Jeffreys Bay: try again

The world’s best surfers put on a high-performance clinic today in pumping six-to-eight foot (2–2.5 metre) surf as the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay rampaged through Rounds 3, 4 and 5.

The fourth stop on the 2011 ASP World Title season, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay navigated a challenging forecast throughout the waiting period to arrive at today’s idyllic conditions and set up for a dramatic finish tomorrow.

Jordy Smith, current No. 5 on the ASP World Title rankings and defending event winner, came back from a slow start to the day with the performance of the event, an 18.30 out of a possible 20, in his electric Round 5 win over Bede Durbidge.

"I took a pintail out in my Round 4 heat and felt like I was going backwards on it," Smith said. "I switched it up for the last heat and I’m stoked I found a board I really like. The waves out here this afternoon are really fun. Even with that little wind on it, there are still some really good ones out there and they’re really good for airs."

Smith capped off his sensational Round 5 performance with a massive full-rotation air reverse on the bricks to the tune of a 9.47 out of a possible 10. The South African will face former event Runner-Up Damien Hobgood in the Quarterfinals when competition resumes tomorrow.

Julian Wilson is enjoying his first-ever trip to Jeffreys Bay and today scored the event’s first Perfect 10, linking a bevy of searing forehand arcs before navigating an incredible barrel to the raucous applause of the thousands on the beach and the hundreds of thousands watching online.

"The waves are so good this morning that it was only going to be a matter of time before one opened up like that," Wilson said. "When I paddled into it, I could kind of see it had a double-up forming down the line and when I pulled in at Supers, I thought it’d be good if I got one section. Then I couldn’t really make the doggy-door on that one and I pulled into the Impossibles section and it somehow let me out. It was an incredible feeling."

Despite a stumble in Round 4, the young Australian rebounded in Round 5, blending some incredible fin-free surfing with strong rail turns to overtake Daniel Ross and advance through to the Quarterfinals – a career-best finish.

"It’s been an exhausting day of surfing," Wilson said. "Without the jetski assist and the long paddles, you’re definitely exerting a lot of energy out there. I gave my Round 4 heat everything I had and I came in a bit angry that I didn’t come away with the win. That probably wasted a bit more energy. I knew I had to throw everything I had against Rossy (Dan Ross) and I’m stoked to come away with the win. It’s my best result on tour so far."

Wilson will face compatriot Adrian Buchan when Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay competition resumes.

Buchan, current No. 17 on the ASP World Title rankings, put in a sensational performance of his own this afternoon, annihilating the Jeffreys Bay walls on his backhand to collect an impressive 17.54 out of a possible 20 and advance past his in-form Round 4 opponents.

"It was such an exciting heat with Jordy (Smith) and Julian (Wilson) as they’re amazing talents," Buchan said. "That said, I felt really confident. My board feels great and I was posting big scores in other heats so I knew if I could get two good waves, I’d be in there. Fortunately for me, I started with a big score and that gave me momentum moving forward through the heat."

Josh Kerr, current ASP World No. 34 (ASP World Rankings), applied a different approach to Jeffreys Bay today, utilizing an unparalleled repertoire of progressive maneuvers to notch up high scores in Round 4 and advance directly into the Quarterfinals. One such move, considered by many to be the high-performance statement of the year, involved a full-rotation method grab alley-oop, scoring an 8.90 out of a possible 10.

"I was killing myself trying to play it safe and do a bunch of turns through to the end," Kerr said. "I wasn’t getting big scores and I just started trying to do big turns and airs and stick to my strengths. I’m stoked to have pulled a couple in the heat and looking forward to tomorrow’s Quarterfinals."

BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.60 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.17
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.63 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.67
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.76 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.34
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.70 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.77
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.00 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.00
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.53 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.20
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.10 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 9.80
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.64 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.33
Heat 9: Adam Melling (AUS) 13.43 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.44
Heat 10: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.93 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.04
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.30 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.60
Heat 12: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.20