The JBay Open continued with excellent waves for the rest of round three yesterday, and there were some inspired performances as well as some surprise exits.
In difficult early morning conditions, Joel Parkinson struggled against Wiggolly Dantes, with the Brazilian rookie coming out on top with some fast backhand surfing.
Current world champion, Gabriel Medina kept the Brazilian flag flying high, literally, as he took to the skies in his heat against Matt Wilkinson from Australia.
Matt was in the lead after posting an excellent wave score of 9.57 for a series of critical top turns, but then Medina executed two big backhand airs for a score of 9.47, followed by a massive single move backhand rotation for an amazing core of 9.60 and the highest heat total the competition thus far, a 19.07.
“I got a lot of waves out there,” said Medina. “Now I just want to keep going and keep the ball rolling.”
Kelly Slater came up against current world no 30 Kolohe Andino, and took the win with relative ease.
Kelly has immeasurable experience at Supers, and utilized this to overcome Andino. Slater is looking for a good finish in JBay after a fairly dismal start to his season.
Slater, who was self-admittedly critical of the decision to surf today, was all smiles after his victory. “This morning was tough, that first heat with Parko and Wiggolly,” said Slater. “I would have been scared to be in that heat.”
The organisers have called a lay day for the JBay Open today with another call expected tomorrow morning (16 July).
The JBay Winterfest continues today with the Billabong Junior surf event taking place at Magnatubes, the beach in front of Checkers in da Gama Road.
JBay Open Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Alejo Muniz (BRA)