SURFING NEWSFLASH: Bianca Buitendag wins in France – Jordy Smith into Round 3 in Fiji
South African surfers made waves on opposite sides of the planet over the past 24 hours when Bianca Buitendag claimed the Swatch Girls Pro France Pro Junior title yesterday (Saturday) and Jordy Smith won his opening heat in the Volcom Fiji Pro earlier today to progress directly to Round 3 of stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Tour.
Competing in one metre wind affected waves at Les Bourdaines, Seignosse, France, Buitendag defeated Cannelle Bulard (REU) 18, in a one sided final that saw Buitendag in control throughout, despite Bulard fighting back in the final minutes.
This was Buitendag’s second straight victory of the European Pro Junior season after her win earlier this year in Vendee and saw the 18 year-old from George in the Southern Cape pocketing US $1 200 (approx. 10 000).
“It was a long final of 25 minutes” said Buitendag. “I got my two good scores in the first few minutes so I kind of relaxed a bit but I had to keep an eye on Cannelle during the whole final ! She only needed a small score in the end so she could have got it easily.”
Buitendag had a difficult road to victory facing Leila Hurst (HAW) in the semis, and Johanne Defay (FRA) in the quarters but managed to always step it up and take a little advantage over her opponents. With the second best scoring wave of the event and some of the highest heat totals of the week, Buitendag proved once again to be one of the strongest Junior surfers in the World and will leave France satisfied with her performance.
“It took so long to get a visa I don’t know how long it’ll take to have the French passport but yeah, I do love France, it’s been good to me so far! I plan on doing the full tour here in Europe and I’m also going to Peru soon for a Star event.”
Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) was the next best placed South African in the Pro Junior event, finishing ninth overall after winning her first two heats and posting the highest heat total of the entire event in Round 1.
Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) was the top SA campaigner in the 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro France, which was won by Courtenay Conlogue (USA). Baum finished equal ninth overall, collecting $900 and 920 points which moved her up to No. 14 on the ASP Women’s Star rankings, one place behind Buitendag, who placed 25th in the 6-Star event that ran in conjunction with the Pro Junior contest.
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE JUNIOR FINAL RESULTS:
1- Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.33
2- Cannelle Bulard (REU) 8.60
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE JUNIOR SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.96 def. Leila Hurst (HAW) 9.67
Heat 2: Cannelle Bulard (REU) 12.10 def. Philippa Anderson 9.00
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE JUNIOR QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Leila Hurst (HAW) 10.50 def. Lucia Martino (ESP) 8.35
Heat 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.65 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.60
Heat 3: Cannelle Bulard (REU) 13.25 def. Maud Le Car (FRA) 7.25
Heat 4: Philippa Anderson (AUS) 9.75 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 4.50
Meanwhile on Tavarua Island in Fiji, Smith (Cape Town), 24, kicked off his campaign for the Volcom Pro title in excellent 2.0 to 2.5 metre waves at the iconic Cloudbreak with a late drop into a deep backhand barrel, earning an excellent 9-point score for the ride en route to his Round 1 victory over Hawaiian Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 30, and Californian Brett Simpson (USA), 27.
“It was pretty hard out there at first and I’m stoked that I caught two quick ones,” Smith said. “On that one 9 (point ride), it just opened up real perfect. I lucked into it on the way back out when the boys got stuck inside and it just held open and I came out and got a couple of turns in.
“I’m pumped, it’s my first time back to Cloudbreak since my rookie year and I couldn’t have had a better start,” added the current ASP World No. 7. “It felt fun out there and the waves are just pumping.”
Others to skip the cutthroat Round 2 elimination heats by winning their opening encounters included current ASP World No. 1 Joel Parkinson, fellow Australians Owen Wright and Mick Fanning, Brazilians Adriano de Souza, Heitor Alves and Alejo Muniz, American twins CJ and Damien Hobgood, Jeremy Flores (FRA) and 19 year-old Hawaiian sensation John John Florence.
Mitch Coleborn (AUS), 25, wildcard into the Volcom Fiji Pro, caused the upset of the day, beating reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, as well as dangerous goofy-footer Kai Otton (AUS), 32, in their non-elimination Round 1 bout.
Travis Logie (Durban), 32, finished second behind Flores in their Round 1 clash and will face Brett Simpson (USA) in Round 2 when competition resumes.
VOLCOM FIJI PRO ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.67, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 7.67, Brett Simpson (USA) 3.67
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.33, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.86, Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.10
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.00, Taylor Knox (USA) 10.16, Taj Burrow (AUS) 4.17
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.60, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 7.10, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 2.93
Heat 5: Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 17.37, Kelly Slater (USA) 13.50, Kai Otton (AUS) 13.27
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.93, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.33, Isei Tokovu (FIJ) 2.23
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.87, Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.50, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.26
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.66, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 4.90, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 2.00
Heat 9: John John Florence (HAW) 15.37, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.73, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 6.33
Heat 10: Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.70, Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.70, Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.67
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.80, Travis Logie (ZAF) 7.50, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.00
Heat 12: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.27, Adam Melling (AUS) 9.97, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.70
VOLCOM FIJI PRO ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Isei Tokovu (FIJ)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 9: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)