Who wasn't putting money down on Filipe after his massive double rotation in round four?
The Best Man Just Won The 2017 Corona Open J-Bay
His name? Filipe Toledo.
Airs. Tubes. Turns. Tens. Sharks. Boats. Controversies. More tubes, turns and tens. The 2017 Corona Open J-Bay has been a wild blur. And when the final horn sounded, the right man had the lead.
His name wasn’t Mick Fanning, Jordy Smith, Kelly Slater or John John Florence. It was Filipe Toledo, the pride of São Clemente. And the man who surfed J-Bay like nobody before him. Let’s review how he sealed it on the final day.
Quarter 3: Filipe Toledo vs Jordy Smith
You’re not supposed to beat Jordy Smith at big, offshore J-Bay. And you’re especially not supposed to combo him. However, Filipe only needed a few minutes to do just that — he was essentially begging God to send a shark through the lineup out of anger again. One thing I noticed in this heat is that he’s very handsy with his claims. Maybe that’s how you get a 9 but it’s also how you get carpal tunnel.
Quarter 4: Matt Wilkinson vs Julian Wilson
In conditions like this, being frontside is a clear advantage — it’s so much easier to read the wave and place your turns accordingly. Julian deserved it, putting up two scores right around the 8 range, but Willy gave it hell. Therefore, he wins the Stab Occy of the event award. Guess what buddy — you get sixteen beers, a springsuit and tickets to a Grinspoon show.
On top of that, which is kind of cool, Wilko gets to keep the yellow jersey. Six events in, five events to go, and he is the man to beat. I wish he was angrier after losses though. After Glenn Hall’s incident with Gabriel, you’d think he could coach some anger into Wilko’s game. Would it kill him to break just one chair?
Semi 1: Gabriel Medina vs Frederico Morais
Remember Fred’s 10 from yesterday? Still don’t think it was a 10? Still don't think the first turn was the best of the event? It was Andy-esque, but for real. His style ain’t perfect, but his actual manoeuvres are great. He earned every win, including this one.
Gabriel was the highest-placing goofyfooter this event. But, as somebody pointed out, he is just a little too spry for Stab's Occy award.
Semi 2: Filipe Toledo vs Julian Wilson
Another heat. Another comboed opponent. Filipe got four 8s in this heat, while Julian couldn’t post anything north of a 6.33. Julian was always on the wrong waves, doing the wrong turns. He looked off. Filipe looked very, very on.
Final: Filipe Toledo vs Frederico Morais
Filipe battled a lot this event. Antiquated judging. Not looking like a moderately famous Brazilian hip hop artist. Chlorine, in general, which made his bleached hair turn bluish green. The last battle he needed to win was against Frederico.
On his first keeper of the heat, Fred doggy-doored a tube when he could have locked in for a few more seconds. It set the tone for the heat. I’m not Dog Marsh, but I can tell you that you need more confidence than that when you’re coming up against a guy who just sent two people in combo-land.
Filipe’s first keeper had a fury of turns and a floater that Shaun Tomson called the best he’s ever seen — and Shaun Tomson has seen a lot of floaters. There was some back and forth from there, but Filipe looked sharp in places where Frederico looked slow. And then it was over.
Although he’s already carrying a 13th, Filipe is still very much a contender for the Title. Though, he should probably work closely with his coach to adjust his strategy for barreling lefts — the current one of threatening the judges shortly before the event doesn’t seem to work so well.
Don’t let him surprise you at Teahupo’o.
1: Filipe Toledo 18.00
2: Frederico Morais 17.73
SF 1: Frederico Morais 17.37 def. Gabriel Medina 14.70
SF 2: Filipe Toledo 16.63 def. Julian Wilson 11.33
J-Bay Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina 17.40 def. Mick Fanning 11.33
Heat 2: Frederico Morais 19.77 def. John John Florence 18.67
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo 18.70 def. Jordy Smith 13.26
Heat 4: Julian Wilson 16.07 def. Matt Wilkinson 14.77
2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Corona Open J-Bay):
1 - Matt Wilkinson 31,950 points
2 - John John Florence 31,700 points
3 - Jordy Smith 31,350 points
4 - Owen Wright 30,150 points
5 - Adriano de Souza 27,900 points