Jeffreys Bay – Will we ever see Jordy Smith claim his destiny and win a World Surf League (WSL Championship Tour (CT) world title?
If he doesn’t he will become one of the best surfers in the world to never have won a title.
In 2010 Jordy shot up the ranks during one of his best years on tour, ending up as a runner up to Kelly Slater, and this prompted Slater in a candid interview to say that Smith has a number of world titles ahead of him. This prophesy has yet to come true, as Jordy has yet to claim the elusive title.
He wins plenty of events and he is always near the top of the field, but he does not have the finish at the end of the year to bank it all and nail the final run.
In 2016 he was again looking like he was going to finally claim it, but Hawaiian John John Florence kicked into overdrive, and although Jordy was the runner-up in the final placings, the Hawaiian was well over 10,000 points ahead at the final tally and had an unassailable lead for the last few legs of the tour.
To possibly combat this, Jordy has purchased a house in Hawaii, on the beach at Pipeline. The final event of the year is the Pipeline Masters, and it is all too often that this event is the one that decides the world title.
Many a world title has been won or lost here, in clutch moments going all the way back. The late Andy Irons won world titles at Pipeline, and Slater lost a close world title by a snake move by Australian Joel Parkinson back in the day.
It does take a certain amount of ruthlessness, of win-at-all-costs, of big match temperament to do something as momentous as win a crown, and Jordy will need to dig deep if he wants that thing.
Right now it is looking like a Jordy year. Currently ranked 4th on the Jeep Leaderboard, and surfing with ease and confidence, Jordy is quite possibly in the best position ever to win a world title.
With JBay just around the corner, and his quite incredible track record here, it might be the impetus he needs to go out there and win that crown once and for all.
Jordy has won two events at the Corona Open JBay, he has had a couple of semi-final finishes, and he has the most 10-point rides out here, scoring three in one year.
He has everything in his arsenal to take another win, and climb up to the top of the rankings. He is always a contender going through Europe, he is adept at surfing the wave pool for the Freshwater Pro, and now that he has settled into the vibe at Pipeline he could have what it takes to make it a big finish.
The last time we had a Championship Tour surfer as a world champion was Shaun Tomson in 1977.
Martin Potter had left South Africa and was surfing for Australia when he won in 1989.
Currently we have two South African title holders within the WSL array, with Grant Baker from Durban as the Big Wave World Champion and we have Steve Sawyer as the Longboard World Champion.
It would be great to have Jordy Smith up there with his world title as well.
The Corona Open JBay takes place from 9 – 22 July at Supertubes, regarded as the worlds best wave.
The Corona Open JBay forms part of the annual JBay Winterfest, a multi sport and live music festival that is held in Jeffreys Bay from 6 – 22 July and is supported by the Kouga Municipality.
Photo: Stan Blumberg