Stab Magazine | Round one of the 2015 J-Bay Open
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Round one of the 2015 J-Bay Open

All photos WSL/KC Today in South Africa round one of the J-Bay Open was run in, uh, challenging conditions. First heat of the morning saw the recently-returned Michel Bourez skipping round two; Mr Bourez crushed the bones in his hands during a stomping Chopes swell, and his first heat back since injury was easily won over […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

All photos WSL/KC

Today in South Africa round one of the J-Bay Open was run in, uh, challenging conditions. First heat of the morning saw the recently-returned Michel Bourez skipping round two; Mr Bourez crushed the bones in his hands during a stomping Chopes swell, and his first heat back since injury was easily won over Brett Simpson and Taj Burrow, the latter of whom famously loathes early morning heats. “I’ve been out for like, two months, and just to be back and winning my first heat, that’s amazing,” said Michel. “Honestly I’m surfing at 80 percent. There’s a few manoeuvres that I can’t really do properly, like good carving and stuff, so I just feel like I need to find a new way to surf that wave.”

As Michel Bourez spoke to Todd Kline, Julian Wilson put it down in the background against wildcard Alejo Muniz and Miggie Pupo. That perfect bottom turn kept on keeping on as Jules combo’d down the point on a 7.33 and 6.00. “Lucky we’ve had a bit of time to adjust (after coming from Fiji),” said Jules. “They’re both long waves… but going the opposite way. It’s a bit soft out there, but it’s a nice morning and the most swell we’ve had since I got here four days ago. I think you’ve just gotta roll the dice out there a little more than usual.”

In heat four, wildcard Dane Reynolds brought his unbridled attack to the J-Bay wall, blowing the fins into some turns that were a little reminisce of what he memorably did here back in 2010. But, he was coy as ever. “Really, honestly, it was pure luck that those guys (Filipe Toledo and Adam Melling) had a shocker, ’cause two sixes isn’t an amazing heat score. But considering the conditions… it’s really hard to surf out there.”

Mick Fanning took the following heat down over Mikey February and Tomas Hermes. “When I saw the wind come up, it was just figuring out what section to hit and when,” said Mick. “And, trying to navigate through the bumps. It was a little bit tricky, but I was lucky to get the job done.”

Detecting a theme here? One man who made the most of the onshore was Kolohe Andino, launching two polished air-reverses (on his two scoring rides), the second of which turned out to be a buzzer-beater 7.93. And he wasn’t the only one who’d take to the air…

Kelly Slater locked up two 8-plus rides before the clock had counted down to 22 minutes. His second wave was packed with turns, but his first wave was an opening jam followed by a crazy full-rotation to the flats, a less-lofty version of what he did at Bells that one time. “It was fun y’know,” said Kelly. “I got a quick start on a small one, it favoured the forehand with the wind out there for airs. I didn’t feel like I needed to get the biggest waves, I just needed to get the ones with clean faces and air sections.”

Ah, it’s good to see the champ in form. For a full visual playback of what went down today, dive in over here. And tune back in tomorrow to see if Round Two hits the siren.

J-Bay Open Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.00, Brett Simpson (USA) 7.84, Taj Burrow (AUS) 5.26
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.93, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.27, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 5.60
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.70, Owen Wright (AUS )12.86, Kai Otton (AUS) 9.73
Heat 4: Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.33, Adam Melling (AUS) 7.00, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 5.33
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67, Michael February (ZAF) 11.33, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 7.66
Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.03, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.24, Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 10.33
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.94, Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.14, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.74
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.00, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.33, Glenn Hall (IRL) 5.40
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.60, Nat Young (USA) 10.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 8.87
Heat 10: Fredrick Patacchia (USA) 14.90, Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.60, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.53
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.00, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 6.70, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 5.17
Heat 12: Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.93, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.27, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.00

J-Bay Open Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Slade Prestwich (ZAF)
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 11: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)

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