A Single, Bizarre Heat At J-Bay
“That was my favourite 3.10 I’ve ever got.” – John Florence
One heat ran today at J-Bay. It was quarterfinal number one, and it starred John John Florence and Jordy Smith. When the duo hit the water, the heat was full of promise. But as is the way in surfing, conditions don’t care for our expectations. One restart, and almost a second one (had John John not stood up on a small wave), and it became apparent that the sets they were waiting for weren’t really coming.
The only real excitement came in the last five minutes. John John was sitting on a 7.33 and a 2.83. Jordy, a 6.33 and a 4.17 (Jordy in the lead). John took off needing a 3.10, raced through a floater and then blasted a late closeout reo. Both surfers reached the shore before the score was called: A 3.37 for John, and a ticket to the semis. Jordy, obviously, was gutted.
“Overscored on his last wave… yeah, definitely,” said the frustrated South African. “Conditions weren’t the best. Unfortunately these kind of things happen, there’s not much I can do… it’s up to those five guys (the judges). I’m super bummed out. I’d have liked to have had some clean open walls and a better battle. But… those are the reasons we love surfing. Hopefully I’ll get the bump next time.”
John John knew that luck had been on his side. “That last wave… everything was so close in that heat,” he said. “I’m stoked I made it through, that was a scary heat. In the beginning we battled each other way up top, and I kept thinking there were going to be sets. And it came down to four minutes, and I thought, I’ve gotta go on anything now. It’s scary in those last couple of minutes, you start overthinking things. That was my favourite 3.10 I’ve ever got.”
As always, J-Bay will decide when competition resumes, when it’s good and ready. But until then, tell us… did John earn the score?
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