High drama at the J-Bay Open 2016

July 10, 2016 | Surfing
Gabriel Medina: his airs are paying off | Photo: Cestari/WSL

The J-Bay Open 2016 reached the semifinals, at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

Kelly Slater continues to showcase his experience in waves of consequence. He beat Michel Bourez and Alejo Muniz in Round 4, and advanced through directly to the quarterfinals. Slater is a serious contender to win here for the fifth time.

"I feel comfortable out there. I made a couple of little mistakes in the first heat, like just not being in the right spot. That one I was really about paying attention to where you needed to be. I'm actually riding an evolved version of the board I started riding at Trestles last year. I'm just trying to make Kelly great again," said Slater.

Mick Fanning also earned a spot in the quarterfinals. The Australian found two excellent and waves and did what he had to do to defeat Wiggolly Dantas and Adriano de Souza.

"My ankle is getting better each and every day. The WSL medical staff have been amazing. I'm just stoked to get to paddle out and actually surf. You never know exactly what is going to happen here, so I just want to have a lot of fun and enjoy the time. And also I don't know how much longer I have on this tour, so it's about bringing friends to the places I love," revealed Fanning.

Gabriel Medina was forced to beat his fellow countryman De Souza in Round 5 to continue his dream performance at Jeffreys Bay, which included a beautiful air scored with 8.43 points.

"It feels really good to win that heat. It's always tough against Adriano. He's a great competitor and a good friend of mine. Another heat here together and I'm stoked with the win. It should be a fun one against Julian in the Quarterfinals who is ripping at this contest, so hopefully we make a good heat," added Medina.

John John Florence is the first semifinalist. The Hawaiian surfer defeated the local star Jordy Smith in challenging three-to-four-foot waves. Florence won the heat by a very narrow margin - 0.20 points.

"It was tough out there, so I'm stoked to make it through. We were both waiting for sets. There were a lot of mid-sized waves coming through, but I was waiting for a bomb. It was scary in those last couple of minutes, and you really start overthinking it. That was definitely my favorite 3.37 ever!" joked John John.

J-Bay Open 2016 | Quarterfinal Result

John John Florence (HAW) 10.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.50

J-Bay Open 2016 | Quarterfinal Match-Ups

Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)

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