After four of the most incredible days of competition this year, the Corona Open JBay came to a remarkable conclusion in pumping surf at Supertubes on Thursday, with Filipe Toledo taking the win in firing, eight-foot rights.
The 2017 edition of this classic event, with all the drama, upsets and unbelievable performances, will undoubtedly lock it into the history books as one of the best JBay has ever seen.
Toledo, sporting green hair and all, was undoubtedly the best surfer of the week. Even Mick Fanning, JBay’s best ever, doesn’t even blink when he tells you Toledo is the fastest surfer in the world.
That’s some seriously high praise from the 3x World Champion, who’s been carrying that torch for most of the last decade.
Toledo’s speed is only the half of it, however. There’s a vicious rail game, absurd air game, and a heavy dose of creative genius. His lines are fresh and new.
And while rookie Frederico Morais put on an incredible show this week as well, Toledo delivered the total package this week. At times, he made the rest of the field look almost old-fashioned.
In the Final, Filipe got the best of an early exchange with a couple of massive carves and tucking in to a clean inside section for a 9.17.
Frederico answered with a square barrel on a big wave but exited it a little early where he could have probably chased a near-perfect score, posting an 8.33 to stay within striking distance of the Brazilian.
A new exchange on back-to-back waves went the Portuguese surfer’s way this time as Fred annihilated a long wave with several radical carves in the pocket for a 9.40, the highest single score of the Final at that point, only needing a higher 8-point score to get back in the lead.
With three minutes on the clock, Filipe with priority blocked Frederico on the last wave the heat would see and marched away with the fourth Championship Tour victory of his career.
“I can’t believe it,” he said. “J-Bay is always a contest that’s been my dream to win. To surf perfect waves like this that we did the entire contest.
I’ve got to thank god for the amazing week that we’ve had. I’ve got my entire family here and supporting me. It’s unbelievable and I’m speechless. I think I might leave my hair like this for the rest of the year.”
All six events this season have been won by separate surfers. Toledo’s victory vaulted him to No. 7 on the Jeep Leaderboard, putting him back in the hunt.
Corona Open JBay Final Results:
1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.00
2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 17.73
Corona Open JBay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Frederico Morais (PRT) 17.37 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.70
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.63 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.33
Corona Open JBay Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.40 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.33
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 19.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 18.67
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.26
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.07 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.77
2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Corona Open JBay):
1 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 31,950 points
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 31,700 points
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 31,350 points
4 – Owen Wright (AUS) 30,150 points
5 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 27,900 points