I wanted to write about how Jordy looked like a different beast this year, how after a career spent careening between brilliant and bumbling, he looked consistent, mature and finally capable of making a serious charge at the crown.

Then heat 16 of the round of 32 happened at the Corona Bali Protected, and now I’m not so sure.

Yeah, he got cruelled on his 4.83 and Mendes got juiced on his barrel, but that’s not what lost him the heat. What lost him the heat was the same thing that’s been losing him heats all his competitive career—an inability to turn things around when the pressure is on and his back is against the wall.

Am I being too harsh?

Maybe, but do you honestly think a surfer of Jordy’s calibre shouldn’t have crushed Jesse Mendes in waves like Keramas was dishing up yesterday?

That’s not a shot at Mendes, who, over the past twelve months, has proven himself a savvy competitor capable of making up for his comparatively modest skillset with grit and determination, but Jordy in reeling four-foot rights is a force of nature.

And he looked it from the get-go. That first wave, though he went a little hard on the second turn and missed the strong finish the judges love, was murderously sharp. The wave after was even better. The speed and line he held through that opening carve was as good as they come. Watching it half-a-dozen times over there’s no doubt the judges fucked up and scored him at least a point lower than they should’ve.

But that happens. Plenty.

What doesn’t happen plenty is all of your rivals falling out of the contest early and gifting you a golden opportunity to put yourself in serious world title contention.

That happens once or twice a year at best.

It’s the kind of situation Medina eats up. It’s exactly the situation Jordy blew yesterday.

So the judges low-balled him a little on his second ride. So Mendes got the next two best waves to come through and the Keramas line-up turned off the tap a little.

They’re not excuses.

The wave came to Jordy with just under two minutes left. It wasn’t the best wave of the heat but the 5.7 required was definitely within reach. Pump, bottom-turn and … fall.

I wanted to write about how Jordy looked like a different beast this year, but then that happened, and elbowing his board happened, and the whole thing seemed all too familiar.

Meanwhile, Toledo is on a tear and looks more than happy to grab the jersey Jordy seems incapable of wearing.