An in-form Smith posts highest heat total for the year
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 July, 2014 - Jordy Smith will fly the flag as the sole remaining South African in the R5.4 million J-Bay Open after Round 2 was completed in small but perfect waves at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday.
Smith dominated the opening day of competition held in 4 - 7 foot (2 metre) waves on Thursday, recording rides of 9.50 and 9.80 in the first five minutes of his heat and then going on to post the first perfect 10 point ride of the event.
His heat tally of 19.80 out of a possible 20 was the highest on the WCT this year and saw the 26 year-old Durbanite advance directly to Round 3. There Smith will be up against C.J. Hobgood (USA), the 2000 ASP World Champion, when competition resumes.
“To have the contest back in Jeffreys Bay is a brilliant feeling,” said Smith.
“Not only for the surfers but also for the local people. All the kids get to see their idols surf this wave. This is one of the best right-hand points in the world and it’s an incredible thing that they’ve brought this event back. I’ve been coming here since I was seven years old and I have a real connection with the wave and all the people in the town of J-Bay. I’m really fortunate and happy to be here and thanks to the ASP for putting it back on.”
Travis Logie and Dylan Lightfoot, the only other Saffas in the event, were both eliminated in Round 2, finishing in equal 25th position overall.
Logie (Durban), rated No. 24 on the WCT coming into Jeffreys Bay, placed third behind heat winner Kolohe Andino (USA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) in his opening encounter. He was unlucky to draw his teammate and travelling companion Frederick Patacchia (HAW) in Round 2 and the Hawaiian dominated in the barreling conditions on Saturday.
Jeffreys Bay local, Lightfoot, 19, earned a wildcard into the J-Bay Open by winning the JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA at Supertubes in June. He was pitted against top seed and 11 x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Australian rookie Mitch Crews (AUS) in Round 1 where he placed second behind Slater.
Lightfoot’s opponent in Round 2 was current ASP WCT No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) and, despite selecting the best waves during the 30 minute encounter, the series of powerful and innovative manoeuvres performed by the rankings leader saw the South African bow out.
“Gabriel Medina is a crazy surfer, he was shredding out there, and Kelly (Slater) too in the heat before,” said Lightfoot. “It’s been a big day for me, I’ll definitely sleep well tonight. What an amazing experience for me to go out there and surf against these guys. I’ll definitely take a lot from this going in to my next few ASP Qualification Series events.”