Smith rides high in Rio

2013-05-11 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s Jordy Smith, ranked seventh on the ASP World Championship Tour, recorded the highest wave score of the day as he blasted into the third round of the Billabong Pro Rio in Brazil on Thursday.

Surfing against Australian Adam Melling, who had shot out the blocks with a 9,57 out of 10 for a outstanding tube ride, and Kai Otton, also an Australian, Smith fought back with rides of 7,17 and 5,73 before landing his killer punch — an outstanding 9,77 for a radical close-out re-entry.

This gave him a heat total of 16,94 out of 20, the second highest total on the opening day of the contest in one- to two-metre beachbreak waves at Barra de Tijuca.

This is the third event on the 2013 Championship Tour and Smith has been thereabouts in the opening two contests. He finished 13th in the season opener on Australia’s Gold Coast and reached the semi-finals in the second event at Bell’s Beach, Australia.

It’s been a quiet start to the year for Smith, who admitted last year was not his best and it’s thanks to those closest to him that he has rejuvenated his spirit for the surf.

“I started this year at home and I wanted to let last year go.

“I had a great support team and friends around me, plus getting over my injury was a process.

“A trip to Mozambique got me back in the zone. I finally got over the hump in the road, started smiling and got the competitive rush flowing again.

“I started the year pumped and ready to go again,” said Smith.

Fellow South African Travis Logie had a very different contest, battling with wave selection in his first round showdown with Irish rookie Glenn Hall.

Logie finished second with a score of 10 to Hall’s 15,46.

As a result, Logie moves into round two against Australian veteran Kieran Perrow, who finished well behind 11-time world champ Kelly Slater in his opening heat.

In the women’s draw, South African rookie Bianca Buitendag — ranked ninth after finishing fifth, ninth, ninth and 13th in her four events at this level — finished third in her heat in the Colgate Plax Girls’ Rio Pro at the same venue.

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