A thrilling Finals day at the J-Bay Open, stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), saw Mick Fanning (AUS) crowned event champion in epic conditions at Supertubes. The reigning three-time ASP World Champion faced fellow Australian Joel Parkinson in an historic and hard-fought Final in flawless conditions. Super Saturday at Jeffreys Bay saw the world’s best surfers take to the water in pumping 6-10ft surf as thousands of fans gathered to watch the final 12 surfers battle the waves and each other. Surfing legends Tom Curren (USA) and Mark Occhilupo (AUS) also took on the classic walls of J-Bay as part of the ASP Heritage Series.
Mick Fanning (AUS) took his second WCT win of the season after defeating fellow Australian and childhood friend Joel Parkinson in the Final of the J-Bay Open. The victory is his third win at Jeffreys Bay (his previous wins were in 2006 and 2002) and moves Fanning to No. 3 in the ASP WCT rankings. Fanning’s first wave of the heat earned him an excellent 9.00 for a double-barrel and powerful carves. He went on to use his polished skills to bank a second solid score and a two-wave heat total of 17.00 (out of a possible 20). Parkinson, the 2012 ASP World Champion, fought his way back into contention with rides of 7.43 and 6.17 but was still looking for 9.57 points when time ran out. Fanning previously dispatched Owen Wright (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) on route to the Final.
“I never dreamed that I would get to surf a J-Bay final with Joel (Parkinson),” said Mick Fanning. “I’m so tired but it’s a dream-come-true kind of day. Joel is one of my favourite surfers and my best friend, we’ve known each other since we were kids. I’m so stoked, it was such an incredible day of waves and I’m just so thankful that I got to surf it. A big thanks to the ASP and everyone involved in bringing the event back to the Tour.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS) posted his second runner-up finish of the year and the result sees him move to No. 2 on the ASP WCT rankings. Parkinson, two-time winner at Jeffreys Bay (1999, 2009), topped Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and Adriano de Souza (BRA) before facing Fanning in the Final. Despite a valiant effort Parkinson was unable to find the near-perfect score needed to surpass Fanning for the win.
“It was an amazing heat and Mick (Fanning) is such a great surfer,” said Joel Parkinson. “I made a couple of bad decisions and I just didn’t get the right waves. It would’ve been nice to get a win but that was a brilliant day of surfing with amazing waves and it was so wonderful to be part of it.”
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) was defeated by Joel Parkinson (AUS) in the first Semifinal of the J-Bay Open. Fresh from his runner-up finish at the ASP Qualification Series Prime event, the Mr Price Pro Ballito, the Semifinal berth moves him to No. 21 on the rankings. The thrilling clash saw Parkinson post a solid two-wave total to put him in the lead, leaving Wilkinson in need of a 9.66 to close the gap. With just seven minutes left on the clock Parkinson use his priority, getting tubed twice for a Perfect 10. Wilkinson was undeterred and fired back with a 9.77, but it wasn’t enough for the win. He takes home an equal third-place finish, his best result of the 2014 season. Wilkinson previously dispatched 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in Round 3 and 2007 J-Bay winner Taj Burrow (AUS) in the Quarterfinals.
“I’m so stoked to have made it to the Semifinals,” said Matt Wilkinson. “I came into this competition with almost no results so far this year, but I feel that I’ve improved in every heat. It feels really great to have so much support, especially for the goofy footers who have done so well at this event.”
Owen Wright (AUS) faced eventual event winner Mick Fanning (AUS) in the second Semifinal, securing a third-place finish and moving to No. 11 on the rankings. The goofy footer, who defeated ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Quarterfinals, took an early lead with a series of whipping backside snaps. However, Wright was unable to hold onto it for long with Fanning earning a 7.17 and 8.00 to put him in a combination situation. Wright answered quickly with a series of vertical snaps for a 7.23 but Fanning replied with an excellent 9.00 and took the win.
“I chose a couple of wrong waves at the start of the heat and that really set me back,” said Owen Wright. “Mick (Fanning) was just clinical in his approach to the heat. I feel so privileged just to be here, competing at J-Bay. It has by far been the best event for me, I’m loving it. All year I’ve been trying to stay focused and trying to put in the time and I think it’s paying off.”
Legendary surfers Tom Curren (USA) and Mark Occhilupo (AUS) took to the water in front of an enthralled crowd at Jeffreys Bay for the first installment of the ASP Heritage Series. The series is designed to celebrate and honour the foundational contributors to the sport of surfing by showcasing rematches between iconic surfers. Curren, three-time ASP World Champion (1985, 1986, 1990) and Occhilupo, 1999 ASP World Champion, battled in flawless J-Bay conditions. Curren’s effortless forehand approach was up against Occhilupo’s historic backhand attack. The American posted a Perfect 10 for three huge carves and a deep barrel putting the Australian in a combination situation. Occhilupo, winner of the first ASP event in J-Bay in 1984, took a final long ride down the point but was unable to post the excellent scores needed to take back the win.
“I love J-Bay, the waves are brilliant and the people are wonderful,” said Tom Curren. “It’s so great to watch all the guys compete here in such fantastic conditions. I got a little carried away during that ten-point ride, the waves were so good. It’s Sonny Miller’s birthday today so I just want to dedicate this to him.”
“That was sensational,” said Mark Occhilupo. “It was all about surfing J-Bay in all its perfection and putting on a great show for the crowd. Tom (Curren) ripped but it was also great fun and I had a blast out there. I think the ASP Heritage Series will really grow legs and I look forward to seeing other legends match up.”
J-Bay Open Final Result:
Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.00 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.60
J-Bay Open Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.83 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.54
Semifinal 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.00 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.50
J-Bay Open Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.33
Quarterfinal 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.83 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.44
Quarterfinal 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 17.40 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.07
Quarterfinal 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.66 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.67
J-Bay Open Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.33 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.04
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.83 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.34
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.17 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.10
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 8.13
J-Bay Open Heritage Series Results:
Tom Curren (USA) 18.83 def. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 12.16