10 July, 2014 10 July, 2014

Jordy Steals the Show on Day 1

Jordy Smith lead the charge on the opening day of the J-Bay Open with a near-perfect 19.80 heat score in Round 1 to skip directly to Round 3.

Jordy was drawing spectacular lines.

The reigning J-Bay champ opened his account with a 9.80 that was punctuated by a jaw-dropping display of rail surfing, before quickly backing it up with a 9.50 on his following ride. Way out in first place, Jordy then rode another wave but unfortunately broke his leash and had to swim in to retrieve his board.

It was at this stage that we thought he might as well head back to the tower for an early shower, such was his dominance, but the Saffa powerhouse grabbed another leash and headed back out with five minutes left. His next wave proved us wrong, because he bettered his score with a perfect 10 to easily earn the opening day’s highest total. The crazy thing is that Jordy got the score without apparently breaking a sweat. His flowing lines were not forced, yet buckets of spray were being tossed with every smooth carve.

Dawn’s early light revealed plenty of swell and good (slightly bumpy) conditions.

It was an early start to the day as organisers looked to make the most of the swell on offer. The first heat kicked-off at 7:45am as the sun peeped over the horizon to reveal 5-foot sets rolling down the point. Conditions weren’t pristine with a slight devil wind blowing a few ridges across the face, but as the sun rose higher the wind died and things cleaned up nicely by 9:30am.

One of the day’s biggest cheers (besides for Jordy’s incredible display) came for young J-Bay local, Dylan Lightfoot, who paddled out in Heat 6 to do battle with Kelly Slater (USA) and Mitch Crews (AUS). Dylan surfed well to put himself in contention with a 6.50 on his opening ride, but Kelly asserted his dominance with a wave caught halfway down the point. The 11-time world champ slotted himself into multiple barrels and finished with a floater right down by Impossibles. He scored a 8.33 which gave him a lead that Dylan and Mitch both struggled to catch. Kelly jumped to Round 3, while Mitch and Dylan were relegated to the second Round.

Kelly did the job in his first heat.

With the onshore picking up after lunch, Travis Logie battled with conditions in his heat – the last of Round 1. He only managed a pair of mid-range fives against Kolohe Andino (USA) and Julian Wilson (AUS), while Kolohe made the most of the ruffled lineup to jump directly to Round 3.

Round 2 kicked-off directly after and up first was wildcard, Dylan Lightfoot, who faced Gabriel Medina (BRA). The current ratings leader made the onshore conditions look easy, while Dylan tried his best to put up a good fight. In the end the J-Bay local was needing an eight-plus on his last ride to take the lead, but couldn’t find the sections that would allow him the score. Gabriel advanced, while the beach cheered on the local for his efforts.

Surfing in front of his home crowd, Dylan Lightfoot was unfortunately eliminated.

Just four heats of Round 2 were surfed before organisers called it a day, but what an epic finish we witnessed as Julian Wilson (AUS) stuck a massive alley-oop on the last wave of the day to knock Glen Hall (AUS) out of the event.

Check out aspworldtour.com for all the results, heat reviews and photos from an exciting opening day at the J-Bay Open. Conditions look decent for Day 2, so we should see some heats before the swell drops off. Check out Surfline’s official forecast for what we can expect later in the waiting period.

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