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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Tue, 12 September 2017

Jordy Smith led a tight bunch at the top of the rankings in clean 4' surf on the 8th stop of the WSL Championship Tour, The Hurley Pro at Trestles near San Clemente, California.

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ON AND OFF THE TOP: Jordy Smith leads the rankings by a narrow margin. Photo WSL / Morris

This event is critical for the tightly bunched top five surfers. They are separated by less than 5,000 points on the Jeep Leaderboard, with only three events - France, Portugal and Hawaii - to go after Trestles. Defending event winner Jordy Smith sits at #1, with John John Florence (HAW) hot on his heels. Both got strong wins in Round 1 and direct routes to Round 3 but #3 Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and #4 Owen Wright (AUS) were eliminated from the event by wildcards in Round 2.

Smith showed world-class form at the famed cobblestone break to earn a near-perfect first wave score of 9.50. Although he could not find a good backup, Rookie Ian Gouveia (BRA) and wildcard Evan Geiselman (USA) could not find 13.28 to overtake Smith.

“I was stoked to get that first wave because there were a lot of things going on in that heat with the paddle battle to get things started,” Smith said. “You can’t over surf the wave out there. I was happy to get that 9-pointer to start. I just had to control that heat, and if a good wave came at the end, I was going to go and try to better my score. It’s important to me to just maintain calm out here I think.”

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CLOSE SHAVE: John John Florence came back to win berth through to Round 3. Photo WSL / Morris

Italo Ferreira (BRA) nearly provided a big upset over Florence in Round 1, but Florence sealed the deal with his final wave. “Italo [Ferreira] has one of those wildcard factors about him -- you don’t know what he’s going to do,” Florence said. “You see him pumping down the line on a left going real fast and you get a little nervous. I’m just stoked I got two waves in that heat.”

The event is over for Wilko and Wright, who were dropped by Geiselman and Hiroto Ohhara (JPN). Their elimination, and joint 25th place, is a big setback, but it makes things interesting for the other three at the top, Smith, Florence and Wilson, who is sitting at #5.

Bede Durbidge, who will retire to become Team Australia's Elite Program Manager after the 2018 season (to prepare for the 2020 Olympics), started the Round 1 heat against Wilkinson and Ethan Ewing (AUS) with a commanding 7.83 and 5.60 to capture and hold an early lead. Competing in his 12th Trestles event, Durbidge utilized his experience to take the win. The Australian also expressed his motivation to perform well in his final Trestles event as a full-time CT competitor.

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GIANT KILLER: Ethan Ewing gave Parko his first 25th place of 2017. Photo WSL / Cestari

WSL Champions Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Adriano de Souza (BRA) are well in the 2017 World Title conversation. They sit just behind the top five in 6th and 7th place. Both Brazilians are looking in great form at Lowers, with big Round 1 victories.

Fellow WSL Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) was less than fortunate in Round 1 against an in-form Conner Coffin (USA) who had the current World No. 8 in a combination situation, with Parko needing two new scores to match Coffin’s heat total. Parko had to battle first-year Ewing in Round 2 but couldn't do it against the committed youngster. Parko exits with his first 25th place of 2017. Ewing earns his second heat win of his rookie year.

Current Jeep Rankings Leaderboard #5 Julian Wilson (AUS) found his form early on and continued improving each wave, ultimately accruing a solid 13.27 over Brazilians Jadson Andre (BRA) and Caio Ibelli (BRA). The Australian heads straight into Round 3 as Andre and Ibelli will have to survive elimination Round 2 when competition resumes.

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FINS FREE: Josh Kerr survived his Round 2 heat against Connor O'Leary. Photo WSL / Morris

Current World No. 9 Filipe Toledo (BRA) will join the Brazilian Champions in Round 3 after putting on an incredible show at Lowers to win his Round 1 match-up. Toledo posted the highest two-wave total, a 17.60, with a near-perfect 9.43 and a 8.17. Rookies Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) and Joan Duru (FRA) must surf Round 2.

Sebastian Zietz (HAW) threw himself into high-gear and took down 2017 Rookie of the Year contender Connor O’Leary (AUS) and Californian Kanoa Igarashi (USA) with brilliant surfing to earn a near-perfect 9.50. Zietz’s powerful wrapping carves sent spray flying out the back with each maneuver all the way to the inside. The Kauaian talent is looking for a spark this year to surpass his best result of an equal 13th and showed he’s hungry for one today.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, are calling for: Modest, new S swell will build in through Monday and continue Tuesday. A larger S swell will build through the day on Wednesday, peak Thursday and fade Friday and should offer the largest surf of the waiting period late Wednesday and Thursday. For more information, check out www.WorldSurfLeague.com.

Hurley Pro Round 1
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.67, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 6.90
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.27, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.90, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.84
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.40, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.63, Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.17
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS 13.43, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.20, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 6.33
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 16.07, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.90, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 12.40
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.23, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 10.70, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.76
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.67, Nat Young (USA) 13.03, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.30
Heat 8: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.67, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 6.67, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 4.66
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.60, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 15.86, Joan Duru (FRA) 14.07
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.83, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 9.26, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 7.90
Heat 11: Frederico Morais (PRT) 14.90, Jack Freestone (AUS) 12.34, Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.13
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.10, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.43, Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.00

Hurley Pro Round 2 (Heats 1 - 4)
Heat 1: Evan Geiselman (USA) 15.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.96
Heat 2: Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 15.73 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 15.43
Heat 3: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 11.03 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 9.07
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.50 def. Connor O'Leary (AUS) 13.00

Hurley Pro Remaining Round 2 (Heats 5 - 12) Match-Ups
Heat 5: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 6: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 7: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 9: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 10: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 11: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 12: Ian Gouveia (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)

Swatch Pro Round 2 Match-Ups
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 5: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)

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