Smith keen to impress in front of home crowd at Ballito Pro event

2014-06-19 00:00

DURBAN’S Jordy Smith has his sights firmly fixed on the Mr Price Pro Ballito from June 30 to July 6, keen to go one further than his second place to Australian Julian Wilson last year.

Having won the event in 2010, Smith will want to add a second title to his impressive surfing CV, especially on home water, supported by a vocal crowd.

The event is the halfway mark in the ASP Qualifying Series and ASP World Tour, attracting the world’s best wave riders to what is regarded as one of the best waves worldwide.

Immediately after the Ballito contest is the newly reinstated J-Bay Open, from July 10 to 12. Both the Ballito and J-Bay events are Prime-rated and Smith has tasted victory at the famous J-Bay break in 2010 and 2011.

But it’s home support and riding waves he is familiar with that spurs him to greater heights. “There’s always something special about competing at home, being familiar with the waves and having the support of family and friends.”

Smith, currently ranked 11th in the world in a season that has seen him score nine heat wins on the World Tour, is looking at the Ballito event as the ideal preparation for glory at J-Bay.

“Ballito’s wave is world class when it’s on. It can deliver unreal barrels and as it drops, it becomes high performance,” he said.

“I find surfing Primes a great opportunity to fine tune my surfing, especially in the build up to a World Tour event. Sometimes, it’s better to surf every day as it keeps me focused. Too many lay days is a huge distraction.”

Having come so close last year, Smith is hungry to hoist the trophy in Ballito and will be one of the strong contenders over the week of the event.

“I’m keen to bring the trophy back to South Africa and love nothing more than winning in front of my home crowd,” he said.

“Winning in Ballito would be the ultimate preparation for J-Bay where I am more than keen for three wins in a row.”

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