The JBay Open was called off yesterday after the first quarter-final was surfed, which saw local favourite Jordy Smith eliminated from the event.
The much-heralded heat between Jordy and John John was first in, and the two surfers paddled into a bumpy line-up. Then someone turned the taps firmly off.
With no waves coming through, the two sat, quite far up the point, and played a little bit of cat-and-mouse with no one giving in, until the first restart.
There was almost a second restart, but John John picked up a little dribbler, repositioned further down the point, and the heat got underway.
The two sat again, while the ocean delivered nothing.
Finally a set arrived and Jordy was in the zone. It was a big and bumpy ride, mid-range score. Nervousness all around.
There was some more waiting around, and some questions arising about the chances of carrying on with the heat from a few interested parties.
As the clock ticked down, there was a quick flurry of waves, and the lead changed hands, back and forth.
John John needed a small score, and he nailed it down at the bottom. It was a very close call, with a 0.2 margin going the Hawaiian’s way.
A very disappointed Jordy Smith barely managed to hold his composure during a post-heat interview, visibly thinking something along the lines of, ‘what the hell just happened?’
Despite the lack of waves, in the dying minutes of the first Quarter, Josh Kerr paddled out for his second quarter. Alone.
There were no other takers. Slater wasn’t paddling out. The announcers called the contest off for the day and just like that, it was over.
J-Bay Open Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)