Jordy Smith wins 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach after a decade of chasing a win at the Bowl. The South African big man finally takes home a Bell trophy while climbing up the world tour rankings in the process. He now sits at World Number 2, next to John John Florence, in the same spot he has been at the end of the 2016 Tour.
Smith faced a tough opponent in the Final, Caio Ibelli. Ibelli was last year’s rookie of the year, and the Brazilian has been on a tear throughout the event. He took down some of the best surfers along the way on his road to the finals including World Champ and current World Number 1, John John Florence, whom he bested in the semi-finals. And a very interesting statistic reveals Caio Ibelli now owns a 3-1 head-to-head record over John John Florence.
Ibelli defeating John John Florence on his way to the finals:
In the Final heat battle, Jordy Smith unleashed his signature carves, giant floaters and solid snaps to amass a total of 18.90 points (out of a possible 20.00). Ibelli was not an easy opponent, as he made a persistent push in the latter half of the heat and got a total of 17.46. Caio needed a 9.25 to snatch the win but Smith made sure he used priority to further bump up his score by catching a 9.13 wave with a few minutes left in the heat. Both surfers sat out on the lineup waiting for a new set to come, and Caio now needing a 9.28 could not find any wave as time ran out.
2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Final Heat:
Smith took his very first win for this event and became the very first South African to ever win at Bells Beach. He was ecstatic and emotional and got chaired up to the podium to claim his Bell.
“I can’t even believe it,” said Smith during his post-heat interview when asked about how he felt about it. “This is absolutely a dream come true!” he exclaimed.“Ten years of just hammering away and trying my very best, I’m just over the moon to get it today.”
Following this win, Jordy heads on to Rio sitting in a great spot in the World Title Race. On the other hand Caio Ibelli jumped 12 places up the rankings and breached the top 10 with a solid second place finish. John John Florence remains on top of the World Tour rankings with a solid equal third place finish at the Bowl.
Here is how the Jeep Leaderboard Top 10 looks like now after the 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach:
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