Aussies dominate at J-Bay

TWO-TIME J-Bay Open champion Joel Parkinson has progressed to the quarter finals at the South African event, taking out a few of his fellow Australians on the way.

The Gold Coaster went on to the fourth round after beating out Adam Melling 14.83 to 8.50 in the first heat of the day.

He scored 16.44 in the following round, competing against countrymen Josh Kerr (8.47) and Taj Burrow (8.40), to move directly into the quarters.


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But the shock of the day came from Australia’s Matt Wilkinson, who caused the upset of the event, kocking 11-time world champion Kelly Slater out of the competition.

After notching up another win in the fourth round later on Monday at Jeffreys Bay, Wilkinson progressed directly to the quarter-finals.

Wilkinson took an early lead in the third round, with Slater needing 6.34 to surpass him at the halfway point.

In the waves before the buzzer, the American slipped off his board while Wilkinson’s rhythm continued, and he finished with 18.36 to Slater’s 15.37.

“No one really looks forward to a heat against Kelly, but my backhand and my boards are feeling really solid,” Wilkinson said.

“It’s so hard to beat anyone out here at J-Bay. I knew I needed to catch good waves against Kelly and I’m stoked to make it through.”

Slater said Wilkinson seemed to be in total sync from the first wave.

“Every set he seemed to have the better waves,” he said.

“I should have just been a bit more relaxed, maybe waited out a set. I really just blew it.”

Three Australians will compete in round five for a quarter-final spot, with Kerr to take on Brazil’s Adriano de Souza, Burrow to face America’s Kolohe Andino, and Gold Coaster Mick Fanning up against Freddy Patacchia.