JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa: The J-Bay Open, stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, ran through the remainder of Round 2 in three-to-five foot (1 metre) surf at Supertubes. Eight surfers were eliminated in a thrilling day of competition as the field of 36 was narrowed down to 24. Hawaii’s Fredrick Patacchia was the top performer and was awarded both the day’s highest single-wave score (9.93 out of a possible 10) and two-wave total of 17.93 (out of a possible 20).
In an all-Australian affair, Bede Durbidge took an early lead over his compatriot but it was Matt Wilkinson who set a slower pace to take advantage of the extended 35-minute heat by remaining selective throughout. 15 minutes into the heat Wilkinson managed six clean turns and a smooth drift for a 7.00 and the lead. After a five-minute lull, a quick exchange saw both surfers improve their situations. Durbidge worked his forehand maneuvers for a 7.50, but then Wilkinson rode the better wave of the set for an 8.50, leaving his opponent in need of an excellent score. With fewer than two minutes on the clock Durbidge found the opportunity he was looking for but the score came in just shy of what was needed. Wilkinson survives elimination and Durbidge leaves the competition in equal 25th place.
“Bede (Durbridge) never falls, he makes every section and throws so much power. I knew it was going to be a tough heat,” said Matt Wilkinson. “It’s good to get a heat win under my belt and to be into the third Round. I’m sure there’ll be more tough heats but I’m excited.”
Both surfers got to work quickly in Round 2 Heat 8. C.J. Hobgood (USA) on his backhand worked high vertical snaps while Tiago Pires (PRT) used a high line with a variety of maneuvers to gain a slight edge over the American. The latter half of the heat was a seesawing affair. Pires was able to capitalize on the pointbreak and produce bottom-to-top carves with fins-out vertical snaps for an excellent 8.17. Hobgood answered with huge carves and a tight tube ride on the first wave of the next set. An awkward fall at the ride’s end kept the score out of the excellent range but the 7.67 was still enough to put him ahead of Pires and escape elimination with his first WCT heat win since the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
“Sometimes you have to win heats to get your confidence up and it’s been a good two months since I’ve had a heat win,” said C.J. Hobgood. “I had Tiago (Pires) in Fiji and he smoked me. I saw the other guys catching waves to get into rhythm so I just tried to catch as many as possible. Tiago was ripping so it feels really great to make a heat and I’m stoked to be able to surf here in Jeffreys Bay.”
The second all-Brazilian match-up of the day saw Jadson Andre face Miguel Pupo in Round 2 Heat 9. With 15 minutes gone, the pair launched their respective barrel games. Pupo was able to secure a lead over his fellow countryman and, with renewed confidence, followed up with a long run down a clean wave for an 8.50 putting Andre in a combination situation. Despite replacing one of his low scores with an excellent 8.40 Andre was unable to better Pupo, who continued to build on his momentum, and was left needing a big ride with five minutes to go. Like Hobgood, Pupo takes his first heat win since Bells Beach and secures his place in Round 3.
“It’s my first time in J-Bay and I’ve already fallen in love with the place,” said Miguel Pupo. “It’s a special place for all the surfers because of the history over here. Hopefully I can come here every year. Monday’s conditions look pretty good, so hopefully we get barreled and put on a good show for the South Africans.”
Freddy Patacchia (HAW) kicked off Heat 11, the battle of the backsiders, with an early score on the board, followed closely by Travis Logie (ZAF) who pulled into a tube, but couldn’t find an exit. Patacchia then pounced on a perfect Supertubes runner, unloaded three huge under-the-lip hacks, pulled into a long, dredging tube and came flying out to earn the highest single-wave score of the day, a 9.93. Logie was left searching for two scores but used his trademark speed and power to muscle his way out of the combination, clocking a 7.17. Patacchia found another bomb and tore it apart to clock an 8.00 and put Logie back in a combination situation. Patacchia’s 17.93 is the second highest two-wave heat total of the J-Bay Open, second only to event favorite Jordy Smith, and sees Logie leave the competition in equal 25th place.
“My 9.93 point wave was really special,” said Fredrick Patacchia. “I could see it was going to be a gem and I kept telling myself ‘don’t screw this up, Freddie’. Travis (Logie) and I are Quiksilver team mates and we’re staying together here in J-Bay. You’re always going to end up surfing against your friends, but I think I have bragging rights now.”
J-Bay Open Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.90 def. Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 11.27
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.43 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.43
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 16.10 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.63
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.33 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 4.80
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.93 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.70
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 6.87
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.83 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.93
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.17 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.90
Heat 9: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.37 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.93
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.67 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.53
Heat 11: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 17.93 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.67
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.60 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.67
J-Bay Open Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 5: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
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