John John’s Nemesis?


The Corona Open J-Bay 2017 is about to fire up! This year’s wildcard slots have been determined, and the match-ups have been drawn. One of the wildcards for this year is Dale Staples from the nearby St. Francis Bay and winner of this year’s trials event called the JBU Supertrial. He is set to compete against World Champion John John Florence and rookie Ian Gouveia in the sixth heat of Round One. And this will be a very interesting heat to watch because if anyone should be nervous, it would be John John.

Is Dale Staples John John’s Nemesis? | Photo Credit: @ducky_staples

This isn’t the first time that the two met. Florence and Staples have faced each other three times in the past and each time, Staples came out on top. This means that Florence has never defeated Staples, so far. Here is a quick run-through of their previous encounters:

2009 Mr Price Pro at Willard Ballito
In their four-man heat, Dale Staples immediately scored a perfect 10-point tube ride and added a strong backup score to win against John John Florence, who finished second place.

2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay
Staples was once again matched up with Florence in Round 16 and he went on a tear. In the tightly contested battle, Staples emerged the winner with a 14.83 against Florence’s 14.57.

Dale Staples’ free surfing session at J-Bay | Photo Credit: @ducky_staples

2013 Reef Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa
Dale faced John John again in Round Three. As the clock wound down, a good wave arrived and sparked a tense paddle-battle. Florence erroneously assumed that the wave was his and was called for interference, which caused him to go down to the third spot and get eliminated from the contest.

In these three encounters, Dale has emerged victorious, but it has always been a close match with the odds just turning to his favor.

Their’s isn’t anywhere near the Andy Irons-Sean Holmes rivalry yet, but it’s something to watch closely as it unfolds very soon in the next few days. Florence had a runner-up finish at J-Bay last year, so he certainly has what it takes to win. Staples, on the other hand, has a lifetime of local knowledge in J-Bay waves and he is fit and prepared to compete.

While Florence has a title to chase, Staples has nothing much to lose in this event. Will Staples have the same luck in their match-up or will Florence finally get a win over his “nemesis?”

John John Florence finally stopped Dale Staple’s winning streak against him. And he does it in a statement-making fashion. In Heat Six of Round One of the Corona Open J-Bay, Florence went on a tear and even scored an almost perfect 9.70 backed up with another excellent 9.67 to finish with a total heat score of 19.37. The whole time, Dale Staples was trying to find an answer but with a score of 16.03, Dale’s deficit from John John’s was highly significant. This time, John Florence has again proved to be a lethal opponent that no nemesis can put down that easily.

Will JJF keep that streak the next time he meets with Dale?

Watch John John’s 9.70 ride on the replay below:

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