Standout performances from Smith and Holmes at Billabong Pro today
Stand-out performances in excellent waves and perfect surf marked the second day of competition at Billabong Pro J-Bay.
Sean Holmes and Jordy Smith impressed the local crowds. Four to six-foot waves poured down the point, allowing the contest organisers to put another full day of surfing in the bag.
See: Photo of Holmes today at: http://stfrancischronicle.com/2012/07/11/south-african-sean-holmes-advances-to-round-2-in-billabong-pro/
“It is such a pleasure surfing an event with such good waves,” said Smith after his heat victory today. Jordy scored a heat total of 17.76 out of a possible 20 points, and seems to be the crowd favourite at this stage. “It has been so good watching the South Africans having a chance to compete at J-Bay,” continued Jordy. “I’m also pumped to see Frankie Oberholzer surf – he has been an idol of mine all my life.” Frankie was unfortunately eliminated a few heats later.
Australian goofy-footer Nathan Hedge continued with his winning form, banking another solid heat win of 18.77 points, giving him two of the highest heat scores of the event so far. A former World Championship Tour campaigner, Hedge is on the comeback trail right now and is a danger-man for this event.
Towards the end of the day the South African contingent came back with a late charge, with Casey Grant and Dale Staples winning their heats and Shaun Joubert, Steven Sawyer and Ryan Payne all advancing through to round three. Payne scored a near-perfect 9.8 points for an excellent tube ride in the last heat of the day, and came in second behind Hawaiian John John Florence.
There are now 8 South Africans through to Round 3, including Smith, Holmes and Brandon Jackson.
“The forecast for tomorrow is still looking good,” said Billabong South Africa marketing manager Chad D’Arcy. “We’re going to kick in with another early start in the morning, and we’re planning on surfing for as long as there are waves coming down the point. It should be another full day of surfing.”