14 July, 2014 14 July, 2014

Major Upsets in Round 3 (J-Bay Open)

The beach was dead quiet as time ran out at the end of Heat 11 of Round 3. Minutes earlier it was a completely different story as one of the bigger sets of the day came into view. Jordy, holding an 8.00, needed only a 6.00 to grab the lead, and the crowd, anticipating something huge, let Jordy know in no uncertain terms what was approaching.

Jordy heads out to do battle with CJ Hobgood.

The two-time defending J-Bay champ started his ride with a safety first approach, which at the end of the day cost him as he fell on his closing turn and failed to register the mid-range score he needed. CJ Hobgood (USA) looked hungrier throughout, and with a do-or-die backhand air over barely submerged rocks down at Impossibles, he nailed his second 7.00 ride to put Jordy on the ropes. The way he hung in there for the landing as the water drained off the shelf showed his commitment, which was duly rewarded by the judges.

Winners are grinners. Matt Wilkinson took out Kelly Slater in Heat 6 of Round 3.

Jordy’s loss was the second major upset of the day. Earlier in Round 3, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) set the tone for the goofyfoot underdogs as he made easy work of Kelly Slater (USA) in Heat 6. The 11-time world champ fell uncharacteristically on what appeared to be simple carves, but a slight wobble in the waves visible from the boardwalk might have made it harder than us beach-bound pundits imagined.

In the first heat of Round 3 this morning, Joel Parkinson (AUS) caught just four waves to Adam Melling’s eight, but he was all about quality not quantity and easily outscored his compatriot in the tricky morning conditions. The devil wind at that stage was threatening to ruin the party, but calmed right down before eventually dying out for the rest of the day.

Conditions were good at first light, before the devil wind gusted momentarily.

Kolohe Andino (USA), although not registering the highest heat score of the day, provided one of the raddest moments when he touched down smoothly from a huge air to loud applause from the crowd. The Californian has long been touted as a major threat on the Dream Tour, but until the Billabong Rio Pro, Kolohe hadn’t exactly set the WCT alight.

Making the final in Brazil has given the world number 9 a confidence boost, and it appears to have lit a competitive spark that had been missing from his game last season. Kolohe backed-up his Brazil final showing with a Semi-Final finish at the last event, the Fiji Pro at Tavarua.

Kolohe provided one of the highlights of the day with this massive boost.

Other heat winners from Round 3 were goofyfoots, Fred Pattachia, Owen Wright, and current world number one, Gabriel Medina. Getting some revenge for the frontsiders were Josh Kerr, Taj Burrow and Mick Fanning, while Alejo Muniz and Adriano De Souza emerged victorious in their all-natural match-ups.

To make the most of the swell on offer, Round 4 was called on directly after the completion of Round 3. It was a no-losers round, and as much as it was a chance to jump directly to the Quarter-Finals, it was also a chance for everyone to find their rhythm as we head towards the more serious side of the draw. Coming out trumps in their match-ups and grabbing a spot in the Quarter-Finals were Joel Parkinson, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright and Alejo Muniz.

Parko easily won in Round 3 and 4 to advance to the Quarter-Finals.

Check out aspworldtour.com for all the heat reviews, results and highlights from Day 5 of the J-Bay Open.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *