Perfect 4-to 6-foot waves set the stage for the intense final day of the Corona Open J-Bay, which culminated with Brazil’s Filipe Toledo carrying home the crown.
During four days of prime conditions, Toledo established himself for many as the best surfer in the competition, earning praise even from Mick Fanning for being the fastest surfer on tour. More than just speedy, Toledo demonstrated phenomenal footwork, air game and creativity. Much was also said during the competition about his intuitive wave selection. He posted some of the highest heat scores in a contest where performance levels were at a high.
Finals day saw Filipe facing off against local fave Jordy Smith in the Quarterfinals. Jordy tried for an early score but washed out on the first wave. Filipe took full advantage of his first ride, carving and tube-riding to score a 9.50. He followed it up with a 9.20, and Jordy never caught up.
Toledo’s second match of the day was against Julian Wilson in the Semifinals. Filipe scored well and early, and kept up the pace throughout the heat, taking an easy win over Julian.
The final heat of the event had Filipe challenging Portugal’s rookie Frederico Morais. Frederico had already gotten the best of such greats as John John Florence and Gabe Medina, and his face-off with Filipe would prove a close one. Filipe got an early advantage, scoring a 9.17 against Frederico’s 8.33. Morais eventually posted the highest score of the heat, a 9.40, but lost out when Toledo took priority on the last wave of the heat.
After missing out on the Outer Known Fiji Pro and nearly losing all chances at a CT title, Filipe is back in fighting form. His J-Bay victory is his fourth on the CT, and places him at No. 7 on the Jeep Leaderboard. He expressed gratitude for an amazing week, saying that winning J-Bay and to surf the kind of waves they had throughout the comp was a dream come true.
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