Home > Contests, WSL > Jordy Smith advances to Round 3 in monster surf at Drug Aware Margaret River Pro

Jordy Smith advances to Round 3 in monster surf at Drug Aware Margaret River Pro

April 15th, 2015
Jordy Smith (ZAF) crouches under the lip of a wave at The Box on his way to victory in his Round 1 heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Australia on Wednesday  Image: © WSL / Cestari

Jordy Smith (ZAF) crouches under the lip of a wave at The Box on his way to victory in his Round 1 heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Australia on Wednesday  Image: © WSL / Cestari

South African Jordy Smith (Durban) won his opening heat and advanced directly to Round 3 at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) in Western Australia today.

Huge waves reaching five metres at times greeted the world’s best surfers and the opening 7 heats of Men’s Round 1 saw the world’s best surfers tackling The Box, one of the world’s most challenging and infamous hollow waves.

Smith, No. 5 in the WSL rankings coming into the event, was selective in his approach to waves at The Box in the second heat of the day, pulling into a couple of tube rides and finishing ahead of Jadson Andre (BRA) and Brett Simpson (USA) in a low-scoring 30-minute match-up.

“You have the possibility of breaking your board and hurting yourself out there,” said Smith in his post-heat interview. “So if you feel like you might not make it, you’ve still got to go. But if you definitely won’t make it – then you don’t go.”

John John Florence (HAW), who won the Margaret River Qualifying Series event in 2012, opened the day’s competition with a 7.83 for his first wave. Florence threw himself over the ledge and demonstrated his skill and commitment to take a convincing Round 1 heat win. Despite some big wipe-outs Florence maintained his charging attitude to secure his place in Round 3, easily defeating Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and Dusty Payne (HAW).

“When we got down here this morning we saw some really good waves,” said Florence. “There’s an end step, which makes it really challenging. It’s hard to pick the right waves and it’s really gnarly if you don’t. It’s definitely scary but I’m so stoked because it’s fun to surf some clean, bigger waves and amazing to get barrelled at The Box.”

Kelly Slater (USA), the 11-time World Champion, won his heat comfortably by charging fearlessly on multiple waves. Despite relatively low scores, with just a 4.50 and a 3.70 (each out of a possible 10), Slater delivered some amazing surfing in waves of consequence, putting himself on the line. Slater defeated Kai Otton (AUS) and rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL) who will surf again in elimination Round 2.

“It’s fun and exciting out here today,” Slater said. “I didn’t come out for an early surf and when John John (Florence) came in after his heat he said it was gnarly so I was excited. I fell on those two waves and if I watch the highlights I’m going to watch the ones I fell on, those were insane.”

Three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) took to the water wearing the yellow Jeep rankings leader’s jersey following his win last week at Bells Beach and survived a tough heat against dangerous local surfer and trials winner Jay Davies (AUS) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS). Fanning opened early with an excellent 8.63 to control the heat and Davies challenged with a 7.50.

“If you think its good you just have to take off and hold on,” Fanning said. “It was pretty wild and it’s big and ugly out there, it’s radical but fun. I took a wave that I thought was going to be a good one but it just crumbled and I hit a boil and creased the board so I changed it out.”

Left needing a 6.50 to take the lead Davies couldn’t find the score and will face Gabriel Medina (BRA) in a highly-anticipated Round 2 match-up while Fanning moves through to Round 3. Medina lost his Round 1 heat earlier in the day to Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW).

After a morning of deep tube rides and terrifying wipe-outs, a switch in wind direction saw the competition moved to Margaret River’s Main Break where the remaining heats of Round 1 were run in waves that featured triple-overhead faces.

The remaining five heats of Round 1 saw Miguel Pupo (BRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF) and Julian Wilson (AUS) use longer surfboards in the giant surf to post wins and earn a pass directly to Round 3.

Parkinson looked in-form today in his heat against Adam Melling (AUS) and Kolohe Andino (USA). The 2012 World Champion locked in the day’s highest two-wave heat total, a 15.73 out of a possible 20, to secure the win and a place in Round 3.

“I got out there and I was excited to see some size and some swell,” said Parkinson. “I felt happy and relaxed and when I feel like that I seem to do my best surfing. I hope we get to surf at The Box again, it will be amazing.”

Defending event winner Bourez also won through his Round 1 bout, claiming his first heat win of the year, narrowly defeating Nat Young (USA), who will now have to surf again in Round 2 along with rookie Italo Ferriera (BRA).

“I had such a bad start to the year and that was the first heat I’ve made,” said Bourez. “The conditions here are better for me – big, wild and bumpy – so I’m in my element. I like to surf here a lot.”

The big wave conditions look set to continue and Surfline, official forecaster for the WSL, is predicting:

Very solid SW groundswell will continue on Thursday, easing through Friday. Another exceptionally strong SSW groundswell is on track for Saturday, and could be even larger than the surf for Wed/Thur. Sunday will see dropping surf, with a further drop in surf on Monday. Morning wind conditions look favourable for the next few days, with some periods of side or onshore flow in the afternoons. Going further out, another strong SW swell looks possible around Wednesday the 22nd.

The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro will be held from April 15 – 26, 2015. Watch the unparalleled adventure, competitive drama and athleticism of professional surfing live at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 13.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 4.46, Dusty Payne (HAW) 2.60
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.73, Jadson Andre (BRA) 3.40, Brett Simpson (USA) 0.50
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 8.20, Kai Otton (AUS) 3.33, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 3.27
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.23, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.40
Heat 5: Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 4.30, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 3.96, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 3.27
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00, Jay Davies (AUS) 10.27, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 3.34
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.74, Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.73, Keanu Asing (HAW) 3.33
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.43, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.50, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.36
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.00, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.33
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.73, Adam Melling (AUS) 8.24, Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.00
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.76, Nat Young (USA) 14.70, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 9.93
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.60, Matt Banting (AUS) 8.30, Owen Wright (AUS) 6.80

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Jay Davies (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 11: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 6: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS)

ENDS

About the World Surf League

The World Surf League (WSL) organizes the annual tour of professional surf competitions and broadcasts each event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing — anywhere and anytime it’s on. The WSL sanctions and operates the following tours: the Junior Tour, Longboard Tour, the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour and the crown jewel of the sport, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) which determines the sport’s undisputed world champions. The organization is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with Commercial Offices in New York. The offices are supported by regional centers in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America.

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Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
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Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

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