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Would You Steal The Corona J-Bay Open?

Sharks, boat rides, tens and the competitive death of John John – Notes from the wildest day of professional surfing in recent memory. 

news // Jul 20, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

You’ve heard the rumours about the WSL switching to a pay-per-view model.

It’s still speculation at this point, but you know what else started as speculation? Religion, WWII, masturbation and thrusters. A slightly more founded rumour is that the League will re-structure for 2018, which might mean they want you to pay for Martin Potter to build an addition to his home to store all of his 1989 World Title trophies.

Three months ago, we asked: would you pay? You said maybe. Now, with the best event of 2017 (so far) almost over, we’ll ask again but rephrase. Would you steal the Corona J-Bay Open?

Remember those torched ads that used to play before movies? They said you wouldn’t steal a car or a TV, so you wouldn’t steal a movie via the internet. Boy, were they fucking wrong.

Maybe you wouldn’t steal Strider’s jet ski or Ethan Ewing’s virginity, but would you steal the Corona J-Bay Open? Or, because of how good it is, would you feel morally obliged to pay for it? I’d absolutely chip in.

Today, we had boat rides, shark delays, over-rotated alley-oops, tubes, 10s and more. It was the wildest day of professional surfing in…ever? Here are some highlights.

The Boat Guy vs Anybody In A Committed Relationship
Speed. Power. Flow. Committed manoeuvres in the critical part of the wave. I guess you can point out the lack of variety, but it’s not like they dock Mick for that. This motherfucker drove that boat straight into everybody’s girlfriend’s panties.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/UZd9GJM53-o

Filipe Toledo vs Jordy Smith vs Julian Wilson
But mostly, it was Filipe Toledo vs antiquated judging. He is easily the most progressive surfer on tour, right? Don’t try to tell me John John is. He only does airs in heats when he has to. Filipe does them when he feels like it. According to the last decade or so of judging, you’re not supposed to surf J-Bay the way he did today. Only a matter of time before he starts getting that extra rotation in and snowboarders can tell us it’s a 1080.

Wilko also won his round four heat with 17.93 points. Close your eyes and imagine how he got them. Now watch the heat replay above — any difference between the two? Didn’t think so. That fluid, powerful surfing now has him in the lead for Stab’s “Occy award”.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a7lAijSL3ts

Round five. 
Mick, John John and Julian and all won round five heats to get into the Quarters. Nothing too noteworthy there. What is worth noting is that Jordy Smith won his round five heat twice. The first time, the judges missed a barrel at the end of Conner Coffin’s opening wave. Conner’s filmer had footage and they argued that a bigger score early on in the heat would’ve changed the way Conner played the entire heat. The WSL agreed and called for a re-surf — but first, the event was put on hold for a few hours.

They blamed it on the tide. Funny how they crucified Neco Padaratz for literally trying to inject more power into surfing but the tide can get as high as it wants and half the parties surrounding events could easily be mistaken for semi-major mountain ranges. Kinda racist if you ask me.

When it resumed, Jordy paddled back out against Conner and went turbo. It was easily some of the best surfing of the event — he got a 10, sans air or tube. Power meets poetry.

This is the second heat Jordy had to re-surf this event. Yesterday, a little bitch shark showed up with ten minutes left in his round four heat when he had the only decent score and they made him re-surf the heat from the start. Now this? Can you imagine what would happen at the Hurley Pro if the judges did this to Filipe in his hometown of San Clemente?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/D-OUWjCHVGQ

Gabriel Medina vs Mick Fanning
This was the first heat of the Quarters. I’m pretty sure Gabriel is religious, which is weird because you think he would have known better than to try to combo Mick Fanning at J-Bay. He clearly pissed God off and so God sent a Great White shark through the lineup with five minutes left. Good surfing though. Very sharp. Still spry.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RhEJg97rdNY

John John Florence vs Frederico Morais
Remember Jordy’s carving 10 we talked about before? Frederico got one of those too. I don’t think it was as good as Jordy’s, nor do I think it was a 10, but I do think Frederico deserved to win that heat. The final tally was 19.77 to 18.67.

There are only five heats left, and they will all go down in bigger waves tomorrow. After a day like this, who knows what the fuck will happen? But if Dirk Ziff wants me to give him $5 in order to watch it, then just tell the big fella to send me his bank details.

Round Four Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina 18.74, Joan Duru 16.07, Owen Wright 13.10
Heat 2: Frederico Morais 19.07, John John Florence 17.17, Mick Fanning 14.90
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo 19.00, Jordy Smith 17.40, Julian Wilson 13.50
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson 17.93, Conner Coffin 15.33, Michel Bourez 15.20   
 
Round Five Results:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning 16.80 def. Joan Duru 15.27
Heat 2: John John Florence 16.50 def. Owen Wright 10.00
Heat 3: Jordy Smith 19.37 def. Conner Coffin 17.74
Heat 4: Julian Wilson 15.94 def. Michel Bourez 8.83
 
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
 
Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo vs. Jordy Smith
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson vs. Julian Wilson

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