Jordy Smith hasn’t been on top of the Jeep Leaderboard since leaving Jeffreys Bay after winning the JBay Open in 2011.
Unfortunately for the South African, he broke his rib in the very next event – at Teahupo’o – that year, and surrendered the lead for good in the aftermath.
But Sunday at Teahupo’o, six years later, Smith finally returned to the top spot, and he did it the hard way by defeating John John Florence in their Quarterfinal clash at the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
It’s worth noting that Florence came into their match the heavy favorite.
Statistically, he’s dominated Smith at Teahupo’o. But Smith seems to be operating from a different playbook this year.
After surviving years of injury-plagued seasons, he’s surfing smarter, harder and better than ever.
The next stop on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro which run from September 6 through 17, 2017, at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California.
Smith won the event last year and a solid result could see him extend his lead in the world rankings.
2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Billabong Pro Tahiti):
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 37,850 pts
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 36,900 pts
3 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 35,950 pts
4 – Owen Wright (AUS) 35,350 pts
5 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 33,200 pts