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Africa / Jordy Smith leads ASP World Title race

Jordy Smith : photo ASP / Kirstin  |   Joli's Slideshow

Billabong Pro J-Bay

Event 4/10 - 2010 ASP World Tour
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
15-25 July 2010

Live Coverage  |  Results/Photos/Videos etc

Jordy Smith heads ASP World Title Race Rankings after Round 4 victory at Billabong Pro J-Bay

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 July, 2010 : - - Jeffreys Bay, - Jordy Smith moved into the lead in the 2010 ASP World Title Race Rankings when he advanced to the quarterfinals of the Billabong Pro J-Bay by defeating dangerous rookie Owen Wright (AUS) in Round 4 at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay today.

The 22 year-old Durbanite, ranked No. 2 coming into the only ASP World Tour event to be staged in Africa, overtook 9 x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater, who was earlier ousted from the event by wildcard Sean Holmes in Round 3, to become the first South African surfer to head the rankings that determine the annual ASP World Title since SA surfing legend Shaun Tomson back in the 1980’s.

“That’s cool but there’s still a long way to go,” Smith cautioned when informed that he had moved to No. 1. “Kelly (Slater) may have lost today but he won’t be out of the title race until the hooter sounds at Pipe at the end of the year. Still, it’s a great position for me to be in and I’ll look to consolidate with a solid result here at Jeffreys.”

Smith upped his game today, weaving in and out of the hollow sections on the head-high waves and punctuating his rides with a varied repertoire of new-school manoeuvres that earned a massive 17.87 out of 20 point heat tally, including 9.27 on one wave. Wright, 19, whose dynamic surfing in his first visit to Supertubes has been really impressive, answered back with a pair of high seven point scores of his own but was left needing a near-perfect 9.94 out of 10 when the siren sounded to end the heat.

“Owen (Wright) has had the best backhand out here all event,” Smith commented on the heat. “I knew I had to get a jump on him early and was fortunate that there were plenty of waves in that heat. I opened with an average one before I got that 8.60, but Owen was right there with a high 7 so it was tight all the way through. Then he let me go on that one where he had priority and it turned into my best wave and allowed me to put in a variety of manoeuvres.”


Jordy Smith : photo ASP / Kirstin 


Meanwhile Holmes, who caused the upset of the event by eliminating Slater, continued his giant-killing momentum in Round 4 by defeating former 3 x ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW) in Round 4. Despite surfing at only 60% of his capabilities due to a back injury, Holmes’ uncanny affinity with the Supertubes lineup enabled him to slot into a deep tube ride that gave him the heat lead with 2 minutes remaining and ultimately to join Smith in the quarters..

The Capetonian, who earned the nickname “The Nemesis” after eliminating then ASP World Champion Irons twice in successive years in the early 2000’s, raised the match-up ratio to 3-1 when the Hawaiian came up short on the final ride of the encounter, only earning 7.0 points when needing 7.77 to advance.

“I’m stoked to get through but I’m a little bummed for Andy (Irons),” Holmes said. “He and I are very good friends, and he’s just so fired up at the moment and wants to do well. He’s been surfing well but seems like he’s having a tough year. I’m sure he’ll sort it out in Tahiti though. Happy to get through another one and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Contest director Mike Parsons completed Round 3 and all but the eighth and final heat of Round 4 during the third successive day of outstanding surfing at Jeffreys Bay as the world’s best surfers raised their performance levels at the business end of Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour..

The quarterfinal lineup sees Smith first up against Brazilian Adriano de Souza (BRA), who was ranked No. 8 before J-Bay and dispatched Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan (AUS) with his trademark seamless combination of carving moves. Holmes then takes on perennial ASP top 5 finisher Bede Durbidge (AUS) in the second quarterfinal.


Sean Holmes : photo ASP / Kirstin


The bottom half of the draw comprises arguably the pick of the quarters when Taj Burrow (AUS) clashes with progressive surfing standout Dane Reynolds (USA). Burrow, the World No. 3, sits just 250 points behind Smith in the rankings and was the form surfer today.

The 2007 Billabong Pro J-Bay winner amassed an incredible 18.87 point heat total, made up of rides of 9.77 and 9.10 points, which elevated him into pole position in the Nixon WTA and the US $10 000 one-of-a-kind Nixon timepiece that goes to the surfer producing the highest heat tally at Jeffreys Bay.

“I’m feeling better with each heat,” Burrow said. “It certainly helps with the ratings and makes things interesting. There’s been some big upsets, but at the end of the day, I just want to surf to my best out in the heat. I feel like I’m working my way towards it and I just want to perform at my best.”

In the fourth quarter, last year’s event runner-up, Damien Hobgood (USA), who caused a another major upset by eliminating reigning ASP World Champion, Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, in the final heat of the day, will be matched with the winner of the remaining Round 4 heat that features an all rookie lineup of Adam Melling (AUS) versus Dusty Payne (HAW).

Organisers are left with just another eight heats, totaling approximately 4.5 hours of competition, to determine the 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay champion and will decide on when to restart the event at 7am on Sunday morning. Surfline, the official surf forecasters for the event, predict that the SSW swell will drop through the day on Sunday, with the largest waves showing in the morning.

Check the Live Coverage  |  Results/Photos/Videos etc

The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay has a waiting period that runs from 15-25 July and is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010

Today’s Results

Round 3 (Winner to R4; Loser = 17th, 1750 points, US $6 500)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.33 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 8.50
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.80 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 3.97
Heat 7: Andy Irons (HAW) 12.33 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 9.43
Heat 8: Sean Holmes (ZAF) 13.10 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.06
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.93 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 10.64
Heat 10: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.60 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 13.80
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.23 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 12.50
Heat 12: Brett Simpson (USA) 14.63 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.06
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.23 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 13.10
Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.40
Heat 15: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.06 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 8.00
Heat 16: Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.33 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 10.20

Round 4: (Winner to quarterfinals; Loser = 9th, 3750 points, US $8 000)
Heat 1: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.63 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.44
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.87 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 15.83
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.53 def Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.90
Heat 4: Sean Holmes (ZAF) 15.60 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 15.17
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.87 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.00
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.93 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 13.20
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.77 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.00

Remaining Round 4 heats
Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Quarter Finals: (Winner to semifinals; Loser = 5th, 5250 points, US $10 000)
Q1: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Q2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Sean Holmes (ZAF)
Q3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Q4: Damien Hobgood vs. Winner of R4, Heat 8

The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay begins on Thursday, July 15 and runs through to July 25, 2010.
The 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay is proudly supported by Eastern Cape Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, Monster Energy, Vida e Caffe, Corona and Tavcor

Previous reports:
# 1 :
Kelly Slater top seed at Billabong Pro J-Bay.....
# 2 : How to follow the action in J-Bay, wherever you are
# 3 : World's best dominate Day 1 at Billabong Pro JBay
# 4 : High drama battle for survival at Billabong Pro Jbay...
# 5 : Smith ascends, Slater descends, in Title race at JBay  

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