JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Thursday, July 21, 2011) – Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay was completed this morning in clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at South Africa’s famed righthander before conditions deteriorated this afternoon, prompting event organizers to put the contest on hold until tomorrow morning.
The fourth stop on the 2011 ASP World Title season, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay has selected the very best conditions to run in during the waiting period and the swell forecast is shaping up for an exciting finish.
Michel Bourez (PYF), 25, took top honors today, netting the event high single-wave score (a 9.30 out of a possible 10) and heat total (a 17.07 out of a possible 20) with some ferocious surfing on his forehand. Appearing fully recovered from a serious injury sustained at the last event in Rio de Janeiro, Bourez will look to continue his momentum when competition resumes.
“That was a really good heat for me,” Bourez said. “My Firewire is working really well. I’ve been riding it since I arrived in J-Bay and it seems to get better with each surf. It was an important heat for me. I’ve been building confidence since my injury in Rio and I’m hoping to break through Round 5 at this event.”
Bourez will take on Tiago Pires (PRT), 31, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.
Damien Hobgood (USA), 32, former Runner-Up at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, shook off the cobwebs from a lackluster Round 1 heat to take down powerbroker Taylor Knox (USA), 40, in this morning’s Round 2 bout.
“I’ve been here for a while,” Hobgood said. “I lost out early in the ASP Prime event in Ballito and came here early and got some great swell. I think the lay days we’ve had have kind of helped me as I’ve been able to reset and focus on the swell we have here. It’s never easy when it’s small on your backhand, but I feel good and my surfing feels good. Hope the conditions continue to improve over the next couple of days.”
Heitor Alves (BRA), 29, flew the South American flag high today, belting Jeffreys Bay’s roping walls on his backhand to dispatch of aerial maestro Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 25, in Round 2 of competition.
“Pat (Gudauskas) is a very good surfer,” Alves said. “I knew I had to take advantage of every wave and section I got. It can be a tough wave on your backhand but today’s conditions were good for it.”
Alves will face fellow goofy-footer Adrian Buchan (AUS), 28, in Round 3 of competition.
Adam Melling (AUS), 26, last year’s event Runner-Up, survived a hard-fought battle against Brett Simpson (USA), 26, to keep his 2011 ASP World Title campaign alive.
“With the way the ASP World Rankings now this becomes an important event for me,” Melling said. “I need a big result here to keep my place up on the rankings and that’s certainly the goal. I’m happy with the way I surfed today and hope to continue throughout the rest of the event.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start.
REMAINING BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.00 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 6.00
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 17.07 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 14.03
Heat 9: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.00 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 11.80
Heat 10: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.90 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.84
Heat 11: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.23 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.43
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.20 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 6.70
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)