2010 will be remembered for more than just the soccer World Cup in Jeffreys Bay. It was also the year that a South African finally won the Billabong Pro at Supertubes, in front of a partisan home crowd.
Jordy Smith did his country proud. Already riding on the wave of “gees’, South Africans were ready for a home town victory and Jordy took on all before him to win his first ever ASP title and shoot to the top of the world rankings in the process.
The fact that a South African won on home soil is enough to declare the 2010 Billabong Pro to be the best ever, but a lot more went down to ensure it will be a hard act to follow.
For the first time in the history of the event, it was completed in the first four days of the waiting period. Day one saw some of the best waves of the year grind down the point and the surfers did not disappoint. Jordy looked good from his first heat and won it, to go through to round 3.
9 x world champ, Kelly Slater also ripped in the opening round and at that stage a semi final between him and Jordy was on the cards. However, the South African giant killer Sean Holmes had other ideas and he toppled Slater and then Andy Irons before bowing out in the quarter finals. But Sean opened up the draw for Jordy to have a run at the finals and Smith took full advantage of the situation.
The local support for a Billabong Pro has never been better or louder. The JBU had their own spot down the boardwalk and gave the South African surfers their full support. The “non VIP” area became the place to be, with big Frank playing doorman and leading the vuvuzela charge.
After the contest, when Jordy had been crowned as the winner of the 2010 Billabong Pro, he acknowledged the support of the J’Bay locals. “I have been coming here for years and to have the JBU support and hearing their vuvuzelas blow made me determined to win”, said Smith.
Jordy had a jittery semi final but managed to scrape through before totally dominating the final. He had it in the bag after his first two rides and with the sections starting to crumble at Supertubes it was a pity there were not more waves coming through. The conditions were perfect for Jordy to start busting and landing but a win is what counted.
Jordy is well positioned to have a run at the world title with 6 events left. No matter what happens, South Africans will be back in J’Bay next year to support Jordy in his quest to defend his Billabong Pro title.