Film Director and Writer David Lynch has just wrapped up shooting his latest super natural thriller in Jeffrey’s Bay.
A collaborative effort with the production team responsible for ‘Sharknado’, it follows an out of control speed boat in search of a rogue shark, a flying green haired elf on a surfboard, the abduction and return of two super heats under bizarre circumstances, a silver surfer with no hair, believed to be from another planet, breaking and reshaping his foot and then…..more sharks.
If you think that requires suspension of disbelief, what about 8 perfect 10’s surfed in a week? Still not sufficiently freaked out? How about a booger boarder dropping in on Kolohe Andino and getting away with it.
The 2017 Corona Open J Bay had everything, including a new champion in Brazilian dynamo Filipe Toledo who defeated rookie tear away sensation Frederico Morais from Portugal.
Yet amongst all the records, ground breaking performances and surreal events that made the 2017 Corona Open J Bay quite possibly the most unbelievable event in competitive surfing history, there were the definitive moments amongst the madness that just made sense… the undeniable facts that clearly presented themselves at the world’s best point break.
Filipe Toledo is the most dynamic surfer in the world.
No question about it. The naysayers will point to his inability in heavy water, denouncing him as an aerial trickster whose approach is best suited to 3ft beach breaks.
What rubbish. Go to the heat analyser and watch his demolition job at proper 6 to 10ft Supers.
Check out the flight control, dizzying height and the stability of landing in the flats from the two monster airs on the one wave that changed surfing history in Round 4. Mix that with the beautiful rail work and blinding speed Toledo showcased the whole event and then tell me he’s a one trick pony?
He has no rival when it comes to all out variety. And if a shark couldn’t stop him, neither could the man who surfed the perfect heat.
Jordy Smith has joined The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Jordy Smith can add the perfect 20 point heat to his already impressive list of achievements. There was no doubting the legitimacy of awarding him the perfect heat score: Set waves – check. Speed, power and flow – check. Degree of difficulty – check. Variety – check
To witness a perfect heat, even online and far away from the magnitude of the event itself, it feels like you’ve been part of something singularly important, something that carries serious gravity amongst those who have achieved it.
That it happened to Jordy Smith at a venue so suited to his skill set and a place so close to his heart makes the historical moment it even more rewarding.
Jordy had to endure a lot this week in J Bay. Two re-surfs under extraordinary circumstances will always require a push of the re set button. No doubt about it.
Very few people could have matched Toledo’s aerial antics in the first re-surf and he responded clinically and decisively in the Connor Coffin resurf in round 5, pushing the rail work and tube sense with bristling confidence.
But against Toledo in the quarters it was one way traffic. This means a re think at Chopes to get the world title hunt back on track. He’s still very much in it, but can’t afford to let the gap widen going into Trestles and Europe.
The rise of Morais.
Frederico Morais. The name sounds as slick as the surfing. And certainly not one that will be taken lightly in heat draws in the future.
Frederico took down 3 World Champions en route to the final, bagged one of the events’ perfect tens against Florence, and has shown the judges that a combination of flawless rail work, wave selection and strategic thinking can still work wonders in a world obsessed with the aerial approach.
Is it just me, or does Morais have a distinct Andy Irons look to his surfing? The knife edge turn from the deck onto rail, the follow through rotation with the arms, and quite possibly the closest resemblance… the pace?
With a reshuffled top ten going into Chopes (including Toledo at 7) the world title race is still on.
Matt Wilkinson holds a slender 250pts lead over John Florence with Jordy Smith a mere 350pts behind him. Not to mention Owen Wright and De Souza who are still very much in the race. And of course, Medina lurking at no9. And we all know what he’s capable of at Chopes…
Will a goofy foot shark on a jet ski get the wild card, or will it be Slater in a moon boot, riding a modified quad fin Zimmer frame?
As we saw in J-bay, anything is possible…
See you at Chopes, I’m looking forward to denting the armchair again and watch the next chapter in the world title race unfold!
*Images © WSL
**Words by Glen Drysdale