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)

Surfers Conquer Victory-at-Sea

Tubewave at Melkbosstrand Produces Chunky Waves in Huge Swell

A giant swell and strong crosswinds did not prevent the competitors in the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill, from producing excellent performances in what can only be described as ‘victory-at-sea’ conditions on the opening day at Melkbosstrand north of Cape Town on Thursday.

With whitewater from the beach to the horizon, Tubewave maintained its shape with the waves reforming on the inside and providing those with paddle power and resolve the opportunity to rack up scores in the excellent range – over 8.0 points out of a possible 10.

Daiki Tanaka (JPN) showed the way in the second heat, opening his account with an 8.0 before adding and even better 8.83, and then closing out the 20 minute encounter with an action packed ride that earned a near-perfect 9.33, to deliver the highest heat total of the day with 18.16 out of 20.

Liam O’Brien (AUS), competing in just his second overseas QS event, was another to pack two excellent range scores into his total, coming up with the second highest total of the day, 17.73, that included a 9.23 and an 8. 50. That left his three opponents in a combination situation and needing to replace both their counting scores.

“That heat went really well. I couldn’t hear the scores out there but I managed to find myself on a couple of fun waves, and it looked like everyone got a few,” said O’Brien. “It was just a good heat, plenty of exchanges and I’m just stoked to come out on top. This has been a really good trip, South Africa is such an amazing place for waves, so diverse. I went up to Durban for the 3,000 and it was fun there, warm water and beach breaks But here its colder with plenty of raw ocean power – it’s been good to surf all the different conditions in the first two QS events I’ve done overseas.”

Cristobal de Col (PER) was another who enjoyed the powerful Cape waves and felt really at home in the conditions to advance to the next round.
Cristobal de Col at Jordy Smith Cape Town

Cristobal de Col (PER) finds a clean green wall in the victory-at-sea conditions that prevailed at Melkbos on Thursday for the opening day of the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill
Photo: WSL / Thurtell

“I made it through so it was a good heat for me,” said de Col. “The conditions are really tricky, it’s very consistent but a real mess out there. I really love the power of the wave and the shape, it has a big wall. It’s my first time in Cape Town and I’m loving it. I love the vibe of the people and it feels like home – like a real family vibe.

Powerfully built South African Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) had fun in his heat and was happy to advance to the last 64 in the event as he prepares for the Championship Tour event at Jeffreys Bay after winning the wildcard in solid surf at Supertubes earlier this month.

“Its super fun, there are really nice double-ups coming through but it’s a helluva lot of paddling because of the bigger swell coming through and the wind,” said Staples after winning his heat. “I’ve doing really bad in the local series, but I’m looking forward to the J-Bay CT, so it’s good to get a couple of warm-up waves for that. You usually have to get used to the cold water in Cape Town, but it’s really warm today, warmer than the air.”

Dale Staples wins JBU Supertrial

Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen came down to support the event and to hand the winner’s trophy to Dale Staples after winning the JBU Supertrial. © Van Gysen

Organisers completed the 16 heats in Round 1 of the men’s event on Thursday and will continue with Round 2 where the top 32 seeded surfers in the event enter the fray. All eyes will be on local hero and current world No. 3 Jordy Smith who will be coming up in Heat 8 at approximately 11am.

While he is the event sponsor, along with multi-national surf equipment O’Neill, Smith faces serious competition from the likes of former CT campaigner Alex Ribeiro (BRA), who won the QS3,000 event in Durban last weekend, and a host of hungry QS competitors.

The QS1,000 women’s event will get underway on Saturday morning, followed by the JQS1,000 junior men’s and women’s events.

The swell is expected to drop marginally from today’s seven metres to around five metres on Friday. It is anticipated that the organisers will get Round 2 underway soon after 8am.

An outreach programme will be conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) on Sunday 25 June. Participants from local outreach organisations will be involved in beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest and beach relays with all participants receiving breakfast, lunch and a commemorative medal.

Live scoring, news, photos and video’s will be available at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App. which is a free download. Daily highlights can be found on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro is proudly supported by O’Neill, City of Cape Town, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador, Yesman, World Surf League, Surfing South Africa and Accelerate Sport.

JBU Supertrial

Another Four Surfers Announced For JBU Supertrial

With the waiting period for the JBU Supertrial powered by Monster Energy just around the corner, the contest organisers have released the names of four more invited surfers. These surfers will join the other eight surfers that have already been announced.

Jordy Maree is a young goofy-footer who has impressed many with his powerful and fast backhand approach to Supers. His inclusion last year was late but well – deserved, and this year he was a definite entry. Jordy has a strong backhand hook, and is a mature competitor, so this year could be his break-out year.

Shane Sykes is another young surfer who has impressed the contest organisers over the last few years, and is a worthy inclusion in the 2017 edition of this event. His lightning-fast rail surfing on his forehand and solid tube-riding skills sees him enter as a contender for this year’s title and the coveted wild card.

Dale Staples from St Francis Bay needs no introduction, and is a solid competitor and perennial Supertubes stand-out. His powerful forehand hacks and clean, drawn-out carves makes Ducky one of the most pleasing surfers to watch on any given day out at Supers. He has an excellent competitive track record at Supertubes and his second place last year to Steve Sawyer can only improve one place.

Adin Masencamp from The Strand has the Big Match Temperament needed to succeed at Supers when the pressure is on. He is a seasoned competitor already, and thrives on competition. This natural-footer has a fast and aggressive forehand attack, perfectly suited to the speed walls of Supertubes. If Adin gets his waves and finds his rhythm he could easily rise to the top and find himself on the podium this year.

These four surfers join the other eight invited surfers. They are Cape Town’s Matt Bromley, defending champion Steven Sawyer, local surfer Joshe Faulkner, Durban charger Davey Van Zyl, WQS competitor Mikey February, local surfer Matt McGillivray, Beyrick de Vries from Durban’s North Coast and former event champion Dylan Lightfoot from JBay.

Matt McGillivray in action

Local invitee Matt McGillivray in action at last year’s event. ©Van Gysen

The contest format is going to be something fresh and different. “We have something quite special about this event already, being a small, invite-only contest at one of the best waves in the world,” said contest organiser Koffie Jacobs. “Following through with this, the format will also be something unique.”

The JBU Supertrial presented by Monster Energy is an exclusive invite-only tournament, with first prize being the coveted Wild Card entry into the World Surf League Championship Tour Corona Open JBay. The Supertrial has a waiting period from 1st – 11th June, and historically always enjoyed excellent surf conditions at Supertubes. The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest

Hashtags #JBUsupertrial  #JBayWinterfest

The JBU Supertrial is co-sponsored by RVCA.

www.wavescape.co.za is the media partner. 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jbaywinterfest

The JBU Supertrial is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa, the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa.