Jordy Smith charges into last 16 at Billabong Pro J-Bay
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)
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Billabong South Africa
Contact: Brendon Kegel
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