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Jordy Smith flies SA flag at J-Bay Open

July 13th, 2014
Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF) carves off the lip of a Jeffreys Bay wave on Day 1 of the J-Bay Open where he posted the highest heat total of the year  Credit: ASP / Kirstin

Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF) carves off the lip of a Jeffreys Bay wave on Day 1 of the J-Bay Open where he posted the highest heat total of the year  Credit: ASP / Kirstin

Jordy Smith will fly the flag as the sole remaining South African in the R5.4 million J-Bay Open after Round 2 was completed in small but perfect waves at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday.

Stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) features the world’s top 34 ranked surfers plus two wildcards competing for a R1 million winner’s pay-cheque and invaluable rankings points towards the ASP World surfing title

Smith dominated the opening day of competition held in 4 – 7 foot (2 metre) waves on Thursday, recording rides of 9.50 and 9.80 in the first five minutes of his heat and then going on to post the first perfect 10 point ride of the event.

His heat tally of 19.80 out of a possible 20 was the highest on the WCT this year and saw the 26 year-old Durbanite advance directly to Round 3. There Smith will be up against C.J. Hobgood (USA), the 2000 ASP World Champion, when competition resumes.

“To have the contest back in Jeffreys Bay is a brilliant feeling,” said Smith. “Not only for the surfers but also for the local people. All the kids get to see their idols surf this wave. This is one of the best right-hand points in the world and it’s an incredible thing that they’ve brought this event back. I’ve been coming here since I was seven years old and I have a real connection with the wave and all the people in the town of J-Bay. I’m really fortunate and happy to be here and thanks to the ASP for putting it back on.”

Travis Logie and Dylan Lightfoot, the only other Saffas in the event, were both eliminated in Round 2, finishing in equal 25th position overall.

Logie (Durban), rated No. 24 on the WCT coming into Jeffreys Bay, placed third behind heat winner Kolohe Andino (USA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) in his opening encounter. He was unlucky to draw his teammate and travelling companion Frederick Patacchia (HAW) in Round 2 and the Hawaiian dominated in the barreling conditions on Saturday.

Jeffreys Bay local, Lightfoot, 19, earned a wildcard into the J-Bay Open by winning the JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA at Supertubes in June. He was pitted against top seed and 11 x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Australian rookie Mitch Crews (AUS) in Round 1 where he placed second behind Slater.

Lightfoot’s opponent in Round 2 was current ASP WCT No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) and, despite selecting the best waves during the 30 minute encounter, the series of powerful and innovative manoeuvres performed by the rankings leader saw the South African bow out.

“Gabriel Medina is a crazy surfer, he was shredding out there, and Kelly (Slater) too in the heat before,” said Lightfoot. “It’s been a big day for me, I’ll definitely sleep well tonight. What an amazing experience for me to go out there and surf against these guys. I’ll definitely take a lot from this going in to my next few ASP Qualification Series events.”

A drop in swell size on Sunday and the prospect of better waves later in the holding period, particularly towards the latter stages next weekend, prompted the organisers to call a lay day for Sunday.

Warm sunny conditions, light winds and inconsistent one metre waves drew hundreds of spectators to the contest site. They lined the natural amphitheatre created by the aloe covered dunes to watch the world’s best surfers fine-tune their equipment and their repertoire of manoeuvres in the head-high waves peeling down the rocky point.

Waves 4 Water, an ASP supported program that provides clean drinking water to disadvantaged communities worldwide, drew plenty of attention to their demonstrations of simple but highly effective water filtering equipment.

The organisers will meet again at 7 a.m. on Monday morning to decide whether to get Round 3 underway.

The sixth stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the J-Bay Open, is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com The website also has news, images, video footage and a Heats on Demand section where every heat run to date can be replayed.

J-Bay Open Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.90 def. Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 11.27
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.43 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.43
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 16.10 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.63
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.33 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 4.80
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.93 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.70
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 6.87
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.83 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.93
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.17 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.90
Heat 9: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.37 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.93
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.67 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.53
Heat 11: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 17.93 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.67
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.60 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.67

J-Bay Open Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 5: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)

The J-Bay Open forms part of the J-Bay Winterfest, a festival taking place in Jeffreys Bay from 10 to 20 July that includes surfing, skating, a music festival, trail running, a mountain bike event, the VW Rally, the Cold Water Classic open water swimming event, the Oakley X-Over Challenge and much more. For a listing of all the festival activities go to www.jbaywinterfest.com


Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@aspworldtour.com

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