First day of high performance surfing at Billabong Pro

Supertubes at its best greeted surfers in the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2012 today – the opening day of the event.

A solid six to eight-foot of surf groomed by offshore southwest winds and a mid-day low tide made for an incredible day of high performance surfing and perfect barrel rides.

The only setback was that online viewers from close by, across the country and the world were left highly disappointed, judging from comments posted, as there was no live webcast of the contest today. It is believed that tomorrow there will be live webcast.

All eyes were on Sean ‘The Nemesis’ Holmes in the fourth heat of the morning, and he didn’t disappoint, winning his heat with relative ease against Brain Toth (PRI), Luel Felipe (Bra) and Ian Gentil (HAW).

ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (Australia).   Photographer: Kelly Cestari

ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (Australia) (pictured) also advanced into Round 2 . In the opening heat of the event Freestone set a heat total of 13.27 points (out of a possible 20.00) to defeat South Africans Beyrick deVries, Dylan Lightfoot and Benji Brand. With the heat win Freestone advances into Round 2 when competition resumes.

Nathan “Hog” Hedge from Australia has competed many times at Supertubes, and put his experience to good use in heat 11, totally dominating with a 9.27 and a perfect 10-point ride. “I just stayed in the pocket all the way,” said Hedgey of his inspiring 10-pointer. “It’s the only way to surf Supers on your backhand. I can’t remember how many times I cracked it, but I did enough to get a 10-point ride so I’m stoked with that.”

With his excellent heat score,  “Hog” is in the lead for the Nixon Winner Takes All contest that awards a Nixon watch valued at US$10,000 for the highest heat score of the event.

Matt Bromley from Kommetjie paddled out in heat 15 in what can only be described as excellent conditions.

Matt Bromley setting up a deep barrel in his round 1 heat.

He opened up with a set wave that allowed him to perform a combination of moves, including a deep barrel ride, for an opening score of 9.47. This saw him jump straight into the lead, a position that he maintained until the end of the heat.

Other surfer to progress to Round 2  include reigning ASP World Junior Champion Ciao Ibelli (BRA) and Hawaii’s Sebastien Zietz (Haw) .

The excellent surf is forecasted to continue on Day 2 when 10 of the world’s highest rated campaigners are due to hit the water. Among the big-name draw cards are two-time and defending Billabong Pro champion, Jordy Smith (ZAF), Hawaiian prodigy and current world rated number five, John John Florence (Oahu, Haw), Brazilian Adriano De Souza (BRA) and former Men’s World Champion, C.J. Hobgood (FL, USA).

Organisers expect to start from 07:00am local time.

Conditions remained good until the end of the day, and the forecast looks epic for tomorrow. “At this stage we’re going to run another full day tomorrow,” said contest director Luke Egan. “All signs look promising for the next few days, so we’ll be straight back out there for another full day of it.”

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