SA surfers shine in California

San Onofre State Beach - The Hurley Pro World Championship Tour surfing event is underway in California, and the South Africans have shone in the first round.

Jordy Smith, currently No 4 in the world and still in the running for a world title, made short work of his opponents to win comfortably and leapfrog straight through to Round 3 of the event.

Smith came up against two young Australians in Mitch Crews and Matt Wilkinson and made short work of his antipodean counter-parts.

Smith was oozing confidence and never looked like he wasn’t going to win.

“I’ve been surfing out there every day since the last event in Tahiti,” said Smith on his relaxed demeanour.

“It’s been really good to get my boards dialed and get back into the groove in these types of waves.”

Smith has always been open with the fact that he doesn’t ever feel pressure with his surfing, and that remains the same even though he is on the hunt for a world title.

“I’m feeling no pressure at all. I’m prepared and confident and psyched to surf well and hopefully get a win. That’s as far as I’m thinking at the moment.”

Smith's travel-mate and good friend from Durban, Travis Logie, had a similar positive start to the event.

Logie was up against current world champion Joel Parkinson and local surfer Nathan Yeomans and despite trailing at the beginning of the heat, hooked into a bomb at the end to take the win and advance directly to Round 3 as well.

The conditions were foggy and the commentators missed Logie's wave, but the judges were on it and watched him crack the lip over and again with vertical approach to score a heat-winning 7.33 and advance directly into Round 3.
Multiple world champion Kelly Slater, currently leading the World Tour, was beaten in Round 1 by Brett Simpson and was forced to surf the second round sudden-death heat.

He beat Dane Reynolds in this round to remain in contention and advance through to Round 3 of the event.

Slater is on the hunt for his 12th world title and has had a decent start to the year. If he manages a good result at this event he will have a good lead on the world tour and could quite easily claim his title at early as October in Portugal.

Having said that, Smith is still within striking distance and is hungry for the win and training extensively.

For more on the Hurley Pro Trestles check out the event's official website.

South Africa's Jordy Smith doing what he does best (© ASP/Kirstin)
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