Billabong Pro J-Bay
World Tour surfers, along with local favorites, shine on day two of competition.
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, Sth Africa (Wednesday, July 11, 2012) – “Supertubes” in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa continues to live up to its name, with a second consecutive day of perfect two-to-2.5 metre waves on offer for the world’s top surfers competing in the Billabong Pro ASP 6-Star event.
Some of the sport’s biggest names hit the Supertubes line-up today, including ASP World No. 4 Adriano de Souza (BRA) of Brazil, current ASP World No. 5 John John Florence (Haw) of Hawaii and two-time and defending Billabong Pro champion, Jordy Smith (ZAF) of South Africa.
Smith, a huge local drawcard who claimed his maiden World Championship Tour victory at the location in 2010, quickly set about registering one of the highest two-wave combined heat scores of the round, the powerful natural footer locking in an excellent 17.76 points out of a possible perfect 20.
Drawing smooth lines at the break he knows so well, Smith accounted easily for Brazil’s Jano Belo (BRA) and Krystian Kymerson (BRA) – both eliminated – to advance in first place along with Davey Cathels (AUS), who finished second.
When the number one seed hits the water tomorrow, Smith will face Jay Quinn (NZL), Lincoln Taylor (AUS) and Blake Thornton (AUS).
De Souza’s debut in the Billabong Pro was no less spectacular. The diminutive natural footer went huge on his first wave of his opening Round 2 heat, scoring a long Supertubes barrel that was preceded by some critical open face carves.
De Souza’s appearance at J’Bay is for the love, not for the money. Sitting well inside the top 10 on the ASP Men’s World Ratings means the 25 year-old can afford to enjoy his time in the Supertubes lineup and his relaxed approach earned his first wave a near-perfect 9.76 points from the judges.
De Souza’s eventual two-wave combined heat total of 16.10 points saw him advance to Round 3 along with Australian 2010 World Junior Champion, Jack Freestone (AUS) who finished second on 13.63 points, while locals Shaun Payne (ZAF), and David Weare finished third and fourth on 9.73 points and 8.67 points respectively.
Former ASP Men’s World Tour surfer, Nathan Hedge (Narrabeen, NSW, AUS) continued on with his winning form, again lighting up the Super’s walls to back-up his perfect performance from Day 1.
“The Hog” scored a perfect 10-point ride yesterday, and today his enthusiastic body english returned along with his excellent scores. The former world number seven registered two nine-plus scoring rides, winning the crowds both on the beach and watching online worldwide.
Hedge will meet Ian Gouveia (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW) and Brandon Jackson (ZAF) when competition resumes.
Late in the day the South African contingent charged, with Casey Grant (ZAF) and Dale Staples (ZAF) winning their heats, and Shaun Joubert (ZAF), Steven Sawyer (ZAF) and Ryan Payne (ZAF) all advancing through to Round 3.
Payne scored a near-perfect 9.8 points for an excellent tube ride in the last heat of the day to secure second place behind Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence (Haw).
Heath Joske (AUS), Granger Larsen (Haw) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) were among the other standouts. Heath Joske’s beard was particularly impressive.
By all reports, organisers are expecting yet another, third consecutive, day of incredible waves. A call on proceedings will be made at first light with the first heat of Round 3 expected to start at 07:00am sharp.
By becoming a World Qualifying Series tournament, the US$155,000 Billabong Pro has this year increased its field from 38 to 144 competitors, affording dozens of local and international hopefuls a chance at competing at one of the world’s premier wave locations.
The week-long tournament also boasts a musical element, with the 5FM Music Festival taking place over three consecutive nights from 13-15th July, with more than 40 different artists scheduled to perform.
Full results and upcoming Round 3 heats can be found at www.billabongpro.com