Canals Winter Challenge

Pam Golding Properties Canals Winter Challenge

Pam Golding Canal winter challenge

Pam Golding Canal Challenge TrophyThe 11th annual holding of this popular paddling race on the St Francis Canals will be on Sunday 23rd July at 10am.

For the last year two years the race was won by the top doubles combination in the Eastern Cape, national paddler Greg Louw together with paddling legend Rob Welsh. Will they make it three in a row? Or will locals Phil Smith and Graydon Mitchley, pip them?

The start and finish will again be at Quaysyde Restaurant, Seaglades Drive, St Francis Canals, where breakfast, coffee and lunch can be enjoyed while watching the paddling. The entry fee is R100 per paddler. The race has been sponsored since inception by Pam Golding Properties, who have become synonymous with paddling in St Francis.

Because the race is held on the sheltered canals, it will go ahead in any weather conditions, and compliments the other paddling races hosted by St Francis Paddling Club during the year, namely the Pam Golding Properties King of the Kromme, held at Easter each year, and numerous surfski races we hold on the sea, most notably the Investec Sporty Anderson Surfski Challenge, held each year on 28 December.

Canal residents are asked to encourage paddlers coming past their houses, and if on their boats, to give way to the racing paddlers. Lifejackets are not required, and beginners are welcome to enter the shorter 10km course. Even if they don’t finish, it might be the start of a long love affair with paddling!

It is a doubles race, with the prizes only for doubles, but singles are very welcome, as are K3’s. As usual, Carbonology, the PE-based surfski manufacturer have sponsored a lucky draw, a Carbonology split paddle and cover, with a retail value of R2500.

The main event is the 20km long course, with a prizes as follows: 1st 2 x R750 plus trophy, 2nd R500 x 2, 3rd R250 x 2. The balance of the prizes are a bottle of very fine Pam Golding wine for each paddler for both the 20km and 10km race: 1st mixed double, 1st ladies double, 1st local double, 1st over 50’s double, 1st U18 double.

  • Quaysyde, Seaglades Drive, St Francis Canals – 10am Sunday 23 July 2017
  • Prizes only for doubles, singles very welcome. 20km or 10km
  • SUP (5km) and Guppie races (medals)
  • R100 pp includes coffee on arrival, coolie, beer and lunch after.
  • Lifejackets optional
  • For more info contact Richard Arderne 083 284 0168.

Pam Golding Canal winter challenge Podium 2016

 

Filipe Toledo Takes Title

Filipe Toledo Takes Title at Corona Open J-Bay

Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the Corona Open J-Bay today, defeating rookie Frederico Morais (PRT) in the final held in pumping 2.0 to 2.5 metre waves at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay.

Filipe Toledo (BRA, left) and Frederico Morais (PRT) celebrate on the podium at the Corona Open J-Bay in Jeffreys Bay on Thursday – Photo: WSL / Cestar

Stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) was graced with seven days of flawless conditions, resulting in barrier-breaking performances by the world’s best surfers, including eight perfect 10-point rides and no shortage of drama.

Toledo, who posted two of the perfect 10s, showcased a new level to his progressive approach and jumped from 14th to 7th on the Jeep Leaderboard following his best finish of the season to re-ignite his 2017 World Title campaign.

“I can’t believe it,” said Toledo. “J-Bay is always a contest that’s been my dream to win. To surf perfect waves like we did the entire contest, I’ve got to thank god for the amazing week that we’ve had. I’ve got my entire family here and supporting me. It’s unbelievable and I’m speechless. I think I might leave my hair like this for the rest of the year.”

Toledo’s fourth career CT win did not come easily as he was tested by a stacked field of competitors. The 22-year-old dispatched local favourite Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the quarterfinals with two impressive 9-point rides and then eliminated Julian Wilson (AUS) in the Semifinals.

“It has been an amazing week,” Toledo said. “This is definitely going to be the competition I remember for forty or fifty years, not just because I won but because of the level of surfing during this whole week.”

The final saw exciting exchanges between the Toledo and Morais as they matched each other with excellent-range scores in the long sweeping lines of overhead swell peeling down the Supertubes racetrack. With ten minutes left on the clock and Toledo leading, Morais locked in a near-perfect 9.40 to close the gap to just 0.27 points. But even though Toledo left his opponent with priority for the last two minutes of the heat, Morais was not able to surpass Toledo’s total of 18.0 out of 20.
Morais delivered phenomenal surfing throughout his first CT event in South Africa, causing an upset when he delivered a perfect 10 to defeat reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) in the quarterfinals, before eliminating 2015 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the semifinals. Morais’ career-best finish will now move him up from World No. 18 to 12th on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“I just love this place, it is amazing,” Morais said. “Everyone is so nice, the waves are amazing, the weather is really similar to home, and the vibe that you feel here is crazy good. It is an unforgettable place. Thank you to everyone for watching and supporting us. First Final ever on the World Tour and it is amazing.

South Africa’s two-time event winner Jordy Smith (Durban) was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Toledo to finish fifth overall. It was an incredible event for Smith who posted a perfect 20-point heat total in Round 3 and another perfect 10 point ride in Round 5.

“This comp has had some amazing points for me and some where I’ve struggled, but overall I’m proud of myself and I stood tall between those moments and dealt with them,” Smith said. “Filipe (Toledo) surfed great in that last heat and he definitely got better waves than I did and that’s really the difference out there.

“I’m just really, really tired. Yesterday was just a big day for me. I just want to thank Jeffreys Bay for all the support and everybody that came down, it really meant a lot and I really appreciate that. I learn every time when I come here. There’s a lot of pressure because everybody wants me to do well and I want to do well you just have to take each heat for what it is. The year really starts now and Tahiti is next so I’m focused on that now and we’ll see where that puts me.”

With Matt Wilkinson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Smith all bowing out in the quarterfinals, they retain their respective top three positions on the Jeep Leaderboard after six of the 11 events on the 2017 Championship Tour have been completed.

The next stop on the 2017 Men’s WSL CT will be the Billabong Pro Tahiti from August 11 – 22, 2017. The women will next compete at the Vans US Open of Surfing, which opens July 31 and runs through August 6, 2017.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay Final Result:
1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.00
2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 17.73

Corona Open J-Bay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Frederico Morais (PRT) 17.37 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.70
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.63 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.33

Corona Open J-Bay Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.40 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.33
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 19.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 18.67
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.26
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.07 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.77

2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Corona Open J-Bay):
1 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 31,950 points
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 31,700 points
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 31,350 points
4 – Owen Wright (AUS) 30,150 points
5 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 27,900 points

The Corona Open J-Bay is the showcase event at the J-Bay Winterfest, a multi-sport and cultural festival in Jeffreys Bay from July 12-23. More details at www.jbaywinterfest.com. .

Shark interrupts Corona Open

3-metre great white shark interrupts Corona Open J-Bay

Perfect Surf, 10 Point Rides, Re-Surfed Heats, Champions Eliminated and a Shark at Corona Open J-Bay

In the most dramatic day of competition surfing experienced at Jeffreys Bay, the world’s best surfers competing in the Corona Open J-Bay revelled in perfect two metre waves, re-surfed two heats, recorded three 10 point rides, had an extended two hour break, saw two world champions eliminated and went on hold for 30 minutes during the first quarterfinal while a three metre Great White Shark cruised through the lineup.

Shark interrupts Corona Open J-Bay

Response and Safety Teams placed the athletes onto boats and monitored the shark as it exited the lineup. After discussion with the Commissioner’s Office and the athletes, competition resumed with Medina besting Fanning and advancing to the Semifinals today Wednesday July 19, 2017. PHOTO: © WSL / Gumboot.camera SOCIAL : @wsl @gumboot.camera.

The day started with the remarkable sight of a six metre inflatable boat surfing an enormous 3.5 metre wave and ended with rookie Frederico Morais (PRT) posting a last minute perfect 10 point ride in a come-from-behind quarterfinal upset over reigning WSL champion John John Florence (HAW).

The inflatable boat, part of the Dolphin Coast Water Patrol team who handle the water safety at the event, was sitting outside the break as South Africa’s Jordy Smith (Durban), Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) paddled out to re-surf their Round 4 heat which was abandoned yesterday when a shark was sighted breaching in the vicinity.

Realising that an approaching set of waves was going to swamp the boat, the quick-thinking skipper headed across the wave, skilfully avoiding capsizing and preventing a possible disaster by outrunning the broken wave until he could turn out over the top and speed into deeper water.

Smith, who was leading the heat when it was abandoned yesterday, started well this morning but was overtaken by Toledo. The Brazilian utilised the NW crosswind to stick a massive 360 degree aerial for a 9.0 and then repeated that with two similar manoeuvres on the next wave to earn his second perfect 10 point ride of the event, advancing directly to the quarterfinals and relegating Smith and Wilson to Round 5 elimination battles.

With overhead waves pouring through the lineup, current No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard Matt Wilkinson (AUS) outpointed Conner Coffin (USA) and Michel Bourez (PYF) to secure his quarterfinal berth.

In Round 5 World Champions Mick Fanning (AUS) and Florence put paid to the chances of Joan Duru (FRA) and Owen Wright (AUS) in Heats 1 & 2 to set up quarterfinal clashes against Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Frederico Morais (PRT) respectively.

Smith did battle with Coffin and defeated the Californian before Julian Wilson applied his patented sweeping turns to great effect in his duel with Michel Bourez (PYF).

WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow then put the event on hold for two hours over the high tide, making dozen of locals really happy as they took to the long lines of overhead swell peeling down the rock-lined point.

During the break a decision was taken to re-surf Heat 3 of Round 5 after video evidence was produced that showed that part of one of Coffin’s ride had not been seen by the judging panel and the young Californian had been awarded a score that was too low.

Restarting at 1.30 pm in classic conditions in hollow tubes and an offshore breeze grooming the faces of the waves, an in-form Smith opened with an excellent 9.37 and quickly backed it up with his third Perfect 10 of the event. Two excellent scores from Coffin were not enough and his was eliminated in 9th place while the two-time event winner advanced on to the quarterfinals where he will face Toledo.

“I’m pretty stoked to get that one out the way,” said Smith. “Filipe (Toledo) surfed a great heat this morning and went absolutely mad. I tried my best but Filipe took to the air and did what he does best. You have to start fresh every day and it’s pumping out there so you just want to try and dominate.”

The first of the quarterfinals saw 2015 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) in sync with the set waves, carving vertical backhand turns to bag a pair of eight point rides. His opponent Mick Fanning (AUS),  the three-time world champ and four-time J-Bay winner,  needed a combination of two rides totalling 17.41 for the win when the contest was put on hold after a Great White Shark was spotted 300 metres away at the Lower Point.

Fanning, who had previously experienced a previous shark encounter during the final of 2015 J-Bay event, and Medina were immediately picked up by jetskis and taken to the inflatable boat behind the lineup, along with Florence and Morais who had paddled out for their quarterfinal clash.

Incredible footage of the shark being followed by a jetski taken from a drone positioned overhead and broadcast on the big screens at the event site enabled the crowds at the beach and the tens of thousands of people watching online to follow its progress right through the contest area.

After 20 minutes, when the had shark exited the area and passed through the Boneyards section of the point, the organisers consulted with the surfers on the inflatable boat and  Fanning and Medina were dropped back in the lineup and heat resumed with five minutes remaining. No waves were ridden and Medina advanced to the semifinals while Fanning was eliminated in equal 5th place overall.

“I’m really glad they got us out of the water but I felt really safe out there with the skis, the drones and the plane so it was an easy decision to paddle out,” said Fanning. “We had a slow start to the heat and I made a few mistakes but Gabe (Medina) is just surfing so well at the moment. It’s been such an incredible contest though. I think we’ve seen some of the best surfing to see how many 10-point rides have gone down. What else could happen here?”

Morais, who caused an upset by defeating WSL Champion Florence yesterday to reach the quarterfinals, upset the reigning WSL champion again today to earn a spot in the in the Semifinals for the first time this season where he will face Medina.

Florence put the pressure on early with two big nine-point rides. The rookie rose to the challenge and selected a beautiful wave to score 9.77 but Florence answered back and improved his situation with a 9.10. With three minutes on the clock and first priority, Morais let go of all the pressure, found a perfect looking set wave and was rewarded with a Perfect 10-point ride, his first on the CT and the eighth of the event, to send home the World Champion.

“The waves are so much fun out there,” Morais said. “We had a little adventure out there with the shark at the beginning but everything was great and we’re safe and taken care of. Every time I surf against John (Florence) we have really close heats and really tough match-ups. He had me on the ropes until the last minute but I had priority and I used it well. I love a good challenge and this heat was a big, big challenge and I loved it and I’m into the Semis. Honestly I hate sharks, we don’t worry about that in Portugal so I’m not used to it, but we were safe so we surfed and it was fine. When you’re focused on the heat you forget all about that. It’s my first 10 point ride on the Championship Tour and on day like this and against John is emotional.”

The action was called off after the second quarterfinal and when it resumes Jordy Smith (ZAF) will be up against Felipe Toledo (BRA) in Quarterfinal 3.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. local time to assess conditions and make the next call.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Corona Open J-Bay, are calling for:
Very solid SW swell will build through the day on Thursday, peaking overnight, before trending down on Friday (although still quite strong through Friday morning). Strong offshore flow on Thursday will give way to much lighter offshore wind on Friday. The surf will drop over the weekend with much smaller leftovers. 

The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay Round 4 Results:

Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.74, Joan Duru (FRA) 16.07, Owen Wright (AUS) 13.10
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 19.07, John John Florence (HAW) 17.17, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.90
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.00, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.40, Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.93, Conner Coffin (USA) 15.33, Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.20

Corona Open J-Bay Round 5 Results:

Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.80 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 15.27
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.00
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs Conner Coffin (USA) – Result Void
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.94 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.83

Re-Surf of Round 5 Heat 3

Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 19.37 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 17.74

Corona Open J-Bay Quarterfinal Results:

Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.40 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.33
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 19.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 18.67

Corona Open J-Bay Upcoming Quarterfinal Match-Ups:

Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)

Corona Open J-Bay Upcoming Semifinal Match-Ups:

Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 2: TBD vs. TBD

The Corona Open J-Bay is the showcase event at the J-Bay Winterfest, a multi-sport and cultural festival in Jeffreys Bay from July 12-23. More details at www.jbaywinterfest.com. .

 

PERFECT 20 for Jordy Smith

A PERFECT 20 for Jordy Smith at Corona Open J-Bay

Jordy Smith posted a PERFECT 20 heat in his match-up with 2017 WSL Rookie Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA). This is only the 10th time this feat has been achieved in 40-plus years of professional surfing.

Jordy Smith Perfect 20

Jordy Smith (ZAF) posts the 10th Perfect 20 in history in Round 3 of the Corona Open J-Bay. Credit: © WSL / Tostee

A sensational day of action played out at the Corona Open J-Bay, stop No. 6 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), and the world’s best surfers delivered four perfect 10-point rides. Competition ran through Round 3 and the opening two heats of Round 4 in epic 8 – 10 foot wave faces at Jeffreys Bay. 12 surfers were eliminated from the competition in Round 3 and the remaining 12 battled through incredible conditions in Round 4 for a direct advance to the Quarterfinals.

The two-time event winner (2010 and 2011) and current No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard Jordy Smith (ZAF) from South Africa posted a PERFECT 20 heat total in his Round 3 match-up with 2017 WSL Rookie Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA). This is only the 10th time the feat has been achieved in 40-plus years of professional surfing, the first time anyone has earned a Perfect 20 at J-Bay and the first ever perfect heat for Smith. Despite a strong opening from Fioravanti, the hometown hero found the best waves of the heat to deliver two perfect rides. First Smith laid down two huge turns and a deep barrel for 10 points followed quickly by a display of his incredible power surfing and two more barrels for another Perfect 10 to seal his victory and his place in the history books.

“It feels absolutely phenomenal,” said Smith. “Just be to here at J-Bay where the waves are firing and to have that opportunity is incredible. My first two heats were really slow and to get blessed with that was absolutely amazing. There’s more waves on offer so I definitely hope there’s more in the tank. You go out there and give it absolutely everything you’ve got. I don’t want to take anything away from Leo (Fioravanti), he’s an absolutely amazing surfer especially on the rail so I just had to try and do my best surfing. This heat I was just fortunate to get the bombs. I couldn’t believe it and I was really fortunate to get that. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would get a Perfect 20 and to get it here at J-Bay makes it extra special.”

“The waves were perfect and it was a great heat,” said Fioravanti. “I knew two 8’s weren’t going to cut it. Every time we had an exchange he always seemed to get the edge even though. Jordy Smith is one of the best out there so I just went out there trying to surf my best but he got two 10’s and made history out there. It’s such an incredible place so we’re so lucky to be here. That was the best heat I’ve ever surfed so I’m stoked to be part of it. I can’t wait to get over to Tahiti now.”

Jordy Smith celebrates perfect 20

Jordy flashes tens with his fans to celebrtae a perfect 20 in his heat. Credit: © WSL / Tostee

An unbelievable clash played out in Heat 2 of Round 4 between reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW), three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Frederico Morais (PRT). The rookie opened with a near-perfect 9.60 for an early lead but Florence stormed into first place with his first Perfect 10 of the year. Morais came back with another big score, a 9.47, and reclaimed the top spot while the four-time event winner put on a clinic and locked in an excellent 9.73 to get himself back in the heat. The two world champions could not better their scores and the rookie won the heat and claimed his place in the Quarterfinals. Fanning and Florence will surf again in Round 5 when competition resumes.

“It was probably the best heat of my life against Mick (Fanning) and John (Florence),” Morais said. “It can’t get any better than that with John getting a 10, me with two nines and Mick was ripping too. The last two heats I didn’t feel like I was surfing my best so I knew I had to give everything and be perfect in this round and that’s what I did. Finally I feel like I’ve been doing my real surfing.”

2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) battled Owen Wright (AUS) and 2017 WSL Rookie Joan Duru (FRA) in the Round 4 Heat 1 in an all goofy affair. Wright was the first surfer to go into the excellent range but Duru, looking to break into the Quarterfinals for the second time season, stole the advantage. After a slow start Medina found two barrels and a series of incredible turns for a 9.07 and the lead. Duru continued to hunt down the 8.91 required but a big ride in the final minutes of the heat fell short and the Brazilian took the heat win with an excellent 9.67. Wright and Duru will surf again in Round 5.

“I’ve been surfing a lot recently to try out my boards,” said Medina. “It’s a bit tricky out there but when you find it, it’s so good. I knew it was going to be a tough heat against Owen (Wright) and Joan (Duru) so I’m really happy. I tried to be patient and was trying to pick the good ones, which is hard. Every wave is really good so it’s hard. It’s the best feeling when you finish your last turn and you know it was a good wave.”

Rookie Duru previously caused a big upset in Round 3 when he put a serious dent in Adriano de Souza’s (BRA) title campaign and eliminated the Brazilian in a rematch of their 2012 Qualifying Series final at Jeffreys Bay. Both of the surfers had plenty of opportunities, but it was Duru who found two solid seven-point scores that the 2015 WSL Champion was not able to match and he is sent home in 13th place.

“I was pretty nervous because I lost to Adriano (de Souza) like this five years ago here,” said Duru. “I got lucky this time and the waves are pumping to it’s going to be a crazy day.”

Earlier in the day Round 3 saw it’s share of big scores with Julian Wilson (AUS) posting a Perfect 10 of his own in his heat against Jeremy Flores (FRA). The Australian, currently in 8th place on the Jeep Leaderboard, is yet to make it past the Quarterfinals this season and today’s third round victory is a step in the right direction.

“What a magic week, that was such a beautiful wave,” said Wilson. “It was such a nice feeling the way the wave lined up for me. I felt like I had a pretty good read on the conditions out there and there’s room for me to improve so I’m just going to focus on my own game.”

Conner Coffin (USA) also delivered big scores and posted two excellent nine-point rides in the opening 20 minutes of his Round 3 heat to eliminate 2012 WSL Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) from the competition. The two-time event winner and current No. 6 on the Jeep Leaderboard was left in a combination situation and is sent home with his second 13th place finish of the year.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Coffin said. “That was unreal I was just so exciting. I love surfing against those guys. Parko (Joel Parkinson ) is one of the best surfers out there so it awesome to have a heat with him. We both love surfing this wave more than any other on the planet so it was a really fun heat. I’m so happy to be here and having so much fun, it’s a dream come true.”

No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard, Matt Wilkinson (AUS), also made it through Round 3 by defeating Jack Freestone (AUS) in in Heat 12 with a 16.54 heat total.

“That’s a pretty scary round because it’s the difference between a result and a throwaway,” said Wilkinson. “It’s really intense being in the last heat of the day because I’ve been watching all day, which was tough. Jack (Freestone) is a great surfer and anyone on their forehand is a danger out there so I knew I would stick to big turns. The waves are just so good and I’m stoked to get to go back out there.”

Only two rookies remain in the draw after Fioravanti, Connor O’Leary (AUS) and Ezekial Lau (HAW) failed to make it through elimination Round 3. Duru will surf again in Round 5 against Fanning for his chance to join Morais in the Quarterfinals.

Heat 3 of Round 4 was called off following a shark breach that was part of a larger feeding activity that was going on and, per protocol, the response team was activated and the heat was called off.

“Judges and ski drivers saw a shark breach about 100 yards out the back of the lineup so the heat was put on hold and we’ve made the decision that we’re not going to restart the heat again today,” said WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow. “We’ll come back tomorrow and we’ve still got great waves on tap so there’s no need to put that heat back in the water again today.”

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. local time to assess conditions and make the next call.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Corona Open J-Bay, are calling for:

Good size SW/SSW swell will drop off through Wednesday, with the strongest waves expected for the earlier morning (and still fairly solid). We’re tracking an even stronger swell that should rapidly build in through the day on Thursday before fading Friday. Favorable wind on Thursday may trend onshore Friday. The final two days of the waiting period- Sat and Sun- look likely to see much smaller leftovers.

The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check the local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Joan Duru (FRA) 15.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.40
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.83 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.57
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.83 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.67
Heat 4: Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.07 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.16
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.24 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.67
Heat  6: John John Florence (HAW) 18.27 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.94
Heat  7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 20.00 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 16.17
Heat  8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) INJ
Heat  9: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.30
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) 18.67 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.90
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.73 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.07
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.54 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.47

Corona Open J-Bay Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.74, Joan Duru (FRA) 16.07, Owen Wright (AUS) 13.10
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 19.07, John John Florence (HAW) 17.17, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.90

Corona Open J-Bay Upcoming Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Michel Bourez (PYF)

 

Corona Open J-Bay

Corona Open J-Bay Rounds 2 & 3

Action continued today at the Corona Open J-Bay, stop No. 6 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). Competition ran through the remaining 10 heats of Round 2 in excellent conditions at Jeffreys Bay and a series of thrilling match-ups saw surfers battle to avoid early elimination.

Filipe Toledo (BRA) was the day’s top performer and stormed his way to victory in Round 2 over Kanoa Igarashi (USA). An incredible 19.63 heat total (out of a possible 20) secured a Round 3 berth for the Brazilian. Toledo claimed the first perfect 10 of the competition with a long barrel ride followed by two big turns. With ten minutes remaining Igarashi found a long tube ride of his own for a 7.33 but couldn’t escape the combination and is eliminated in Equal 25th place.

Filipe Toledo (BRA) scores a Perfect 10 in Round 2 of the Corona Open J-Bay.
Credit: © WSL / Tostee

“It feels good to be back, especially surfing perfect waves at J-Bay,” Toledo said. “You just have to enjoy it out there. Our heat was definitely amazing with pumping surf non-stop. My froth level is over the moon and I get super excited to get out there and have my heat and put on a good show.”

The 2017 rookie class shone today with five of seven surfers making it through to Round 3 and sending home some big names in the process.

Ezekiel Lau (HAW) challenged Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) in the penultimate heat of the day and took a narrow victory to earn his place in the next round. A pair of eight-point rides from each surfer made for an exciting match-up, but it was Lau who took the slight edge with his final ride and sent the Brazilian home early.

“I told myself that if I just finished up two waves I’d be happy but I ended up getting lots of opportunity,” Lau said. “I was just trying to be relaxed and enjoy it out there because it’s firing. It was a full battle until the end so I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I was bummed that I was in Round 2, but I just had to roll with the punches and keep fighting.”

Round 2 Heat 7 delivered a high-scoring match-up between current No. 10 on the Jeep Leaderboard Sebastian Zietz (HAW) and 2017 WSL rookie Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA). Zietz opened with an impressive 9.83 for a combination of barrels and powerful turns, but two eight-points rides from the Italian were enough to take the lead. The surfer from Hawaii continued to hunt for a back-up 6.80 but could only find a 5.93 and was eliminated from the competition in Equal 25th place while the rookie advanced on to Round 3.

“I am frothing right now,” said Fioravanti. “We’re in J-Bay and the waves are absolutely pumping. It’s a dream to be here and I think it’s the best waves I’ve ever surfed in my life in a heat. My goal was to try and get a big score at the start and then back it up. It was in a tough because Seabass (Sebastian Zietz) is an incredible surfer so I’m stoked to make that heat. Win or lose, we surfed pumping J-Bay so I’m just happy to be here.”

Joan Duru (FRA) laid down an excellent 9.00 on one of the biggest waves of day, despite falling on the final maneuver. The score will see the rookie move on to Round 3, while Adrian Buchan (AUS) is dispatched in 25th place.

“I’m so happy to be here because the waves are perfect,” Duru said. “It’s hard to wait for the good ones but you have to choose the right waves, surf them well and not fall. I love South Africa and I’ve had good results here in the past so hopefully that plays in my favor.”

Caio Ibelli (BRA) had an impressive start in Heat 9 and built a solid 16.43 heat total to take a convincing lead, and eventually win the heat, over opponent Stuart Kennedy (AUS) putting the Brazilian on the right track to improve on his 13th place finish at Jeffreys Bay last year.

“I think I went for the right waves and worked with my nerves,” said Ibelli. “I was not very positive this week because I haven’t surfed well and my ankle hurts. I’m stoked to make it through this round. It definitely gives me confidence getting this win so I’m taking the pressure off. I’m super stoked to be in J-Bay and it’s the best waves here I’ve ever surfed in my life.”

An exciting battle played out between Jadson Andre (BRA) and Kolohe Andino (USA) in Round 2 Heat 4. Andino held first place after the opening exchanges but the Brazilian was able to turn the heat with a 7.83 at the halfway mark. Andino, current No. 9 on the Jeep Leaderboard, quickly answered with multiple barrels and a series of big carving maneuvers for a 7.03, but the score was just short of what was required. A deep barrel from Andre earned him a 7.97, increased his lead and secured his third CT heat win of 2017 while Andino was sent home with his second 25th place finish of the season.

“Yesterday I went for a freesurf and pulled into a barrel and fell,” Andre said. “My fins went straight into my head and I had six stitches and broke my favorite board. I’m stoked to finally beat Kolohe (Andino) in a heat. This time I just focused on getting the right waves. I feel like I’ve been surfing well this year but just making the wrong decisions and at this stage there’s no room for mistakes. Let’s see what’s going to happen in Round 3.”

Julian Wilson (AUS) took on Josh Kerr (AUS) in Heat 5 of Round 2 and the pair got to work quickly. Wilson led from the start with a 7.67 on his second ride and backed it up with 6.60 and built a solid heat total. Kerr continued to hunt down the score, in need of a 7.35, but wasn’t able to compete with the World No. 8 and is eliminated from the event in equal 25th place.

“It’s so enjoyable out here and it’s only going to get better” said Wilson. “It’s a beautiful day to be out there with just one other guy. If it has a big long wall with some size on it and barrels on the inside – that’s what everyone wants. It was really nice to have some exchanges out there and get some nice waves.”

Current No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard Owen Wright (AUS) took on 2017 WSL Rookie Ethan Ewing (AUS) in the opening heat of the day. The more experienced competitor controlled the majority of the 35-minute heat, the first head-to-head match-up for the pair, with two mid-range scores. A 7.33 with six minutes remaining put the rookie back in contention but he wasn’t able to back it up and is sent home with his sixth 25th place finish of the season.

“It feels nice to get going and get that Round 2 out of the way,” said Wright. “It was a scrappy heat but it played out to my advantage. I felt like it was going to be a slow one so I knew I needed to get going. When you don’t get the best wave of the heat it’s tough to come back.”

11-time WSL Champion and four-time event winner Kelly Slater (USA) has broken two bones in his foot while freesurfing this morning at Boneyards and has officially withdraw from the competition.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. local time to assess conditions and make the next call.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Corona Open J-Bay, are calling for:

Monday will see a temporary decreasing trend in the morning with NW/WNW winds. New SW to SSW swell looks likely to build over the later afternoon and evening hours Monday as stronger offshore winds develop. Swell peaks on Tuesday with solid surf and moderate offshore winds. Wednesday will see a decreasing trend through the day with lighter winds. New SW to SSW swell fills in for Thursday PM and continues Friday AM before fading. Smaller surf looking likely for next weekend.

The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check the local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.67 def. Dale Staples (ZAF) 10.27
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.10 def. Michael February (ZAF) 11.67
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.34 def. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 11.10
Heat 4: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.80 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.20
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.27 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.53
Heat  6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 13.40 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.10
Heat  7: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 16.63 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.76
Heat  8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.63 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.83
Heat  9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 16.43 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 14.80
Heat 10: Joan Duru (FRA) 15.87 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.00
Heat 11: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 17.03 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.37
Heat 12: Frederico Morais (PRT) 15.73 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.00

Corona Open J-Bay Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 4: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat  6: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat  7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat  8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat  9: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)

Smith Remains in Contention

Jordy Smith Remains in Contention after Narrow Round 2 Win at Corona Open J-Bay

The Corona Open J-Bay, stop No. 6 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), ran through the opening two heats of elimination Round 2 before competition was put on hold and eventually called off after the inconsistent one metre waves and crosswind conditions at Jeffreys Bay failed to improve.

Two-time event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) survived a tough Round 2 clash against fellow South African and trials winner Dale Staples (ZAF), avoiding early elimination by the narrowest of margins and advancing on to Round 3.

Current equal No.3 on the Jeep Leaderboard Jordy Smith of South Africa (pictured) advanced to Round Three of the Corona Open J-Bay after defeating friend, event wildcard and fellow South African Dale Staples in Heat 1 of Round Two at Supertubes, South Africa, today Sunday July 16, 2017. PHOTO: © WSL / Cestari SOCIAL : @wsl @kc80.

After posting the highest single-wave score of the match-up, Staples needed just a 4.17 to claim the heat win and a berth in Round 3. As time wound down he had the chance to cause a major upset on a small but perfectly shaped wave.

However the 26-year-old from nearby St Francis Bay looked undecided on whether to attack the wave and go for a big score or ride it conservatively and try to get the moderate score required. The result was an unconvincing 3.77 from the judges and Smith benefitted from the boxing adage that the challenger needs to knock the champion out rather than trying to rely on a points decision.

“It was definitely stressful out there and to be honest he (Staples) is probably the deadliest guy in the whole draw,” Smith said. “I was just really lucky because he didn’t quite get the score. I just wanted to get two waves out there. We didn’t have many sets but I’m just happy to get the job done. Even though we’re great friends, everyone wants to win. It sucks to come up against Dale in a heat but I’m sure he’ll get more opportunities.”

Staples, known for his hard-charging style, won the JBU Supertrials in booming overhead waves at Supertubes in June and was disappointed that the expected larger surf did not materialise.

“It’s always hard coming up against Jordy (Smith), one of my favourite surfers,” said Staples. “It would have been nice to have some better waves and put on a show for everyone. I just came a bit short at the end which is a bit of a bummer. It’s great to surf in good waves against the best surfers in the world – that’s the difference between the CT and QS. This just makes me more hungry to win.”

Current No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard Matt Wilkinson (AUS) faced South African wildcard Michael February (Kommetjie) in Heat 2. February came out firing and held the advantage after the opening exchange with 7.00 to Wilkinson’s 6.17.

However, the Australian locked in a 6.93 for his second score while February’s second wave petered out in the Carpark section for a 4.67. With Wilkinson holding priority, the ocean went flat for the remaining eight minutes of the encounter.

“Mikey (February) has been surfing really good the past few days so I’m stoked to get the win,” Wilkinson said. “When the tide’s this high you’re so close to the reef so I’m happy to finish the heat intact and ready for Round 3.

Event wildcard Michael February of South Africa (pictured) finished equal 25th in the Corona Open J-Bay after placing second to current No.1 on the Jeep Leaderboard Matt Wilkinson of Australia in Heat 2 of Round Two at Supertubes, South Africa, today Sunday July 16, 2017. PHOTO: © WSL / Cestari SOCIAL : @wsl @kc80.

“This event would be unbelievable to win. I got a third out here when the waves were pumping (2014) so I know I can get big scores here when the waves are good. I guess I just have to beat Mick (Fanning) out here – he seems to be the one that takes the goofys out. The speed of the wave here makes it tricky to get points on your backhand, so you have to find a balance between speed and turns.”

As always, February was pragmatic about the defeat and the current No. 4 on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) rankings is looking ahead to the challenge of maintaining his position in the Top 10 and trying to qualify for a place on the 2018 Championship Tour (CT).

“It was really fun surfing against Matt (Wilkinson), but he’s number one for a reason,” said February. “Our heat was really fun at the beginning but then there weren’t too many sets. I’m still happy and I enjoyed it.

“This has been my best start to a year and that builds a lot of confidence. This wildcard was just a bonus, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. It’s really cool to have this event in South Africa and it really gives us the determination to try and qualify for the CT.”

WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow put the event on hold after Heat 2, before calling competition off for the day when conditions did not improve.

“Unfortunately that swell just hasn’t materialized and it’s still really inconsistent out there so we won’t run any more heats today,” said Perrow. “We’ll come back tomorrow morning and things are still look really promising. We’re excited to see what the next few days will bring for J-Bay.”

Event organisers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. local time to assess conditions and make the next call.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Corona Open J-Bay, are calling for:

Surf will come up a notch on Sunday as another mid size SW to SSW swell fills in and breezy side to offshore wind prevails. Monday will see a temporary decreasing trend for the first half of the day as offshore flow likely continues. New SW to SSW swell looks likely to build over the later afternoon and evening hours Monday before peaking on Tuesday with solid surf. Wednesday will see a decreasing trend through the day. Favourable wind looks likely both Tuesday and Wednesday. There is potential for more SW swell for the end of next week.

The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL App and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.67 def. Dale Staples (ZAF) 10.27
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.10 def. Michael February (ZAF) 11.67

Corona Open J-Bay Round 2 Upcoming Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat  6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat  7: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat  8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat  9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 11: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 12: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)

The Corona Open J-Bay is the showcase event at the J-Bay Winterfest, a multi-sport and cultural festival in Jeffreys Bay from July 12-23. More details at www.jbaywinterfest.com. .