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DAY OF UPSETS AT ROUND ONE, BILLABONG PRO, JEFFREYS BAY
News provided by ASP World Tour on 14 July 2006
It was a day of upsets at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay today as numerous underdogs and local wildcards dominated the round one proceedings.
Insane surfing was the norm and conditions were an excellent 1.5 to two metres (five to six feet) and incredibly clean at the break known as “Supertubes” which sits right at the top of the unbelievably perfect Jeffreys Bay setup – and contestants were loving every minute of it.
Adding spice to the mix was the fact that the top five seeds on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour, including Bobby Martinez (USA), Taj Burrow (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA) and Andy Irons (HAW) were all relegated to round two after being well beaten by their lesser ranked rivals.
Number one seed, seven-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA), missed the day all together due to being in transit on his way to the event.
Tour veteran Danny Wills (AUS) was the standout of the day when he defeated Irons in what was easily the best heat of the round.
Wills showed possibly his best form of the year as he locked into deep tube after deep tube logging in a total score of 19.20 out of 20.
And while Irons even scored a perfect 10, he couldn’t catch Wills who dominated from go to whoa.
“It was definitely one of the best heats I’ve ever had,” said Wills. “I feel great. Andy surfed insane as always, and it was just good to get away with a win. To get two good ones, as opposed to just one, which I normally do, felt good. It felt really good.”
After scoring an excellent 9.93 for two deep tubes on one wave, Wills paddled back into the lineup to watch Irons slot well and truly underneath the lip for at least six seconds plus. At that point he feared that Irons had done enough to counter his attack.
“I was paddling out and I saw Andy get that one and I thought ‘here we go!’ and then I heard ‘10’. I just couldn’t believe it!” said Wills. “Then I got another good one and that was it. It’s about time that happened! [laughs] I normally get the raw end of the stick, with onshores, so today was awesome all round.”
Also putting the pedal to the metal in his heat against Martinez and tour legend Mark Occhilupo (AUS) was Yuri Sodre (BRA) who waited right until the last minute to post his victory after scoring another extremely long tube ride.
That wave stole him the victory coming in at 9.17, as up to that point it looked as though Martinez was home and hosed and on his way to round three.
Sodre has been quietly improving from event to event and is hopeful of a good result here at Jeffreys Bay.
“I was lucky,” said Martinez. “I was focused and really concentrating on this contest. I am having a hard year, and I’m still learning. First year is always hard so I am putting all my all energy here. I’m putting myself into a position where I can do it, and finally things are going my way, so I am hoping to do good.”
Sending the local crowd into a frenzy, were local wildcards Sean Holmes, Jordy Smith and Damien Fahrenfort.
All three put on some scintillating performances to down their foes and many of the more seasoned tourers are sensing that more upsets are on the cards.
Particularly outstanding was Smith who was tradesman-like in his demolition of Burrow and Luke Stedman (AUS) in heat seven of the day.
The 19-year-old natural footer was elated by his performance after beating a couple of his childhood heroes.
“Taj is one of my favourite surfers and I knew it was going to be a hard heat out there,” said Smith. “I was a little bit rattled in the beginning of the heat and was a bit too busy, but then I got that 8.0 and I was psyched. I just waited for another good one and luckily I got a 9.0.
“It’s amazing. The guys in this event are my heroes, so just to go out there and have some fun with them is crazy – it’s like a dream.”
Holmes, meanwhile, has rattled the cages of the elite on several occasions proving to be a thorn in Irons’s side two years running by eliminating him early in the event.
Always looking solid at J-Bay, Holmes easily cruised through to round three past Bede Durbidge (AUS) and the absent Slater, in heat eight.
“It was great being out there,” said Holmes.”I was really excited to come up against Kelly and Bede, but I don’t know if I can take that as a real win over Kelly! I’d love to surf against him. He does that all the time, you know, often he paddles out five minutes into the heat and I actually thought he was going to paddle out for the last 10 minutes anyway.”
On coming up against the best of the best, Holmes indicated clearly that no-one really intimidates him.
“The way I look at it, every single guy in the top 45 could win this contest,” said Holmes. “So really, to me it makes absolutely no difference who I’m surfing against. I truly believe that in this format you are only really surfing against yourself, and the way I look at it, every time I paddle out, unless I am surfing my best I don’t deserve to win anyway. So it doesn’t matter who’s in the water, it really doesn’t bother me.”
Like his South African buddies, Fahrenfort was ecstatic at taking a win over the more fancied rivals and in his win against Damien Hobgood and last year’s Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour rookie of the year, Fred Patacchia (HAW) will be one worth remembering.
“I’m so stoked!” bellowed Fahrenfort. “My mom and dad will be over the moon, so I’m stoked.”
With conditions holding close to perfect throughout the afternoon, organisers are hopeful that round two will hit the water tomorrow morning.
Forecasts are promising with another big swell due to arrive toward the middle of next week.
Stay tuned to www.billabongpro.com or www.aspworldtour.com for all the updates.
For all the heat by heat updates head to the news section of either site plus check out all the winner’s quotes and images in the media centre.
RESULTS VON ZIPPER TRIALS
HEAT 1: 1.Stirling Spencer (USA) 14.83; 2. Luke Dorrington (AUS) 11.97; Warwick Wright (ZAF)10.93; Ryan Payne (ZAF) 10.50
HEAT 2:1. Damian Fahrenfort 16.00 (ZAF); 2. James Wood 8.80 (ZAF); 3 Laurie Towner 8.60 (AUS); 4. Shane Thorne (ZAF) 5.44
HEAT 3: 1. Sean Holmes 13.00 (ZAF); 2: Tiago Pires 11.60 (POR) ; 3. Shaun Payne 11.37 (ZAF); 4. Wade Goodall (AUS) 10.40
BILLABONG PRO ROUND ONE RESULTS:
HEAT 1: 1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.66; Troy Brooks (AUS) 12.84; 3. Davey Weare (ZAF) 9.00
HEAT 2: 1. Paulo Moura (BRA) 11.50; 2. CJ Hobgood (USA) 8.26; 3: Jarrad Howse (AUS) 7.80
HEAT 3: 1. Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) 16.17; 2. Toby Martin (AUS) 12.00; 3. Bruce Irons (HAW) 6.97
HEAT4: 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.70; 2. Trent Munro (AUS) 13.10; 3. Pedro Henrique (BRA) 9.46
HEAT 5: 1. Taylor Knox (USA) 14.00; 2. Greg Emslie (ZAF) 11.50; 3. Roy Powers (HAW) 7.23
HEAT 6: 1. Yuri Sodre (BRA) 16.00; Bobby Martinez (USA) 11.76; Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 9.1)
HEAT 7: 1. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.17; 2. Luke Stedman (AUS) 14.33; 3. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.90
HEAT 8: 1. Sean Holmes (ZAF) 16.73 ; 2. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.17; Kelly Slater (USA) no show
HEAT9: 1. Danny Wills (AUS); 19.209; 2. Andy Irons (HAW) 16.17; 3. Sterling Spencer (USA) 8.67
HEAT9: 1. Damian Fahrenfort (ZAF) 2. Damien Hobgood (USA); 3. Fred Patacchia (HAW)
HEAT 10: 1. Damian Fahrenfort (ZAF) 13.77; 2. Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.50; 3. Fred Patacchia (USA) 9.53
HEAT 11: 1. Peterson Rosa (BRA) 16.94; 2. Jake Paterson (AUS) 14.66; 3. Tim Reyes (USA) 6.67
HEAT 12: 1. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 14.17; 2. Dean Morrison (AUS) 12.40; Chris Ward (USA) no show
HEAT 13: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 15.67; 2. Cory Lopez (USA) 14.50; 3. Chris Ward (USA) no show
HEAT14: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.40; 2. Marcelo Nunes (BRA) 9.67; Mick Lowe (AUS) 8.67
Heat 15: Phil Macdonald (AUS) 14.83; 2. Victor Ribas (BRA) 8.93; 3. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 7.80
HEAT 16: 1. Sean Cansdell (AUS) 17.93; 2. Travis Logie 14.43; 3. Adriano de Souza 13.40