After a string of lay days, the J-Bay Open completed in near-flawless conditions at Supertubes. Forecasts of a building swell came true as the final 12 surfers went head-to-head at the world’s best pointbreak.
In the Quarterfinals, goofyfooters Matt Wilkinson and Owen Wright posted 17-point plus heat scores, making them the guys to beat. But Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning thought otherwise in the Semifinals. Parkinson, a two-time J-Bay Open winner, posted the only perfect 10 of the day in the main event, as well as an 8.83, to defeat Matt Wilkinson. In the following heat, Fanning dropped a 9.0 and an 8.0 for a commanding victory over Owen Wright, setting up a final between him and Parkinson.
Unfortunately for Parkinson, he was unable to recreate the magic of his semifinal performance, allowing Fanning to dominate the Final. Fanning’s opening 9.0, backed by an 8.0 on his third ride, had Parkinson chasing near-perfect scores for the remainder of the heat.
The overall ratings have shifted drastically due to Michel Bourez and Kelly Slater losing early. Gabriel Medina remains rated No.1 in the world with Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning now trailing him at No.2 and No.3 respectively. Fanning jumped five spots while Parkinson jumped three. Taj Burrow and Bourez round out the Top 5. The biggest change, however, was for Matt Wilkinson who jumped 12 positions to No.21 due to his semifinal finish. Wilkinson hadn’t made it past Round 3 all year until this event, putting him in dangerous territory of not requalifying. Now Wilkinson sits right on the bubble with five events remaining, a position that no doubt has him feeling much more confident.
The ASP also ran the inaugural Heritage Series event with two of the all-time best at Jeffreys Bay: Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo. Curren’s patented forehand approach synced perfectly with the well overhead conditions. Reminiscent of his famed first wave ever at Jeffreys Bay, Curren’s clean top-to-bottom approach mixed with an incredibly deep barrel earned him a well-deserved perfect 10, putting himself out of reach of Occy.
Watch Joel Parkinson’s Perfect 10 in the Quarterfinals:
Watch Mick Fanning’s 9.0 ride in the Final:
Watch Tom Curren’s Perfect 10 in the Heritage Series: