2005 Billabong Pro J-Bay – Day 2

posted by / News / July 13, 2005

Surf: A glassy, 3 to 4 feet and on the fade
Events Held: Mens Round Two (the dreaded loser’s round)
Nature’s Call: You wait for me, I don’t wait for you
Predicted: Lions, bungees and beer, oh my!


Dean Morrison advanced through a wave-starved heat
Contest Director Mike Parsons stands at the Supers boardwalk in the purple, pre-dawn light, watching black silhouettes scramble into position for the few remaining runners down the point.He’s freaking out.

“This is the hardest part of my job,” says the man who takes pride in being the first guy out wherever he surfs. “While those guys are out there scoring a few, I have to stand here and assess it.”

Especially on this particular morning, when a dying swell and inconsistent conditions have a few of the pickier CTers grumbling. But with a bleak forecast, slack winds, “Indian Summer” weather and the odd, two-wave dream set pushing through every 15 minutes, Parsons convinces them: stretch the heats to 35 minutes and go until the ocean stops ‘em. And since he’s not allowed to surf anyway, why waste time?

Before the bees are even flitting about among the aloe plants, proud new papa {{{CJ}}} Hobgood and young, Cape Town crusader Damien Fahrenfort are already out there for a 7:40 a.m. start.

Ceej should have slept in. JBay has a reputation of breeding local giant killers just to mess things up. In the past, that killer has been Sean Holmes, who beat Andy Irons in ’03 then nearly did it again in ’04. This year, Holmes passed his slingshot to Fahrenfort, a tall, skinny regularfoot who outsmarted one of the world’s smartest competitors. How did he do it? The oldest rule in the book: Good wave selection wins heats. Fahrenfort opened up the heat with a series of Noodles-esque snaps and floaters, forcing Hobgood to perk up. The current world No. 5 countered with 75 yards of arcs, but then got caught behind a section on the wave that would’ve sealed it. Wildcard Fahrenfort pulled out another solid score, and the heat ended with CJ out the back waiting for an answer. In normal Hobgood fashion, CJ had no one to blame but himself. “It wasn’t the waves, it wasn’t the early start, it was me,” he said. “I just kooked it.”


Phil Macdonald blazing in Round 2
The CJ/Fahrenfort battle wasn’t the only lesson in selection. With only five or six solid waves rolling through per heat, one wrong choice meant early walking papers. It even happened to JBay clairvoyant Holmes, who — needing only a 7.5 — paddled for a first-wave lump, missed it and watched his priority shift to Cory Lopez for the wave of the heat right behind it. Done. Same thing for Guilherme Herdy, who heard Peterson Rosa and the boys whistling from the boardwalk bleachers. Problem was, they were whistling for the second wave. He missed the first one, priority went to Phil MacDonald, end of heat.

Timing — not wave selection — played key for Brazilian superhero Neco Padaratz, who arrived from the airport just an hour before his heat started. Stuck in Brazil due to a long, confusing list of passport headaches (he lost me as soon as he brought up the Japanese consulate as part of the explanation), Neco finally got the green light and paddled out against my Cape Town co-pilot, Chris Ward, for the best heat for waves all day. Both of ’em looked a little wobbly from their travels, but Neco — who hadn’t ridden a single wave in two weeks before his heat — pulled through. “All is good now,” said Neco, who continued to confuse me when he added: “But I will never go to Japan again.”

And finally, there was the timeless. It doesn’t matter what wave Mark Occhilupo chooses at JBay, he makes ’em all look flawless, and he’s been doing it for more than 20 years. On his highlight 8.73 against Kalani Robb, he laced together two full-rail power carves to every other goofyfooter’s one then capped it off with a classic layback a la the ’84 Country Feeling Classic. The move had everyone in the competitors’ area — from Bruce Irons to Nathan Hedge — standing and applauding. As Toby Martin said, “I reckon he’ll be coming out of retirement to do this to us for at least a few more years.”


The Event Set-Up
The swell did have enough life in it to last throughout the day, meaning we’re now exactly halfway through this year’s Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay. Word has it there’s a few laydays on the horizon, which suits our favorite contest director, Mike Parsons, just fine. Because when it’s not good enough for his bros on the WCT, it means one thing for him: he’s going surfing.

ROUND 2 RESULTS:
(1st place advances to Round 3; 2nd place finishes =33rd)Heat # 1 – Damien Fahrenfort def. CJ Hobgood
Heat # 2 – Trent Munro def. Shaun Payne
Heat # 3 – Cory Lopez def. Sean Holmes
Heat # 4 – Damien Hobgood def. Ian Walsh
Heat # 5 – Phil MacDonald def. Guilherme Herdy
Heat # 6 – Luke Egan def. Renan Rocha
Heat # 7 – Toby Martin def. Peterson Rosa
Heat # 8 – Dean Morrison def. Kirk Flintoff
Heat # 9 – Bruce Irons def. Shea Lopez
Heat #10 – Raoni Monteiro def. Darren O’Rafferty
Heat #11 – Tom Whitaker def. Victor Ribas
Heat #12 – Mark Occhilupo def. Kalani Robb
Heat #13 – Neco Padaratz def. Chris Ward
Heat #14 – Richard Lovett def. Paulo Moura
Heat #15 – Taylor Knox def. Travis Logie
Heat #16 – Marcelo Nunes def. Troy Brooks

UPCOMING ROUND 3 HEATS:
(1st place advances to Round 4; 2nd place finishes =17th)Heat # 1 – Mick Fanning v. Luke Stedman
Heat # 2 – Luke Egan v. Marcelo Nunes
Heat # 3 – Fred Patacchia v. Michael Lowe
Heat # 4 – Trent Munro v. Tim Reyes
Heat # 5 – Cory Lopez v. Lee Winkler
Heat # 6 – Damien Hobgood v. Bede Durbidge
Heat # 7 – Tom Whitaker v. Jake Paterson
Heat # 8 – Kelly Slater v. Damien Fahrenfort
Heat # 9 – Andy Irons v. Bernardo Pigmeu
Heat # 10 – Bruce Irons v. Mark Occhilupo
Heat # 11 – Nathan Hedge v. Raoni Monteiro
Heat # 12 – Phil MacDonald v. Neco Padaratz
Heat # 13 – Joel Parkinson v. Toby Martin
Heat # 14 – Dean Morrison v. Richard Lovett
Heat # 15 – Taj Burrow v. Greg Emslie
Heat # 16 – Daniel Wills v. Taylor Knox

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