Billabong Pro J-Bay
Stop No 4 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Tour
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
14-24 July 2011
South African surfing sensation Jordy Smith clinched his second consecutive Billabong Pro J-Bay title when he beat Australian Mick Fanning in a tense final held in testing 1.5 metre waves and strong onshore winds at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay today.
Smith, who looked in championship winning form ever since posting the highest scores of Round 1 last Friday, made full use of his many years of experience at Jeffreys Bay to tame the ‘victory at sea’ conditions and employed his exciting arsenal of progressive and aerial manoeuvres to rack up rides of 8.60 and 7.0 for a heat-winning total of 15.60 out of 20 in the final.
“It’s been an incredible week for me,” Smith said. “All the support of the people at Jeffreys Bay, Garth (Tarlow), Steve (Smith), my girlfriend Lyndall (Jarvis), my mom and dad and everyone else. It’s been a really special week for me and I’m so happy right now.”
The 23-year-old Durbanite who now lives in Cape Town pocketed US $75 000 for the victory and earned 10 000 priceless rankings points which moved him from fifth to second on the ASP World Title Race rankings behind Joel Parkinson (AUS), overtaking Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA) and Taj Burrow (AUS) in the process
“Mick (Fanning) has surfed amazing all week,” Smith said. “He’s always an inspiration and he’s right there with everyone in the hunt for the title. Today’s a huge win for me. Last year it was very emotional. To back it up this year just feels really, really good. It’s huge for my confidence and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Smith also collected the Nixon WTA award of a custom built Nixon watch valued at $10 000 for scoring the highest heat total at the event of 18.30 out of 20 in his Round 5 win over Bede Durbidge (AUS).
Fanning, a former two-time World and J-Bay champion, led the final with an excellent 8.0 point ride early on and was briefly out in front again at the halfway point, but could not produce the 7.61 point ride he needed to overtake Smith once the South African had snatched the lead back with an innovative ‘double-grab’ aerial with 12 minutes remaining.
The Australian, who takes home $30 000 and 8 000 points that sees him leapfrog from No. 8 to No. 4 on the rankings, was full of praise for Smith in his runners-up speech, before showering the winner with champagne. He also echoed the feelings of all of the world’s best surfers when he wished the late Andy Irons, a former three-time ASP World Champion, a happy birthday and sent his greetings to Irons’ family in Hawaii.
Smith started the final day in rampant form, powering his way to convincing victories over experienced former double J-Bay runner-up Damien Hobgood (USA) in the quarterfinals and then leaving Adrian Buchan (AUS) needing to replace both his scores to come within striking distance of winning their semi-final match-up.
Fanning meanwhile combo’d compatriot Josh Kerr in their quarterfinal encounter before coming out on top in a titanic semifinal battle with close friend and fellow Aussie Joel Parkinson where Fanning snatched victory with an incredible near-perfect 9.80 point ride, the highest scoring ride on the final day of competition.
With his equal third place finish here Parkinson heads the rankings in the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title, but the perennial title contender remains cautious regarding the remainder of the season.
“I don’t really think about that yet,” Parkinson said. “It’s only the fourth event of the year and I’ve been in this position before. I’m happy with my surfing and my boards and I’ll keep my eyes on the next heat.”
The 2011 Billabong Pro J-Bay will make the history books for Smith’s second consecutive win and the phenomenal standard of surfing on the penultimate day when a perfect 10 point ride and a number of other high-flying and modernistic moves were performed and recorded in the planet’s premier high performance waves at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay.
The final day’s proceedings started with a moving tribute to the late Andy Irons, a former three-time ASP World Champion, the 2004 Billabong Pro J-Bay champion and long-time Billabong team rider who passed away earlier this year and would have celebrated his birthday today.
All the action from the Billabong Pro J-Bay, including results, images and video-on-demand footage of every heat is available via www.billabongpro.com.
Further information on the event can be found at the Facebook fan page Billabong South Africa or on twitter @BillabongSA.
A daily 15 minute TV highlights package from the event will be broadcast on the channels of SuperSport with the premiere at 19h45 and multiple repeats. Check your TV schedule for updated broadcast times.
The Billabong Pro J-Bay 2011 was proudly presented by South Africa’s adventure province Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency and further supported by Carling Black Label, Monster Energy, Coca Cola, Amarok, Vida e Caffe, Tavcor, VonZipper and Nixon.
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.60
2 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.83
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.46 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.87
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.47 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.93
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.10 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.94
QF 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.77 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.90
QF 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.83 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 8.16
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.40 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 5.43
ASP WORLD TITLE TOP 10 (After Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay):
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 25700 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 24750 pts
3. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 22250 pts
4. Mick Fanning (AUS) 19500 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 18250 pts
6. Kelly Slater (USA) 16950 pts
7. Michel Bourez (PYF) 16000
8. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15000
9. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13900 pts
9. Owen Wright (AUS) 13900 pts
Compiled and issued by:
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