A COUPLE of surfing’s big names have been knocked out of the J-Bay Open after a Round 3 got underway in small swell at Jeffreys Bay on Tuesday.
Top seeds Adriano de Souza and Mick Fanning were dominant, winning through their heats alongside Kelly Slater and the day’s standout performer Gabriel Medina.
The upsets of the day were Filipe Toledo and Joel Parkinson who were eliminated from the competition in 13th place at the hands of Alejo Muniz and Wiggolly Dantas.
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Medina came out firing in his heat against Matt Wilkinson, and his aerial antics earned him a near-perfect 9.47 on his opening ride.
He backed it up with another excellent score but Wilkinson quickly answered with a 9.57 for a series of critical snaps all the way down the line to put him back in contention. In an impressive return to form another backside air from the Brazilian just before the buzzer netted him a 9.60 and the highest heat total of the competition so far, a 19.07.
“That was a pretty fun heat,” said Medina.
“I got a lot of waves. The year has been pretty tough for me and it feels good to make this Round 3. Now it’s a no-loser round so it’s more relaxed. You can choose your waves and do your thing. I just want to keep going and keep the ball rolling.”
Coolangatta local Fanning looked at ease in the morning conditions at Jeffreys Bay. Fanning faced C.J. Hobgood in Heat 7 of Round 3.
“I knew I had to put it all together and I got a couple of 8’s which settled the nerves a little,” said Fanning.
“But still, C.J. (Hobgood), he’s a World Champion, he’s a hero of mine and he never gives up. That’s what I love about him. I still had to keep my head on the whole way through.”
After an outstanding performance on Monday, Joel Parkinson was taken out by rookie Wiggolly Dantas.
“There’s always going to be a winner and a loser, but there just wasn’t a lot of opportunity,” said Parkinson.
“It is a bit disappointing to think that I’m sitting kind of midway in the Tour and I really feel like I should be a lot higher up. No hard feelings against Wiggolly (Dantas) but I’d really like to get him in a nice consistent Trestles or something.”
Fellow locals Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge were also knocked out of the competition.
J-Bay Open Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 15.40
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.50 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.83
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.94 def. Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 8.40
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 16.87 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 8.03
Heat 5: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.13 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.40
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.17 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.90
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.83
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.07 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.07
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.27
Heat 10: Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.83 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.33
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.67
Heat 12: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 17.83 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.23
J-Bay Open Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Alejo Muniz (BRA)