JBay Open

Jordy Smith in action at J-Bay – warming up for Corona Open J-Bay Photo: Craig Kolesky / Red Bull Content Pool

J-Bay Open: Easy first round win for the South African star

SA surfing star Jordy Smith made a strong start to the J-Bay Open on Tuesday afternoon.

JBay Open

Jordy Smith in action at J-Bay – warming up for Corona Open J-Bay Photo: Craig Kolesky / Red Bull Content Pool

Coming into the Corona Open J-Bay, Durban surfer Jordy Smith already has two event victories under the belt, in 2010 and 2011, and is always supremely confident in the waves of Supertubes.

For the first day of competition in the Corona Open J-Bay, he showed why he is currently rated fourth in the World Surf League (WSL Championship Tour (CT) Jeep Leaderboard the global rankings for top professional surfers.

His opening heat, in small and inconsistent three to four-foot waves in Jeffreys Bay, saw him face off against Caio Ibelli from Brazil and Jorgann Couzinet from France. There was no holding back from a fit and focused Smith, as he surfed a fast and progressive heat in front of a vocal home crowd. Finding the best waves, he unleashed a series of progressive moves to get the high scores from the assembled judges.

Jordy started off strong, picking up a little runner along the rocks for an opening average score of 4.14 which doesn’t sound like much, but there were very few waves coming through, and with inconsistent conditions, an early start and a score on the board can easily make the difference.

Soon after his opening ride, Jordy picked up a slightly bigger wave, and as he raced down to the inside section, he instinctively went to the air for a huge grab-rail air reverse for a great score of 7.17 and a very solid lead. He soon followed it up by a back-up score of 6.60 for a number of precision turns and floats all the way through to the inside, and the appreciative local crowd knew that it was Smith’s heat to lose.

The first round is known as the Seeding Round, and it’s the one round you do not want to lose in, as it sends you to the elimination round. The elimination round is a sudden death round, and surfers who lose out in that round are sent home. Jordy however, won that heat with a very comfortable margin and is safely through to the round of 32.

J-Bay Open key – take it wave by wave

“You have to take it wave by wave,” he commented after the heat, adding that he feels really comfortable at Supertubes having grown up on right-hand pointbreaks. “That has moulded me and many other South Africans’ styles,” he said.

There is no doubt that Jordy is a Supertubes aficionado, and his experience and local knowledge always shines through. A decisive victory like this is the best way to start such an event, and with a few quiet days ahead, Smith can rest and recharge before his next heat.