JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Friday, July 11, 2008) South African rookie Jordy Smith gave the local crowd what they came for when he posted the highest heat total of Round 2 to advance to Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay today.
Smith eliminated Brazils Neco Padaratz in three to five foot (one and half metre) waves courtesy of the 18.60 heat total he amassed the second highest of the event thus far. He has drawn Dean Morrison (AUS) in Round 3.
"Its good to get one nailed away and get the nerves out," Smith said. "Now Im just stoked I didnt get a 33rd and looking forward to the next round."
Smith scored a 9.00 on his first wave ridden. He sealed the deal with a 9.60 toward the end of the heat.
"I wanted to catch one early in the heat just to feel my board and feel my feet," Smith said. "The wave was a real nice peeling one and I ended up getting a 9.00. After that score I just realized that I needed to wait for a better one. Luckily I waited and I got it."
A 30-foot humpback whale was among the locals on hand to support Smith. The massive mammal surfaced just meters away from the surfers a handful of times set waves rolled through right after each time.
"Hopefully the whale sticks around for a couple more of my heats", Smith said. "The set came and it was there so Im hoping to see it again!
Todays elimination of higher-rated rookie Dane Reynolds (USA), leaves opportunity for Smith to close the gap in the ASP Rookie of the Year race. Reynolds is currently rated 16th, Smith 19th.
"Dane is a great surfer but Im just trying to do my own thing really," Smith said. "Its a bit unlucky that he lost earlier. I actually would have liked to see him get through."
Reynolds went down to Brazilian Heitor Alves in the second highest scoring heat of the day. Alves 16.66 trumped Reynolds 13.83, and sent him home with his first 33rd place result of the year.
I'm so happy, Alves said. To get two 8s in a heat? I can't believe it. I feel comfortable here. I like this wave.
The second perfect 10 of the Billabong Pro JBay was earned by Bobby Martinez (USA) today. Martinez hasn't scored a perfect 10 since Chile in 2006 and event then, he didn't win his heat. The deep barrel Martinez emerged from was clearly the wave of the day.
It was a weird wave because I took off and couldn't see the sun was in my eyes, Martinez said. I'm not even sure why I went for the barrel because I haven't been barreled the whole trip but it just happened. I almost fell in there, I got off balance, but luckily I didn't. I came out. I was lucky to get a wave out there period and then to get a wave like that? it came from someone I think.
Martinez's Round 2 victory over wildcard Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) will see him draw Luke Munro in Round 3.
Andy Irons (HAW) also got the better of his wildcard opponent but was quick to disclose that the cold water has been an issue for him.
"You have to pick the right ones and that has been tough for me lately," Irons said. "I've been battling the cold badly. I went to Bali before this and I think that was a bad move because it's hard to get motivated to get out there. I only surfed once before the contest and then only in heats ever since."
World No. 2 Joel Parkinson was the highest seeded surfer negotiating Round 2 today. He beat his traveling buddy in 1999 ASP World Champion and wildcard Mark Occhilupo (AUS) in the first heat of the day.
"We were both serious about it," Parkinson said. "We both wanted to win but Oc broke his fin on the way out and it kind of sent him into a frenzy there for a while. I was kind of laughing because, typical Occy, he had the full panic head on saying, Oh, I'll be right, I'll be right, then he just grabbed some other kid's board and surfed it. It was a good heat though."
Pancho Sullivan (HAW), who was unable to arrive in time to surf his Round 2 heat due to passport problems beyond his control, gave Ben Bourgeois (USA) a bye into a Round 3. Bourgeois will use that saved energy to take on reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) when competition resumes.
Forecasts indicate that conditions may be unsuitable for Billabong Pro competition over the weekend. Still, event officials will meet each morning at 7 to monitor the waves and make an official call.
Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.33 def. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 9.67
Heat 2: Andy Irons (HAW) 15.17 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 11.83
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.33 def. Rudy (jnr) Palmboom (ZAF) 4.33
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.07 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 11.00
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.67 def. Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 11.34
Heat 6: Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.00 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 7.60
Heat 7: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.27 def. Jihad Khodr (BRA) 13.94
Heat 8: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.50 def. Timmy Reyes (USA) 12.00
Heat 9: Ben Bourgeois (USA) adv. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) n/s
Heat 10: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 15.66 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.50
Heat 11: Heitor Alves (BRA) 16.66 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.83
Heat 12: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.10 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.70
Heat 13: Mick Campbell (AUS) 15.30 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.50
Heat 14: Luke Munro (AUS) 16.33 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.55
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18.60 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 11.33
Heat 16: Chris Ward (USA) 13.16 def. Mikael Picon (FRA) 12.17
Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 2: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Daniel Wills (AUS)
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 7: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 10: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 14: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 15: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 16: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Chris Ward (USA)