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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
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Fri, 13 October 2017

Bad luck! Jordy Smith is out of the Quik Pro. John John Florence is on fire with two events to go, and he's just getting started. SA fans are starting to sputter and gasp, writes Spike.


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UNSTOPPABLE: John John had SA fans supporting Ethan Ewing today. Photo WSL / Masurel


The knuckles are slowly tightening and the blood flow is draining, with John John Florence probably set to overtake Jordy Smith on the rankings going into the penulimate event of the WSL Championship Tour, which is Portugal.

He smashed his Round 3 elimination against a hapless Ethan Ewing (AUS) with a storming 9.73 and 9.43 for a 19.16 heat total that was boosted by a ridiculous backhand air reverse thing that had the commentators oohing and aahing and saying it's the best air they've seen since the last best air they've seen, and then reminding each other maybe it wasn't. Either way, it was a pretty insane move.

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GIANT BULLET: Local wildcard Marc Lacomare took down No 3 and No 1. Photo WSL / Poullenot


It seems a shoe in that he will take the yellow jersey from Jordy. John John's next heat is not an elimination. He'll definitely make Round 5 if he doesn't win Round 4, with a berth in the quarters highly probable.

The last thing we as South Africans need is John John wearing the yellow jersey going into the last event of the year, his home turf otherwise known as Banzai Pipeline.

We all know that this has been traditionally Jordy's archilles heel. By this, I mean heaving, hollow left hand barrels that make most people's skin crawl. There are just two of historic consequence for Jordy, Chopes and Pipe. But the big man has matured nicely into an all-round power house. He can do it.

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NO EXIT: This was Jordy's last despate attempt to get that 7.11 he needed. Photo WSL / Poullenot


Jordy seemed a little reserved against French wildcard Marc Lacorme in Round 3, which was a bit perplexing because this was the man who had prior to this heat vanquished World #3 Julian Wilson in the Round 2 elimination. He needed to be put in place by an emphatic Jordy, even if he was going to leave it to the last minute or so.

Fans wept. Fans gnashed their teethWith four minutes remaining, Smith needed a 7,11 to get rid of the Frenchman and stay in the game, but he could not find the right wave. Damn! Fans wept. Fans gnashed their teeth. They took to Twitter to support Ewing against John John, but that too, was to no avail. C'mon Jordy.

Here's something else to thing about. Despite other areas of sport looking a bit dodgy, a certain recent rugby game helping to come back from that a little bit, we might soon have three wave riding world champions.

Iain Campbell just won the APB (Association of Bodyboarding Professionals) world title, Grant Twiggy Baker is the defending 2016/2017 world big wave champion, and with some luck, we might have the WSL world surfing champ within the next eight weeks!

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Hugo Viljoen
0 #1 CAPTHugo Viljoen 2017-10-16 11:55
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