Hopes to finish Billabong JBay tomorrow ahead of bad weather
With extremely severe weather conditions predicted for this weekend organisers of the Billabong Pro J-bay are hoping to finish tomorrow. “There is some bad weather approaching, but we just don’t know exactly when it’s going to hit,” contest director, Luke Egan, commented. “We’re going to stick to our plan and start off early tomorrow morning, and just surf for as long as we can. We might be able to finish tomorrow, but it will be tight.”
Today saw 10 straight hours of serious competition with some incredible surfing performance and some mishaps. Sean Holmes (ZAF) was the first guy to feel the power of the swell, breaking a board in his first heat of the day, getting a new board and breaking the fin off that one in a deep and critical barrel. “That was such a good wave, and I was confident that I was going to get a good barrel,” said Holmes of that wave.
“I got into the barrel and was driving off the bottom, when I just felt my fin go and I went down.” Sean continued to surf well on some new equipment, before finally losing to Mitch Coleburn (AUS) in the round of 16.
With such good waves on offer there was some great surfing, including a record four 10-point rides during the day for Jordy Smith (ZAF), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Olamana Eleogram (HAW) and Ezekial Lau (HAW). “I was ready for that wave,” said Jordy of his ten-point ride that consisted of a series of critical turns and tube rides all the way down the 300 meter-long pointbreak. “I managed a couple of cracks on the outside and the wave set up nicely on the inside for that barrel.” Jordy has been experiencing phenomenal crowd support, that erupted over his ten-pointer. “I could hear all the cheering and the vuvuzelas from the water,” said Smith. “It really gets you pumped to hear all the support, so thanks to all the fans and supporters out there.”
St Francis Bay local surfer Dale Staples (ZAF) had a most successful day, winning heats and advancing all the way to the round of 16, where he will meet up with John John Florence. “I’m feeling so good at the moment,” said Dale on his day’s performance. “I’ve just been treating the event like a free surf, and I just want to keep going, and hopefully build up some points for next year.”
Heavily bearded Australian Heath Joske (AUS) also impressed with a stylish soul arch on a perfect wave, punctuated by some huge turns and barrel rides. ” I was just having so much fun out there,” said Joske with a grin. “The waves were so good for that heat.” Joske eventually lost to Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau in the round of 16.