Stab Magazine | J-Bay Is Wonderful And Arcane

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J-Bay Is Wonderful And Arcane

Observations from Day 1 at the Corona Open. 

news // Jul 16, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Jeffreys Bay is a perfect wave and serves as a nearly faultless test of skill in the game of modern high-performance. It is exactly why real surfing will never click with the mainstream.

It’s too arcane. To a poorly trained eye, the differences between a Frederico Morais 7.33 and a Conner Coffin 8.87 are too small to notice. But, to the rest of us, they’re glaringly obvious and worth saying truly offensive things to dear friends over — the devil really is in the detail. Plus, Jeffs doesn’t have the OMFG factor of Teahupo’o, Cloudbreak or Pipe nor the nearby metropolis of Rio, Trestles or the Goldy. It’s just J-Bay. It’s just core.

The 2017 Corona Open at kicked off today and Parko, Bede and Adriano won the first three heats. By the start of Heat 4, I had to check the calendar to confirm that it wasn’t 2010 — bit of a relief to be honest. In his post-heat interview, Adriano said that he prays between waves and asks God to meddle with the outcome. The repertoire of carves, floaters, snaps, airs, barrels and divine intervention is why he’s so hard to beat.

Then, Jeremy Flores got the day’s first 9! A hot mix of tubes and turns, turns and tubes. He explained that the wave was so perfect it almost made him nervous and went on to give a refreshingly genuine interview. All in all, sick! In my imagination, he stormed the judge’s tower after and hugged them all. In Wilko’s imagination, none of this happened because the World #1 got sent to Round #2. In Ethan Ewing’s imagination, he wasn’t in that heat. Jordy once told Stab that Ethan was the best surfer on Tour who can’t win a heat and I agree wholeheartedly. At this point, the only thing that seems to be justifying the comparison between him and Andy Irons is clearly not being on a prayer-to-answer basis with God.

Another big performance in the early heats came from Joe Turpel (#69, USA). After a few events away due to a family tragedy, Joey had to return to form at the exact same place that he confusedly commentated a shark attack just two years ago. He found some momentum early on and dominated the heat against Martin Potter (#89, ZAF) on his home turf.

The heat of the day, in my book, goes to Conner Coffin, Jordy Smith and Micheal February. Something is clicking with Jordy (for real this time) and you get the sense that he’s going to own this event. He dropped an 8.33 early, but couldn’t back it up — especially not after Conner sunk into the best turn of the day and dropped a 9.37.

But the performance of the day goes to John John Florence. He caught three waves. 9.70. 9.67. 9.20. Scary good. Although Dale Staples looked pretty sharp for someone whose sole job since the 18th century has been to bind sheets of paper together. Expect him to give Jordy hell tomorrow.

Then Italo Ferreira won and did a Salt Bae claim. If you don’t love Italo, I don’t love you.

Kelly Slater (45-years-old, Cocoa Beach, Florida) dropped a 9.10 for a tube that could’ve gone a nudge higher — further proof that it is not the year 2010. With 20 seconds left, Julian Wilson needed a score similar to Slater’s 9.10 and came about .43 points away from it. I think they were making up for it — but I’m not sure whether “it” means underscoring Slater’s first wave or the fact that it isn’t 2010.

By the way, Gabriel Medina is not broken! Like, highest score of the day not broken. A 9.93. Then he backed it up with an 8.90.

To finish the day, Mick Fanning hammered out two high 8s and Michel Bourez went to town. I refuse to use words to describe Mick’s surfing at J-Bay because, if you’ve made it this far, you really shouldn’t need a written description of what Mick Fanning looks like at J-Bay. And as far as Bourez goes? There’s a reason why he’s the most rated under-rated power surfer on tour. That wasn’t a typo. That was truth.

Corona Open J-Bay Round 1 Results:

Heat 1:

Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.32, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.60, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.33

Heat 2:

Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.84, Owen Wright (AUS) 11.16, Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.00

Heat 3:

Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.83, Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.73, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.57

Heat 4:

Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.00, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.27, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 9.93

Heat 5:

Conner Coffin (USA) 17.04, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.76, Michael February (ZAF) 12.40

Heat  6

: John John Florence (HAW) 19.37, Dale Staples (ZAF) 16.03, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 13.07

Heat  7:

Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.27, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.83

Heat  8:

Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27, Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.84, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 8.77

Heat  9:

Jack Freestone (AUS) 16.00, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.66, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 11.00

Heat 10:

Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.83, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 14.77, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.17

Heat 11:

Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.23, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.83, Joan Duru (FRA) 6.17

Heat 12:

Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.67, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.17, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.60

Corona Open J-Bay Round 2 Match-Ups:

Heat 1:

Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Dale Staples (ZAF)

Heat 2:

Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Michael February (ZAF)

Heat 3:

Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ethan Ewing (AUS)

Heat 4:

Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)

Heat 5:

Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)

Heat  6:

Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)

Heat  7:

Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)

Heat  8:

Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)

Heat  9:

Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)

Heat 10:

Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

Heat 11:

Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)

Heat 12:

Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)


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