Jordy Smith 

Small surf in the one-to-two foot (0.5 metre) range has forced another lay day for the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, it’s fourth consecutive in as many days into the waiting period.

Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay has yet to commence competition, and with swell opportunities dwindling, event organizers are leaning towards utilizing the new competition format to capitalize on conditions available.

“No surf on offer today at Jeffreys Bay so competition has been called off,” Mike Parsons, Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Contest Director, said. “We’re still expecting some good surf tomorrow and by the look of things, we’ll be running with the new format. We have the option to run dual heats and will assess the conditions before making a decision on that.”

The opening day of the waiting period saw the completion of the VonZipper Trials, where Devyn Mattheys (ZAF) Heath Joske (AUS) and Torrey Meister (HAW) were victorious in their three respective heats, earning wildcard berths into the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.

The other two wildcards have been awarded to Shaun Holmes (ZAF), 31, and Ryan Payne (ZAF), 26.

The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay runs through July 19, 2009.

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 Gordon Fontaine

Gordon Fontaine (Brittany, FRA), 20, has won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 1-Star O’Neill Pro Cordoama Pro pres. by Nissan in Portugal today, the Frenchman besting fellow finalists Nicolau Von Rupp (DEU), Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) and Luka Guichard (DEN) to claim his maiden ASP title. Fontaine, who was a standout throughout the three-day event, managed to find his way through the Quarterfinals and Semifinals finishing his run with good 13.50 point heat score out of a possible 20.

Fontaine, a longtime ASP European Junior tour contender, was at ease in the three foot (one meter) waves on offer during the event, posting several high scores en route to the final. With great determination and heat tactics, Fontaine finished on top of 64-man field led by many of Europe’s best rising competitors.

“I am so stoked, I don’t really realize I’ve won the thing,” Fontaine said. “I haven’t won an event in years and to get this one is really special. It was my first WQS final and to win it makes it just the perfect ending!”

With significant points counting for the ASP European WQS ratings and great confidence for his summer start, Fontaine will be looking to confirming his stellar start and build on his performance, a premiere in his young career.

“My focus this year remains the ASP European Junior tour as I want to qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) and it means a Top 4 finish this year,” Fontaine said. “I surfed relaxed throughout the event after my Round 1 loss in the Pro Junior event at the beginning of the week and it worked out pretty well so I will try and approach the next events the same way.”

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2009 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay 

After assessing the at-times promising conditions this morning, event organizers have called Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay competition off for the day, acknowledging the clean, three-to-four (1 metre) yet inconsistent waves on offer.

Stop No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay yet to commence competition, but swell models indicate that this could change as early as tomorrow.

“We went on hold a couple of times this morning as the odd set would tease us but ultimately decided to call competition off for the day,” Mike Parsons, Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Contest Director, said. “Swell models are looking good for a start tomorrow, but we’ll be back at 7am to assess conditions. It’s looking more and more like we’ll be running the new format, but we haven’t made an official decision on that yet.”

The Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay has the option to run either the traditional or new competition formats, as well as utilize the overlapping heats tem for either. Event organizers will determine which format they will use in accordance with the conditions.

The opening day of the waiting period saw the completion of the VonZipper Trials, where Devyn Mattheys (ZAF) Heath Joske (AUS) and Torrey Meister (HAW) were victorious in their three respective heats, earning wildcard berths into the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.

Read more...