his home country. The Capetonian has cut a swathe through the tops seeds in the Billabong Pro J-Bay on several occasions in the past, including twice reaching the quarterfinals, and will be confident of progressing to Round 3 again this year.

The call on when to resume competition will be made by contest director Mike Parsons at 7am on Friday. The prediction by Surfline, the official surf forecasters for the Billabong Pro J-Bay, is that dropping, but very contestable, surf will prevail on Friday along with favorable conditions.

All the action from the opening day of the Billabong Pro J-Bay can be viewed at www.billabongpro.com and also on your mobile phone at www.asptogo.com or download the iPhone application ASP ToGo from www.apple/iphone/ . Live and highlights footage is available on the channels of Fuel TV.

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay has a waiting period that runs from 15-25 July and is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Adam Melling (AUS) 12.17, Taylor Knox (USA) 10.80, Luke Munro (AUS) 10.17
Heat 2: Andy Irons (HAW) 14.77, Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.56, Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.24
Heat 3: Nate Yeomans (USA) 15.83, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.74, Luke Stedman (AUS) 11.43
Heat 4: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.30, Marco Polo (BRA) 12.97, Daniel Ross (AUS) 12.10
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.43, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.37, Blake Thornton (AUS) 7.60
Heat 6: Tiago Pires (PRT) 15.23, Tim Reyes (USA) 13.27, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.07
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.37, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.90, Tom Whitaker (USA) 10.57
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.93, Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.40, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 12.37
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.20, Dale Staples (ZAF) 13.34, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.83
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.70, Sean Holmes (ZAF) 10.27, Roy Powers (HAW) 8.33
Heat 11: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 13.60, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 9.60, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.17
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.60, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.34, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.27
Heat 13: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.53, Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.76, Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.43
Heat 14: Chris Davidson (AUS) 15.17, Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.86, Brett Simpson (USA) 11.63
Heat 15: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.87, Ben Dunn (AUS) 11.50, Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.77
Heat 16: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.56, Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.93, Drew Courtney (AUS) 7.73

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.70 def. Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 9.44
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.17 def. Dale Staples (ZAF) 14.67

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Remaining Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Sean Holmes (ZAF)
Heat 4: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 5: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 6: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 8: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 9: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 10: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 12: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 14: Luke Munro (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 15: Pat Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 16: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

BILLABONG PRO J-BAY : Event underway as Supertubes produces the goods on Day 1

July 15th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: The Billabong Pro J-Bay was officially launched at a media function on Wednesday evening where top contenders for the 2010 title answered questions about the iconic event. (FLR) Current World No. 2 Jordy Smith (Durban), 3 x ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), wildcard Sean Holmes (Cape Town), reigning 2 x ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Current World No. 3 Taj Burrow (AUS). Photo: Karen / Billabong

Contest director Mike Parsons had no hesitation in getting the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010 underway at 7.30am this morning as the predicted 2 to 2.5 metre swells poured down the revered Supertubes point in Jeffreys Bay at first light, setting the scene for an epic opening day of competition featuring the world’s best surfers in event No. 4 of 10 on the ASP World Tour.

First up was the VonZipper Superheat, where rising junior star Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) defeated fellow and J-Bay local Ryan Payne and international Billabong team riders Keanu Asing (HAW) and Heath Joske (AUS) to win the coveted third and final wildcard directly into the main event.

Heat 1 of Round 1 in the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010, featuring ASP Dream Tour stalwart and current World No. 16 Taylor Knox who takes on Australians Luke Munro and Adam Melling, is now in progress.

Round 1 winners progress directly to Round 3 while the second and third placed competitors are reseeded into the cutthroat, man-on-man Round 2 heats from which the winner advances to Round 3 and the loser is eliminated from the event in equal 33rd place.

Top seeds Kelly Slater (USA), Taj Burrow (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS) and South Africa’s Jordy Smith come up in Heats 7 to 10 and organisers expect to finish all 16 heats in the opening round today.

All the action at the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010 can be followed as it happens via the webcasts at www.billabongpro.com which provides half-a-dozen camera angles, expert commentary in English and Portuguese, real-time scoring, slow motion replays and video on demand facilities that enable you to go back and watch every wave surfed in the event, alongside a plethora of background information, event previews, images and interactive competitions.

This content is also available live on your mobile phone at www.asptogo.com or download the iPhone application ASP ToGo from www.apple/itunes

Live television coverage is provided on the Fuel TV channels of Top TV in South Africa and in Australia (available to FOXTEL and AUSTAR subscribers), Portugal, Poland, Germany and France! Highlights specials will be screened in Australia, USA, Brazil!

The status of the event can be accessed via the event Hotline – 0860 11 2010 – which is updated twice daily at 8am and 1pm.

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay has a waiting period that runs from 15-25 July and is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

BILLABONG PRO J-BAY : How to follow the action in Jeffreys Bay, wherever you are

July 14th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Current World No. 3 Taj Burrow will be focused on repeating his victory in the 2007 Billabong Pro J-Bay when the 2010 edition gets underway at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay on Thursday

The Billabong Pro J-Bay is expected to get underway in the fabled waves of Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay on Thursday morning (15 July) with forecasts of solid two metre plus surf and favourable weather conditions. Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour presents a wide range of options on how to follow all the action as the world’s top ranked surfers go to work at the planet’s premier high performance point break between now and 25 July.

Nothing beats the atmosphere of being there and first prize goes to those fortunate enough to be on the beach or the dunes in the superb natural amphitheatre that overlooks the 300 metre rock-lined point at Supers, listening to the expert commentary, real-time scoring and cheering as the competitors carve their way down the liquid runway.

But even those unable to smell the sweet scent of Aloes will be able to catch every moment of the action portrayed as it happens via the internet, mobile phones and for the first time via live television on the Fuel TV channel. The coverage features half-a-dozen camera angles, live scoring, commentary from some of the sport’s foremost experts (with whom you can interact via email), along with interviews, action replays and video-on-demand services that enable you to go back and replay every wave surfed.

The comprehensive website at www.billabongpro.com already carries plenty of background information and when the contest is running the live webcasts come with English commentary by the likes of Ronnie Blakey, Luke Egan, Joe Turpel and former ASP World Champ Mark Occhilupo while Claus Kaiser and Ze Paulo bring it all to you in Portuguese.

Once again the legendary Greg ‘GT’ Tomlinson will be handling the roving Mic, conducting impromptu interviews and providing behind-the-scenes snippets.

And all that content is also available everywhere there is mobile phone signal! Simply log onto www.asptogo.com from your 3G or WAP enabled phone, or sign up for the ASP IPhone application “ASP ToGo” at www.apple/itunes to access all the action live from Jeffreys Bay

For those who prefer watching the world’s best surfers shredding in the comfort of their living room, the Fuel TV channels in North and South America, Australia, select countries in Europe and on Top TV in Southern Africa will be carrying live television coverage of the 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay! Check your TV schedules for broadcast details.

Likewise for those with access to the SuperSport channels where there will daily 10 – 15 minute package of the day’s highlights broadcast at 10pm each evening, while SABC TV provides excellent coverage in their News and Sports Highlights packages after every day of action.

Many radio stations in SA will carry up-to-the-minute reports on the state of affairs in Jeffreys Bay and there are literally dozens of websites providing reports, images, podcasts and video footage that is uploaded shortly after it occurs.

And you will be able to catch up on the previous day’s action in print with images and in-depth analysis of the state-of-play produced by the more than 100 A-list surfing and mainstream media personnel accredited at the event to service the daily and weekly newspapers and the glossy magazines globally.

So wherever you are, join the tens of thousands of fans worldwide who will have their eyes firmly fixed on the Southern tip of Africa while the 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay plays out in the phenomenal waves of Supertubes at Jeffreys Bay.

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay has a waiting period that runs from 15-25 July and is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

BILLABONG PRO J-BAY : Kelly Slater the top seed in revised heat draw

July 13th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Kelly Slater (USA) is the top seed for the 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay which starts at Jeffreys Bay on Thursday. The current World No. 1 is bidding for an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title. Photo: ASP / Kirstin

Kelly Slater (USA) will be the top seed for the US $400 000 Billabong Pro J-Bay when the world’s best surfers take to the waves of Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay on Thursday for Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the global series of events that determines surfing’s annual world champion.

The draw for Africa’s only ASP World Tour event, revised following the withdrawal of 2009 event winner Joel Parkinson, who suffered an horrendous cut to his right foot while practicing in Australia on Friday, and 2009 semifinalist and fellow Australian Kai Otton (neck injury), was announced yesterday with Slater followed in the seeding by previous Billabong Pro J-Bay winners Taj Burrow (2007) and reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (2002 & 2007), both from Australia.

SA surfing super-star Jordy Smith is the No. 4 seed, the highest seeding for a South African since the event became a top-tier ASP World Tour event in 1996. The 22 year-old Durbanite and current World No. 2, who has spent more surfing at Jeffreys Bay than any of the other top contenders, has the opportunity to become the first from this country to head the ASP World Title Race Rankings if he finishes ahead of Slater in the event.

Brazil’s highest ranked campaigner, Adriano de Souza, is the No. 5 seed and then come Bobby Martinez, the top rated goofy-foot (rides with right-foot in front); progressive wizard and fellow American Dane Reynolds; regular top-5 stalwart Bede Durbidge (AUS); rookie and winner of the last event in Brazil (USA), Jadson Andre, with Taylor Knox (USA), in his 17th season at the highest level of competition surfing, rounding out the top 10.

Excitement is mounting for the event as Surfline, the official surf forecasters for the Billabong Pro J-Bay, predict ideal 2 to 2.5 metre waves with bigger sets and favourable weather conditions at Supertubes for Thursday (15 July), the opening of the 11-day waiting period that runs until Sunday 25 July. Contest director Mike Parsons (USA) will be keen to get the event underway and then pick the best conditions for the approximately four days of competition required to crown the 2010 champion.

In addition to the prestige and US $50 000 (approx. R375 000) winner’s paycheque, this year’s event has several sub-plots that will raise the interest levels and increase the tension factor for all the competitors.

Slater, the current World No. 1 after winning Stop No. 2 at Bells Beach and finishing runner-up in Brazil, is bidding for an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title. The 38 year-old Floridian, acknowledged as the best competitive surfer of all time, already holds a string of records including the youngest (20 in 1992) and oldest (36 in 2008) ASP World Champion, has won the most events and prize-money and is the only surfer to have his name etched on the Billabong Pro J-Bay perpetual trophy four times (1996, 2003, 2005 & 2008).

Smith, who in his third year amongst surfing’s elite reached his first final at the opening event of 2010, defeating Slater and Reynolds on his way to a runner-up finish at Snapper Rocks, will be focused on winning his first ASP World Tour event, becoming the first South African since 1996 to reach the final at J-Bay and to topping the ASP World Title Race rankngs.

The huge pressure on every competitor brought about by the cut in the ASP World Tour field from the current 45 to just 32 after the next event, the Billabong Pro Tahiti in August, means every heat at J-Bay will be fiercely contested as especially those near or outside the cutoff point scramble for ratings points to ensure the their participation in the last five events before the ASP World Champion is crowned in Hawaii in December.

This scenario includes Travis Logie (Durban), the only other South African amongst the top 45, who leapfrogged into the No. 30 spot following his 9th place in Brazil after a pair of 33rd finishes in the first two events of the season. Logie is right on the cusp of qualification but still has work to do at Jeffreys Bay to retain or improve his position and claim a spot for the second half of the year.

Two more locals, Sean Holmes (Cape Town) and Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay) have been allocated wildcards directly into the main event and there is every chance that a fifth South African will claim the third and final wildcard. This will go to the winner of the VonZipper Superheat, run immediately before the first heat of the Billabong Pro J-Bay and features Ryan Payne, winner of the locals only Xcel Pro Showdown at Supertubes and red-hot junior Dale Staples, both from St Francis Bay, who are pitted against international stars and Billabong team riders Heath Joske (AUS) and Keanu Asing (HAW).

The Billabong Pro J-Bay is South Africa’s only ‘green’ surfing event and the organisers will again be implementing a comprehensive set of initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of the event and raise awareness of climate change, its effects and how everyone can contribute to mitigate these.

All the action during the event will be webcast LIVE at www.billabongpro.com with commentary in English and Portuguese. The official event website features plenty of additional content including a series of Webisodes covering the event, its top contenders, the wildcards and the greening initiatives to be implemented, along with news, photos, video-on-demand highlights of every wave ridden and interactive competitions.

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

2010 BILLABONG PRO J-BAY
Draw for Round One

Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA) , Luke Munro (AUS) , Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) , Andy Irons (HAW) , Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) , Luke Stedman (AUS) , Nate Yeomans (USA)
Heat 4: Dane Reynolds (USA) , Daniel Ross (AUS) , Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) , Jeremy Flores (FRA) , Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 6: Adriano De Souza (BRA) , Tiago Pires (PRT) , Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) , Tom Whitaker (AUS) , Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) , Damien Hobgood (USA) , Wildcard 3
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) , Kieren Perrow (AUS) , Wildcard 2
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) , Roy Powers (HAW) , Wildcard 1
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) , Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) , Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) , Patrick Gudauskas (USA) , Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 13: Michel Bourez (PYF) , Dean Morrison (AUS) , Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 14: Chris Davidson (AUS) , Mick Campbell (AUS) , Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 15: Adrian Buchan (AUS) , Ben Dunn (AUS) , Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 16: Owen Wright (AUS) , Travis Logie (ZAF) , Drew Courtney (AUS)

\ends

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2747
Email: brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

Compiled and issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za