Billabong Pro J-Bay
Perfect surf greets surfers on opening day of the Billabong Pro J-Bay
SUPERTUBES, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa (Tuesday, July 10, 2012) – Former ASP Men’s World Tour surfer, Nathan “Hog” Hedge (Narrabeen, NSW, AUS) has matched power with perfection, scoring a perfect 10 point ride in the opening round of the ASP 6-star event taking place at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
Competitors in the US$155,000 tournament awoke to epic two-metre plus conditions on Day 1 and it was the “Hog” who stole the show, belting the long J’Bay walls and winning the crowd with his enthusiastic claims.
The semi-retired 34 year-old achieved his best world tour result at the famous J’Bay point break back in 2004, posting a finals result that boosted him to a career high 7th in the world. And today, the Hog was back to his J’Bay best, easily registering the highest two-wave combined heat total of 19.27 out of a possible perfect 20 points.
Other surfers to progress to Round 2 with wins today included reigning ASP World Junior Champion Ciao Ibelli (BRA), local favourite and Supertubes specialist Sean Holmes (ZAF), Hawaii’s Sebastien Zietz (Haw) and 2010 World Junior Champion, Jack Freestone (Gold Coast, AUS).
The excellent surf is forecasted to continue on Day 2 when 10 of the world’s highest rated campaigners are due to hit the water. Among the big-name draw cards are two-time and defending Billabong Pro champion, Jordy Smith (ZAF), Hawaiian prodigy and current world rated number five, John John Florence (Oahu, Haw), Brazilian Adriano De Souza (BRA) and former Men’s World Champion, C.J. Hobgood (FL, USA).
Organisers expect to start from 07:00am local time.
The official press launch was held last night and attended by local dignitaries Mr Makhulbulu and Councillor Virginia Cameleo Benjamin, representative of the Department of Sports, Recreation Arts and Culture.
By becoming a World Qualifying Series tournament, the 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.
For more on the Billabong Pro J Bay log on to www.billabongpro.com.