The J-Bay Open Quarterfinals started with the much-awaited heat between Jordy Smith and John John Florence. The two surfers have paddled into a bumpy line-up, but when they were in position, the waves have started becoming flat as if someone switched off the wave button.
With no waves coming through, the two sat, quite far up the point until waves started coming in. Finally, after a long wait, a set arrived and Jordy got started in the zone. It was a big and bumpy ride where he posted a mid-range score. The atmosphere was tense.
With the clock winding down, there was a quick set of waves and both surfers dug in deep to establish comfortable leads. The leads have been changing back and forth and back. One moment it was John John leading, half a minute later it was Jordy taking the lead.
But John John, with a few minutes left before the buzzer, nailed a 3.37 for his backup score.
He only needed a 3.17 to catch up to Jordy’s narrow lead. It was a very close call, and the Hawaiian finished the heat with a 0.20 lead going his way. With this very slim margin, he has secured a Semifinals berth.
In a post-heat interview, Jordy Smith barely managed to keep his composure, obviously disappointed with the results. On the other hand, John John was cheerful and smiling. He was able to nail the score he needed to advance to the Semifinals. He mentioned that it was his favorite 3.37 ever.
After that heat, the announcers have called the contest off for the day and the event has been put on hold due to unfavorable conditions.