After dishing out some of the best J-Bay contest conditions in years on Saturday there were high hopes for another round of pumping surf for Round Two of the Corona Open J-Bay. But unfortunately the swell dropped overnight and consistency became an issue during the first two heats of Round Two, forcing the event to go on hold for a while, before finally being called off for the rest of the day. Here's the rundown.
Round Two, Heat 1: Jordy Smith Lives to Fight Another Day
Jordy Smith took on trials winner Dale Staples in the opening heat of the day but unfortunately no fireworks ensued. On the outgoing tide still, the ocean was quite slow to deliver. Jordy got a quick start with two average waves while Dale waited a whole 20 minutes to catch his first wave, but surfed it to a 6.50, the highest score of the heat at that point. The battle of the backup went Jordy's way despite a couple of attempts from Dale, and the current World No. 3 advanced into Round Three.
"It was definitely stressful out there and to be honest he [Staples] is probably the deadliest guy in the whole draw," said Smith. "I was just really lucky because he didn't quite get the score. I just wanted to get two waves out there. We didn't have many sets but I'm just happy to get the job done. Even though we're great friends everyone wants to win. It sucks to come up against Dale in a heat, but I'm sure he'll get more opportunities."
Round Two, Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson Dodges a Dangerous Mikey February
Matt Wilkinson dodged a massive bullet as he matched up and advanced against Michael February in Round Two. Once again it was the wildcard who scored the heat's best wave with a 7-point ride, but the experience played in favor of Wilko, who surfed two medium waves and built a stronger total while the South African stayed a little too patient and was denied a second good opportunity.
"Mikey has been surfing really well the past few days so I'm stoked to get the win," Wilko said. "When the tide's this high you're so close to the reef so I'm happy to finish the heat in tact and ready for Round Three. This event would be unbelievable to win. I got a third out here when the waves were pumping so know I can get big scores here when the waves are good. I guess I just have to beat Mick [Fanning] out here -- he seems to be the one that takes the goofies out. The speed of the wave here makes it tricky to get points out here on your backhand so you have to find a balance between speed and turns."
Conditions look fairly similar for Monday, but with local variations of the wind and swell drastically affecting the surf at Jeffreys, the best advice still remains: wake up and see.