Saturday offered an excellent day of surfing at the Corona Open JBay, as perfect four-to-six foot waves poured down the point all day for the best surfers in the world. With a strong and powerful swell it was decided to run overlapping heats, so that all could utilize the best conditions.
Jordy Smith was the first surfer to get a wave this morning and went straight to the air, in the opening heat against Soli Bailey from Australia. Jordy surfed a good heat, despite hitting his head while pulling into a barrel, needing a few stitches to sew it closed.
Wildcard surfer Mikey February from Cape Town came up against two times event winner and defending champion Filipe Toledo from Brazil. The Brazilian had the heat all stitched up by the time the clock started ticking out, but Mikey picked up one more great looking wave and pulled into a clean barrel but unfortunately was clipped by the wave, and was knocked out of the competition.
Julian Wilson from Australia was a surprise upset, getting beaten by powerful Hawaiian surfer Ezekial Lau. Wilson is a perennial standout at Supertubes, and his early eliminations will add to his woes on a fast-slipping world title hunt.
Similarly last years’ semifinalist Wade Carmichael was eliminated by Hawaiian maestro Sebastian Zietz. Picking off a great set wave, Zietz got a great tube ride before performing a number of great turns for the highest wave score of the day with 9.07 points out of a possible ten.
Kelly Slater is always a crowd favourite and surfed a powerful heat against Ciao Ibelli from Brazil, and at the end it was the 11 times world champion who came out on top and advanced to the round of 16.
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