Supertubes continues a dream run of excellent conditions.
Sometimes it’s hard to decipher a wave like Supertubes when it is that perfect. There are so many options, there are so many opportunities and most surfers worth their salt should be able to kill it and get excellent scores.
Yet there is more at play. Nerves, overexcitement, devil winds and lack of experience all play their parts on the negative, while local knowledge and experience, good equipment, supreme fitness and confidence all add positivity to the pie chart of perfect performances at Supers.
Supers was sublime today. It showed a bit of devil wind in the morning, but by midday it was light offshore, glassy and perfect. Six foot sets. Quite simply it was the best venue, the best surfers, the best swell and the best vibe. You couldn't script this.
We started off the excitement by watching Jordy Smith come up against Kelly Slater. Kelly has announced one more year on tour, and has also signified that he wasn't too interested or motivated about this event, and was just in town to hang out, see friends, surf a few heats and see what happens. What happened was that he got beaten, and a stoked Smith advanced, almost pulling off a huge air on the inside in the process.
“I’m just really relaxed and enjoying my surfing and hanging with my friends and family,” said Jordy afterwards. “This is probably the most calm I’ve ever felt at an event in JBay. Maybe it’s because I’m not a front-runner. It’s also the first time that I don't have to pack my stuff and bail immediately afterwards, which is cool. I can just sit here and enjoy my home country.”
On his winning performance against Slater, Smith was composed.
“You've just got to take your time, you know. You only need three or four big moves to get you big scores,” said Smith. “I just wish I had stuck that air. That would have been the heat sealed then, but it’s a game of inches you know.”
When quizzed about his position on the Jeep Leaderboard and result in Bali, Smith was philosophical “Uluwatu was bitter sweet for me, I as on a roll, but then the powers-that-be kind of denied it. I guess it’s a bit like having a corrupt president. You’ve just got to nod your head, and pay your taxes.”
The open faces and barreling sections were most suitable to a certain type of surfing, and a certain type of surfer. Michael Rodrigues had the speed line and had the long walls figured out, while Wade Carmichael knew when to lay it on rail an when to slow it down. With so much wave pushing back, it seems the judges loved the rail work. They loved the full face carves, and the power S-turns that showed strength and control. Adrian de Souza was another surfer who was surfing with flair and power, with many spectators calling him as the surfer of the day in his heat against Pat Gudauskas. It wasn’t so much his scores as his rail control, as well as his tendency for combo moves that the judges appreciated so much.
In the late afternoon the waves got bigger and better, and Matt Wilko snapped his board clean in two on a huge close-out attempt at the bottom gully. On the very next wave Tomas Hermes broke his leash, and his board miraculously washed up the bottom gulley, undamaged.
It was a surreal day of perfect surf, and even Sophie Goldschmidt and Dirk Ziff made appearances, marvelling at the perfection in front of them. It seems Supers in her most classic form is visually appealing, even to the non-surfer.
Then on cue a Great White shark was spotted in the vicinity and the encounter between Jordy Smith and Brazilian rookie Tomas Hermes was put on hold. Simultaneously the Facebook webcast went on the fritz to everyone’s chagrin, and when it reappeared it was only in Spanish. After much troll disdain, it eventually reappeared, but it seems more online viewership damage was done.
The shark was monitored, it disappeared out to sea and the surfers went back out. Jordy won decisively, and advanced to the fourth round at the expense of Hermes.
The surf forecast for tomorrow looks promising. It’s going to be hard to beat today’s pumping conditions, but expectations are high.
Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Remaining Round 2 (H3-12) Results:
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.16 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.50
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.33 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.74
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.26 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.23
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.33 def. Michael February (ZAF) 12.50
Heat 7: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.47 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.70
Heat 8: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 16.14 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 11.34
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.80 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.77
Heat 10: Mikey Wright (AUS) 16.17 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 15.26
Heat 11: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 17.16 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.57
Heat 12: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.07 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.30
Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 3 (H1-4) Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.87 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.80
Heat 2: Conner Coffin (USA) 16.57 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.30
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.07 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.63
Heat 4: Frederico Morais (PRT) 15.67 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.53
Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Remaining Round 3 (H5-12) Matchups:
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 8: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 10: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Heat 11: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
The Women's Corona Open J-Bay event window will open Friday, July 6.
Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Keely Andrew (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 6: Carissa Moore (HAW), Caroline Marks (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)