2009 Billabong Pro J-Bay Highlights
We can’t help it, we miss our ASP World Tour (errr, World Title Race) and our Fantasy Action Sports League. It’s been too long since we’ve gotten to avoid deadlines by hooking up a laptop to our plasma TV in the office and putting bets down on the table. Plus we’re frothing at the bit because, honestly, who doesn’t have Jeffrey’s Bay on the list as their favorite event on tour?
For 25 years J-Bay has played host to quite possibly the most consistent World Tour surf contest. Arguably one of the best righthand points on the entire planet, it’s listed by many a top pro as their favorite wave they’ve encountered. If you thought the World Cup was big in South Africa, just you wait for J-Bay.
Narrowing picks and FASL teams down for the Billabong Pro at Jeffrey’s Bay is probably one of the most difficult events to do so. So many top World Tour surfers have had huge success at J-Bay: Taj, Mick, Parko (last year’s winner), Kelly (4 victories), and Andy have all taken the event. Then you’ve got the guys who slay it at J-Bay and always seem to be right on the cusp of victory: Bobby, Damien, CJ, Kai, Dane, Jordy, and local boy Sean Holmes. That’s why FASL provides in-depth analysis for every surfer so you get the guys you know will put up results (check that out here).
With the tour shrinking in only two events, nervous energy will be bubbling this year in South Africa as the bottom half scratches for a spot to stay on tour for the rest of 2010. And the upper half ain’t no slouch show either—it seems like everyone up top is having a stellar start to the year. Which means you better be ready for an exciting return from hiatus for the 2010 ASP World Tour/Title Race.—Ryan Brower
The 2010 Billabong Pro at Jeffrey’s Bay gets runs July 15-25. You can watch all the action live at billabongpro.com/jbay10, and stay tuned to transworldsurf.com for full coverage.
Still not on the FASL program? Then check out how to play here and be in the running for $30,000 worth of cash and prizes for the 2010 Billabong Pro at Jeffrey’s Bay. We also broke down in our picks what each surfer’s dollar value is, that way you can relate it immediately. Good luck!
Chris Cote, Editor in Chief
Winner: Dane Reynolds (41 million dollars). I don’t think my words on this website can really jinx someone, therefore, I am picking Dane, and if you want your Fantasy Action Sports Team to do well, you should too.
Rookie: Dusty (13 million) is a good pick to do well here, and I like his chances, but I’m also looking forward to the backside animal attack of Tanner G (10 million )—seeing as this is a make or break event for most of the rookies, they’re all going to give their best effort, I hope.
Shocker: There will be two backsiders in the semis. One of them will be Bobby (42 Million), the other will be a Hobgood (CJ 37 million and Damo 31 million).
Casey Koteen, Managing Editor
Winner: Jordy Smith (45 million). Kid’s been close in the first three events of this year, and has a bad taste in his mouth after a 17th at J-Bay last year.
Rookie: While some of the rookies have almost no chance at making the cut when the axe swings after Tahiti and the tour shrinks down to 32, Pat Gudauskas (19 million) is in the hunt and will be fired up to keep his slot on tour.
Shocker: Taj Burrow (47 million) will see another white shark in the line up, but instead of immediately riding a whitewash to the beach, he’ll coax it into riding a wave with him, and then do a board slide off its back as it rides along the lip. The real shocking part about the whole thing is that the judges will only give him a 4.33.
Aaron Checkwood, Photo Editor
Winner: I think J-Bay should be considered Parko’s (44 million) homefield advantage. They go together very well and his results say it all.
Rookie: Just convince Dusty (13 million) that J-Bay is a cold Honolua and he’ll go really far.
Shocker: France in the World Cup. Oh, wait, uh, I like to be positive when it comes to this prediction and I’ve seen what Andy (22 million) can do to J-Bay. Contrary to what a lot of people on our site think, I like Andy’s chances simply cause of how his surfing matches the wave itself.
Justin Cote, Online Editor
Winner: Bobby Martinez (42 million). I went on a trip with him to some crazy right pointbreak in Mexico and saw firsthand the “best backside surfer” on the World Tour, according to Ace Buchan (33 million).
Rookie: Will the real Owen Wright (32 million) please stand up and make me look smart for once?
Shocker: I’ll be shocked to see if people still remember that thing called the ASP World Tour after such a long break.
Carl Steindler, Photo Associate
Winner: Bobby Martinez (42 million). I always pick/want a goofy foot to win this event and I think Bobby will bring one home for us this year. The last goofy to win was Mick “the Keg” Lowe and this year we’re due. Goofys always get scored higher here when they light it up.
Rookie: Owen Wright (32 million). He’s just beginning to find his stride on the WT and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let a Brazzo show him up and take Rookie of the Year honors. Expect Owen to surpass Jadson (39 million) in the rankings after this contest making him the highest rated rookie, and really impressing all of us with some progressive backside shredding in the process.
Shocker: With the South Africans dismal showing in the World Cup Jordy will step up to the plate and surf the most progressive heat of the millennium…and surfing will take over as the national sport.
Ryan Brower, Edit Assistant
Winner: It’s hard not to pick Jordy Smith (45 million)—been on a tear this year and he’s been surfing J-Bay since he was 7. Jordy’s blowing up and this’ll be his first tour victory—just like Jadson Andre’s (39 million) in front of his home crowd.
Rookie: Take your pick of which regularfooted rookie will immediately fall in love with J-Bay upon their very first wave there: Pat Gudauskas (19 million) or Dusty Payne (13 million).
Shocker: Chris Davidson (34 million) went OFF at Lowers for the Nike 6.0 Pro. Expect more of the same from him at J-Bay. But the real shocker is not one of us picked Kelly (48 million) or even mentioned his name…