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Felipe Toledo competes in the 2016 This Way In J-Bay competition South Africa

First Two Days at J-Bay

Jul 172017

The Supertubes have finally arrived, and the first round of competition commenced at J-Bay on Saturday, July 15th. The sixth round of the Men’s Championship Tour has begun with no clear leader. Five different surfers have worn the yellow jersey on this tour, with a different winner at each stop. The men’s tour has faced an evidently unpredictable season, generating many questions leading up to this competition. Will we see a new face threaten the top five? Will Mick Fanning succeed in a record-breaking fifth J-Bay win? Or will a goofy-footer surprise us all in the right-breaking waves?

Round One

The first heat started with Joel Parkinson, Wiggolly Dantas, and Miguel Pupo. Parko, the already two-time J-Bay winner, did not fail to disappoint, taking the first win of the competition. 


Conner Coffin’s performance granted some major applause. He took on local favorites, Jordy Smith and Michael February in Heat Five. Conner caught a clean wave following February, and his powerful turns earned him a 9.37, winning the heat. 


To no one’s surprise, Mick Fanning did unbelievably well giving him a free pass to Round Three. Jeremy Flores took the lead in Heat Four against the yellow jersey bearer, Matt Wilkinson. This came at an unexpected twist, but his powerful layback snap on a beautiful wave that granted him three barrel sections proved why he was in for a win. 


Round Two

Jordy Smith and David Staples took Day two’s first heat. The morning waves weren’t as exciting as expected, and the two played a bit of a waiting game to find the perfect opportunities. Jordy eventually claimed the win, slowly edging his way to another J-Bay title. 


Filipe Toledo was a favorite of day two. A perfect score for the Brazilian! He used a double-arm drag technique to control his speed in a long deep barrel and threw in some killer carves. He ended the heat with a 19.63 and a stance as a major threat to the competition. Toledo has never made it to the quarterfinals at J-Bay, but his perfect ten has him leading the way. 


There were a couple of fun pairs on day two. Goofy-footers Connor O’Leary and Miguel Pupo went head to head. O’Leary took the win by only .30 points in a near even match. Ian Gouveia and Federico Morais took the last heat for a rookie battle. Morais took the win, pushing him into the next round. But there will be no rookie battle for Morais tomorrow, as he will face Connor O’Leary in Round Three.  


Looking at Round Three

The next call is tomorrow, July 18th at 7:15 a.m. SAST. One popular favorite will be missing from the Round Three lineup—Kelly Slater. Slater broke his foot Monday morning during a J-Bay free surf. His injury will keep him from competing in J-Bay as well as the next stop of the tour in Fiji. An unfortunate loss for the four-time J-Bay winner. The dropout will give Filipe Toledo a free pass to round four; I guess he won’t have to worry about surfing for another perfect ten. 


Monster Athletes are in it to win it, and four out of five surfers that are competing in the Men’s Championship Tour will be moving on to round three. Look out for Conner Coffin, Owen Wright, Filipe Toledo, and Federico Morais, tomorrow as they serve up some monster competition!