The first day of the 11 day waiting period starts tomorrow for the 2011 Billabong Pro J-Bay. It’s been more than 2 months since the last World Tour contest in Brazil but the pros have been busy traveling, surfing and competing in other contests. We’ve got a breif preview for the comp along with all 12 round 1 heat matchups.
The big news surrounding the Billabong Pro J-Bay is that Dane Reynolds has withdrawn from the competition without reason and Cory Lopez will be taking his spot. There’s some buzz going around that Dane may be done with tour. He’s yet to compete this year due to a knee injury but that can’t be an excuse any more as there is video proof that he’s back to surfing like the Dane we all know.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens but I’m stoked that Cory Lopez gets yet another shot on tour, taking Dane’s spot. We’ll see how Cory does considering he hasn’t surfed there in quite some time as he told the ASP, “I havenâ€™t been to J-Bay in probably three or four years so itâ€™s nice to be back and Iâ€™m really hoping the swell will come in. I love this wave. Itâ€™s a lot of fun, but we obviously need some swell. So hopefully it shows up and we can have a good event.”
Joel Parkinson, currently ranked #2 in the world, missed out on the J-Bay competition last year due to theÂ gnarly heel injuryÂ that sidelined him for most of 2010. Cut to this year and he’s stoked to be back in the water and competing at J-Bay. “Iâ€™m so excited to go to J-Bay. Iâ€™ve wrapped myself in cotton wool this week and made sure I didnâ€™t do a repeat of last year and got on that plane healthy.”, Parko told the ASP in a recent interview.
As for numero uno in the world, Adriano de Souza has a lot of work to do if he plans on staying at the top of the rankings especially after a recent injury. HeÂ hyperextended his knee while surfing and training in Sumatra and the Maldives. Adriano had this to say about his injury, â€œThe rehabilitation has consisted of kinesiotherapy combined with muscle strengthening. It feels much better. Iâ€™ve been surfing and it still hurts a little. I am hoping it will continue to improve until J-Bay.â€ Hopefully de Souza stays healthy and gets deep into the comp in South Africa.
For last year’s overall number 1 and 10 time world champ, Kelly Slater has been keeping busy in Fiji surfing of the biggest waves Cloudbreak has ever seen. Giving the current forecast for J-Bay and how good it’s been, I won’t be surprised if Kelly pulls out of this one at the last minute. Slater has been posting insane pics to his twitter account and even hinted on missing the upcoming competition. Two days ago Kelly tweeted this, “Honestly don’t know if I’ll make jbay comparing forecast to Fiji. Might pull me from urÂ @fantasysurferÂ if I’m on it! 2day was insane!”
As far as the waves go, Kelly is correct, there is supposed to be a pulse of swell to kick off the event but the winds might not be ideal and it is going to last long. There’s a good breakdown of the swell forecast over on the event website.
The waiting period begins in a few hours and you can follow all the action and watch the live webcast over at billabongpro.com.
2011 Billabong Pro J-Bay Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Bede Burbidge (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Cory Lopez (USA)
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA), CJ Hobgood (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Bobby Martinez (USA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adam Melling (AUS), Wild Card
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Wild Card
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Chris Davidson (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 9: Adian Buchan (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 10: Damien Hobgood (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)