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SIX HEATS OF ROUND THREE COMPLETED AT BILLABONG PRO
News provided by ASP World Tour on 20 July 2006
With poor wave quality and consistency plaguing the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay today, organisers managed to only hold six heats of the 16 in round three.
On the horizon however are excellent forecasts, which indicate that a sizeable swell is on the way, set to arrive tomorrow and to hold out until Saturday.
The standout performer of the day was none other than 2002 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay champion and 2005 Fosters ASP Men’s World Tour number three Mick Fanning (AUS).
Blasting up and over the short yet punchy sections, Fanning came home with the highest total score of the day, a 15.66 to down Hawaiian Roy Powers.
Fanning attributed the win to getting busy and not stopping while his foe had priority.
“It was really tricky out there,” said Fanning. “When you had priority you found yourself getting stuck up the point. I actually got my best waves out of priority, so that was a bonus. It came down to whoever got the waves… Then they just had to try and negotiate the bumps.”
Fanning also had an altercation with the rocks which line the edge of the break after he pushed a wave right through to the inside.
“Yeah, I got smashed!” laughed Fanning. “I was star fishing out there for a while on barnacles and muscles and all kinds of stuff. I got out all right but my board got a couple of dings. Still, I got through the heat so I’m really happy.”
For Fanning the year has been reasonably indifferent, despite him notching up some of the biggest total scores of the year, so a good result here will put his campaign back on track.
“I haven’t had the best year,” said Fanning. “So I’m looking to go out and get a result here. I’m pretty pumped!”
Also excelling in the smallish swell was Brazilian hot shot Adriano de Souza.
The lightweight naturalfooter’s style was perfectly suited to the waves today and he pulled out everything from his bag of tricks to win over Trent Munro (AUS).
“Yeah I’m pretty stoked with these conditions and to be doing well at J Bay,” said de Souza. “These waves are so similar to my home and I’m stoked to have been able to surf them and performance well. I’m stoked to make it through to the next round because I’ve needed some more points to qualify for the top tour for next year. This heat was incredible. Trent Munro surfs really, really powerful and can win in any conditions. It was a great win.”
In an extremely tight affair, South African hopeful Greg Emslie found solid form to edge out Victor Ribas (BRA). So close was the heat it finished with less than half a point separating them – Emslie finished with 12.83 to Ribas’s 12.40.
“At the end of the day it’s a job you’ve got to do,” said Emslie. “You can’t always have perfect waves and you’ve still got to play the game no matter what the conditions are like. I did enough to win and hold my priority when there weren’t that many good waves. Victor is always tough in these conditions and luckily he couldn’t get the score he needed on his last one, so I’m really happy to get through this round and hopefully get into some good surf in the next round.”
Emslie will now take on Fanning in round four and is looking forward to the matchup.
“Mick’s tough, but it’s going to come down to who gets the better waves if it’s good,” said Emslie. If it’s barreling I’m sure its going to be a pretty tough heat because we’ll be going all out with big off the tops and long barrels. I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure it’s going to be fun.”
Contest Director Mike Parsons has warned everyone to be ready for a 7.30am sharp start for tomorrow morning.
As mentioned, swell forecasts indicate that bigger waves are on the way and he is eager to push on with the round first thing tomorrow.
All the heats are strong but none more so than heat eight between seven-time Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour champion Kelly Slater (USA) and wildcard local giant killer Sean Holmes (ZAF).
Slater indicated he was slightly nervous about taking on Holmes who in previous years has been a thorn in many of the guns’ sides.
“A guy like Sean Holmes will be tough,” said Slater. “He’s probably the best local surfer and he has a lot of experience here at J-Bay, but I’d imagine that he’d do better when the waves get a bit bigger. I’m hoping it stays more like Florida size out there so I have a bit more advantage!” [laughs]
Results round three heat 1 to 6:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.66 def Victor Ribas (BRA) 13.67
Heat 2: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 12.83 def Victor Ribas (BRA) 12.40
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.33 def Trent Munro (AUS) 11.90
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.68 def Yuri Sodre (BRA) 7.27
Heat 5: Phil Macdonald (AUS) 13.33 def Davey Weare (ZAF) 12.34
Heat 6: Peterson Rosa (BRA) 12.33 def Shaun Cansdell 9.07
Remaining heats round three heat 7 to 16:
Heat 7: Nathan Hedge (AUS) vs. Mick Lowe (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Sean Holmes (ZAF)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF)
Heat 10: Paulo Moura (BRA) vs. Pancho Sullivan (HAW)
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Jarrad Howse (AUS)
Heat 12: Danny Wills (AUS) vs. Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 13: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 14: Darren O Rafferty (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 15: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Pedro Henrique (BRA
Heat 16: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) Raoni Monteiro (BRA)