JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa – The world’s best surfers have converged in South Africa from around the globe to contest for the ASP World Title at the J-Bay Open. Stop No. 6 of 11 on the Men’s ASP World Championship Tour gets underway tomorrow and holds a waiting period of Thursday, July 10, to Monday, July 21, 2014.
Glenn Hall (IRL) will join Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF), winner of the JBU Supertrials, as the event wildcards and both will compete alongside the ASP Top 34 and complete the field for the J-Bay Open.
A selection of ASP World Tour standouts gathered today for a press conference in advance of the start of competition.
Athletes in attendance:
Jordy Smith (ZAF) – defending two-time J-Bay Open champion
Gabriel Medina (BRA) – current ASP World No. 1
Michel Bourez (PYF) – current ASP World No. 2
Taj Burrow (AUS) – current ASP World No. 4 and 2007 J-Bay Open champion
Mick Fanning (AUS) – reigning three-time ASP World Champion and two-time J-Bay Open champion (2002, 2006)
“It’s so great back here; both for the surfers and for Jeffreys Bay,” said Jordy Smith. “It’s great for African surfing to have a WCT competition here on home turf. This is such a good event and I’d love to get my first win of the season here.”
“This is my first time here in J-Bay and it feels good,” said Gabriel Medina. “I’ve brought all my family here and everyone is having a lot of fun. I’ve had some good surfs and I’m going to try and do better than the Brazilian soccer team!”
“This has been a great year for me,” said Michel Bourez. “I’m really happy to be here, especially with these guys. If the waves are good the top surfers will do some amazing things and I hope to do as well as them. I’m so excited to be here.”
“This place is really special to me,” said Taj Burrow. “We were all so excited when we heard the news that the WCT was coming back to J-Bay. I love it here – when the wind roars and the swell pumps it’s amazing. I’m so happy to be back.”
“This is an event that I’ve always looked forward to,” said Mick Fanning. “I love right-hand pointbreaks and J-Bay is so iconic. I’m so lucky to get the chance to be out there with just one other guy and I’ve got my fingers crossed for some good waves”.
J-Bay Open Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Mitch Crews (AUS), Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF)
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS)
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