Jordy Smith Wins Billabong Pro J-Bay

Jordy was just on point every single wave he surfed. He's getting more and more difficult to beat. Photo: English
Jordy was just on point every single wave he surfed. He's getting more and more difficult to beat. Photo: English

The last two World Tour stops have been storybook endings by first-time World Tour victors. First, rookie Jadson Andre getting his first Tour win at home in Brazil. And now Mr. South Africa himself, Jordy Smith, finally taking the Jeffrey’s Bay title. He’s been surfing J-Bay since he was seven years old, and what better way to pop his World Tour victory cherry than to take the World Title Race lead in front of a home crowd?

This year’s Billabong Pro Jeffrey’s Bay was a historic one, it was the first contest to finish in the first four days since the waiting period was instituted. A nod must be given to contest director Mike Parsons on taking advantage of swell and not waiting around.

Jordy, finally tasting World Tour victory. Photo: English
Jordy, finally tasting World Tour victory. Photo: English

Going back to Jadson Andre earlier, two rookies in a row have stepped it up. Adam Melling and Jadson have both said, “Hey, I can make a World Tour final, and I’m gonna stay on Tour.” And what we saw in the tailend of the Billabong Pro was that Adam Melling can f—king surf. The bloke from Lennox Head has been underrated for years and with the dismissing of Dusty, Damien, and Taj all on the final day Adam skyrocketed himself out of the basement on the ratings and into some light that could see him surviving the cut—and hopefully he does, because I think J-Bay was just a preview of what this guy can do.

But at the end of the day it was all about Jordy Smith. The vuvuzelas consistently horned on the beach with each blowtail, each slicing hack, each speed-gaining floater. It was evident from the first day that Jordy knew this year was his time to make it happen. Coming into the event he was atop the Overall World Ratings, and that surely brought a boatload of confidence for him. He made no mistakes and it’s quite clear that he is a World Title threat from now on, and for many, many years to come.—Ryan Brower

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Final Results:
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.93
2 – Adam Melling (AUS) 10.00

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.83 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.40
SF 2: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.00 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.67

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.43 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.20
QF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.17 def. Sean Holmes (ZAF) 11.83
QF 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 3.66
QF 4: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.43 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.67

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Remaining Round 4 Results:
Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) 17.07 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.50

Current ASP World Title Race Top 10 (after South Africa):
1. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 28500 pts
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 24750 pts
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 23500 pts
4. Dane Reynolds (USA) 20000 pts
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 19500 pts
6. Mick Fanning (AUS) 19250 pts
7. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18750 pts
8. Bobby Martinez (USA) 16500 pts
9. Jadson Andre (BRA) 16000 pts
10. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14750 pts

How’d your Fantasy Action Sports League team do?

CHECK OUT ALL THE DAY 1 PHOTOS FROM THE BILLABONG PRO J-BAY RIGHT HERE.

CHECK OUT ALL THE DAY 2 PHOTOS FROM THE BILLABONG PRO J-BAY RIGHT HERE.

CHECK OUT ALL THE DAY 3 PHOTOS FROM THE BILLABONG PRO J-BAY RIGHT HERE.

Dane Reynolds hucking one up in his semis loss to Taj Burrow. Photo: English
Dane Reynolds hucking one up in his semis loss to Taj Burrow. Photo: English
South African Grant "Twiggy" Baker waving the flag for Jordy. Photo: English
South African Grant "Twiggy" Baker waving the flag for Jordy. Photo: English
Adam Melling has a speedy, down-the-line approach that matched J-Bay pretty well. Photo: English
Adam Melling has a speedy, down-the-line approach that matched J-Bay pretty well. Photo: English
Taj plain and simple made some mistakes in the semis against Melling. Taj is now sitting 2nd in the world, and hopefully he still remembers that bitter taste of second place finishes... Photo: English
Taj plain and simple made some mistakes in the semis against Melling. Taj is now sitting 2nd in the world, and hopefully he still remembers that bitter taste of second place finishes... Photo: English
2009 J-Bay finalist Damien Hobgood got smoked by Melling in the quarters. Photo: English
2009 J-Bay finalist Damien Hobgood got smoked by Melling in the quarters. Photo: English
When Jordy is reversing things around like this on every wave the rest of the Tour is in a big trouble. Photo: English
When Jordy is reversing things around like this on every wave the rest of the Tour is in a big trouble. Photo: English
Aussie Bede Durbidge seems to always be around in the later rounds, this time with a semis finish. Photo: English
Aussie Bede Durbidge seems to always be around in the later rounds, this time with a semis finish. Photo: English
Jordy giving the vuvuzelas on the beach a shout out. Photo: English
Jordy giving the vuvuzelas on the beach a shout out. Photo: English
It was only a matter of time till Jordy Smith won his first World Tour event. Photo: English
It was only a matter of time till Jordy Smith won his first World Tour event. Photo: English
You know how much it means to Jordy to accomplish a dream of his since he was just a little kid. Photo: English
You know how much it means to Jordy to accomplish a dream of his since he was just a little kid. Photo: English
Jordy Smith, the 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay champ, and now number 1 surfer in the world. Congrats Jordy! Photo: English
Jordy Smith, the 2010 Billabong Pro J-Bay champ, and now number 1 surfer in the world. Congrats Jordy! Photo: English

OFFICIAL ASP PRESS RELEASE

JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Sunday, July 18, 2010) – Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, has claimed his maiden ASP elite victory, taking out the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay over Adam Melling (AUS), 25, in front of a capacity hometown crowd.

Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay was nothing but blaring Vuvuzelas and roars from the bluff as these two titans went tit-for-tat in an incredible Final exchange. The young South African proved the victor, dominating from the outset and securing an emotional first win.

“This is the best day of my life,” Smith said. “The crowd on the beach has been supporting me the last few days and hearing the cheers and the Vuvuzelas just gets me fired up to perform. It feels like they’re pushing me along. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

The most experienced surfer at Jeffreys Bay, Smith left very little to chance in the Final against Melling, opening his account with a blazing 8.90 before backing it up with some scintillating forehand surfing for a 9.03. The combination of scores (17.93 out of a possible 20) proved insurmountable for Melling.

“I knew the swell was dying and I had to take advantage of every wave that came through,” Smith said. “Adam (Melling) is such a dangerous surfer. He’s been in form all day and I knew that if he got the waves, he would get the scores. I went out there knowing I had to open up strong.”

After taking the ratings’ lead over former nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 38, yesterday, Smith solidified his position as the ASP World No. 1 with today’s emphatic victory.

“It definitely is a different feeling,” Smith said. “To be chasing the lead and defending the lead are two different things. It’s a long year ahead and you can’t count anyone out until it’s over. I’m going to enjoy this feeling for now.”

Smith’s Final’s berth almost never was, as the big South African was comboed by lethal Australian Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27, with four minutes remaining in their Semifinal clash. Catching two waves in under a minute, Smith unloaded a barrage of aerials and forehand blasts to claw his way back into the lead.

“I’m still not too sure what happened – it’s all a blur,” Smith said. “I got that first one where I did the little grab air that I didn’t think was good, but the judges scored the whole wave pretty well. Then I backed it up and put everything I had into it.”

Melling’s “Cinderella” climb to the Finals was nothing short of sensational. Rated a lowly 41st on the ASP World Title Race rankings heading into Jeffreys Bay, the 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie powered his way through five rounds of competition before coming short in the Final. His Runner-Up finish sees him bumped up to ASP World No. 19, well inside the safety zone for the dreaded mid-year field reduction.

“The ocean didn’t cooperate with me in the Final so that’s a shame but I couldn’t be happier,” Melling said. “We had amazing waves and to get the best result of my career is huge. I came into Jeffreys with a long road ahead if I were to make the mid-year cut-off, and now that I’m 19th, I feel like I have a bit of a buffer heading into Tahiti. I worked really hard to get here and I want to stay here.”

Durbidge suffered one of the hardest losses of the event, having defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by a last-minute crusade by Smith. Despite the bitter loss, Durbidge’s Equal 3rd vaults him from 10th to 7th on the ASP World Title Race rankings heading into the fifth event of the year.

“I had him comboed with only four minutes to go,” Durbidge said. “He took off on that one-footer and pulled that ‘Superman’ air and finished off well, then came out and got another one. I think he got two waves in a minute or something. It’s a hard way to lose, but Semifinals is my best result of the year and it’s something to build on. The focus is on Tahiti now.”

Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, consistently wowed audiences with his performance from Round 1 onwards, collecting the event’s highest heat total in yesterday’s Round 4. Despite today’s Semifinal loss at the hands of Melling, the Western Australian moves up to ASP World No. 2 heading into Tahiti.

Highlights from the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay will be available via billabongpro.com/jbay10.

The event will be broad LIVE on FUEL TV in Australia.

Official fores for the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay brought to you by Surfline.

The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour is the Billabong Pro Tahiti from August 23 through September 3, 2010.

For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Final Results:

1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.93

2 – Adam Melling (AUS) 10.00

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Semifinal Results:

SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.83 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.40

SF 2: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.00 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.67

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Quarterfinal Results:

QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.43 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.20

QF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.17 def. Sean Holmes (ZAF) 11.83

QF 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 3.66

QF 4: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.43 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.67

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Remaining Round 4 Results:

Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) 17.07 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.50

Current ASP World Title Race Top 5 (after South Africa):

1. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 28500 pts

2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 24750 pts

3. Kelly Slater (USA) 23500 pts

4. Dane Reynolds (USA) 20000 pts

5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 19500 pts

6. Mick Fanning (AUS) 19250 pts

7. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18750 pts

8. Bobby Martinez (USA) 16500 pts

9. Jadson Andre (BRA) 16000 pts

10. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14750 pts