Defending title holder and crowd favourite Jordy Smith was eliminated from the JBay Open of Surfing in Jeffreys Bay today.
Despite everyone of the beach whistling and shouting when a good set came though towards the end of the heat, Jordy just fell short of the score he required to win the heat.
“To all the spectators and fans, thank you so much for all your support. This is another learning curve for me, but there will always be next year,” said Smith after his shock exit from the JBay Open.
In a day of upsets, 11 time world champion Kelly Slater was also eliminated from the World Championship Tour (WCT) event, which forms part of the JBay Winterfest.
Up against Jordy Smith, former world champion C.J. Hobgood went on the attack immediately, notching a midrange five pointer just after the horn.
Jordy Smith, whose Round 1 heroics still stood as the highest heat total, was off to a surprisingly shaky start. After a kick out throwaway wave, he looked to be regaining his rhythm with a string of in form carves but an over extended layback left the ride incomplete.
Hobgood had improved his bottom score to a 7.00 for another smooth progression of turns keeping the two-time event winner at bay.
Smith continued to fight his way back, this time accomplishing the layback hack to overtake the lead with an excellent 8.00 with 10 minutes on the clock.
A crucial exchange followed, both surfers elevating their game: Smith turned up his rail game but lost his footing on the aerial, while Hobgood was able to ice his progressive style with a clean straight air, earning the better of the exchange and the lead.
Smith was still in form with big moves but continued to struggle with neat finishes and stayed a midrange score’s out of reach.
J-Bay Open Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.83 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 8.50
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.73 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.77
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.74 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.33
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.04 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.37
Heat 5: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.30 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.10
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 18.36 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 15.37
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.46 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 15.17
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.40 def. John John Florence (HAW) 8.00
Heat 9: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.60 def. Nat Young (USA) 5.44
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.27
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.00 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.87
Heat 12: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.50 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.60
J-Bay Open Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.44, Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.47, Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.40
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.34, Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.17, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.37
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.60, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.76, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.70
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.57, Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.40, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.50
J-Bay Open Round 5 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)