We all knew this was going to happen. Once it was announced that the Billabong Pro at J-Bay had been downgraded from one of the most loved World Tour events to a World Qualifying Series 6-Star, you could almost sense that Jeffreys would make them sorry– six-to-eight foot, offshore Supertubes sorry.
Now, two days into the event, many locals are calling it the best swell of the year, perfectly coinciding with the start of the contest. The first two rounds have been completed and some electric performances have been logged by the field of 144 surfers. The upside to the downgrade is that more surfers means more heats and more surfing to watch. And when the waves are this good nobody’s complaining.
Despite a stacked field, including Jordy Smith, John John Florence, and Adriano De Souza, the standout of the event thus far is a name we haven’t heard in a while. Nathan Hedge came blazing out of the gates, tearing into the groomed walls with speed and commitment. Hedgey has surfed two heats and holds the two highest heat totals of the whole event, 18.77 and 19.27, as well as the event’s only perfect 10 in Round 1.
Below are the video recaps thus far. Look for the event to continue at 7 am local time.