World Champion John John Florence Posts his 1st Perfect 10 of The Year
Current World Champion John John Florence of Hawaiʻi posted his first Perfect 10 of the year at the Corona Open J-Bay during Heat 2 Round 4 against three-time World Champ Mick Fanning (Australia) and CT rookie Frederico Morais (Portugal).
Despite the excellent ride and a combined heat total of 17.17, Florence is relegated to Round 5 where he will surf against Owen Wright (Australia) once competition resumes.
Florence posted the fourth 10-point ride of the day and joined the club alongside Jordy Smith (two 10’s and a perfect heat total) and Julian Wilson (Australia).
The world’s best surfers delivered four perfect 10-point rides during the Corona Open J-Bay, stop No. 6 on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour today at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.
Twelve surfers were eliminated from the competition in Round 3 and the remaining 12 battled through incredible conditions in Round 4 for a direct advance to the Quarterfinals.
The two-time event winner (2010 and 2011) and current No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard Jordy Smith (ZAF) from South Africa posted a PERFECT 20 heat total in his Round 3 match-up with 2017 WSL Rookie Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA).
This is only the 10th time the feat has been achieved in 40-plus years of professional surfing, the first time anyone has earned a Perfect 20 at J-Bay and the first ever perfect heat for Smith, according to the WSL.
“It feels absolutely phenomenal,” said Smith to the WSL. “Just be to here at J-Bay where the waves are firing and to have that opportunity is incredible. My first two heats were really slow and to get blessed with that was absolutely amazing. There’s more waves on offer so I definitely hope there’s more in the tank. You go out there and give it absolutely everything you’ve got. I don’t want to take anything away from Leo (Fioravanti), he’s an absolutely amazing surfer especially on the rail so I just had to try and do my best surfing. This heat I was just fortunate to get the bombs. I couldn’t believe it and I was really fortunate to get that. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would get a Perfect 20 and to get it here at J-Bay makes it extra special.”
An unbelievable clash played out in Heat 2 of Round 4 between reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW), three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Frederico Morais (PRT). The rookie opened with a near-perfect 9.60 for an early lead but Florence stormed into first place with his first Perfect 10 of the year. Morais came back with another big score, a 9.47, and reclaimed the top spot while the four-time event winner put on a clinic and locked in an excellent 9.73 to get himself back in the heat. The two world champions could not better their scores and the rookie won the heat and claimed his place in the Quarterfinals. Fanning and Florence will surf again in Round 5 when competition resumes.
“It was probably the best heat of my life against Mick (Fanning) and John (Florence),” Morais said. “It can’t get any better than that with John getting a 10, me with two nines and Mick was ripping too. The last two heats I didn’t feel like I was surfing my best so I knew I had to give everything and be perfect in this round and that’s what I did. Finally I feel like I’ve been doing my real surfing.”
Earlier in the day Round 3 saw it’s share of big scores with Julian Wilson (AUS) posting a Perfect 10 of his own in his heat against Jeremy Flores (FRA). The Australian, currently in 8th place on the Jeep Leaderboard, is yet to make it past the Quarterfinals this season and today’s third round victory is a step in the right direction.
Only two rookies remain in the draw after Fioravanti, Connor O’Leary (AUS) and Ezekial Lau (HAW) failed to make it through elimination Round 3. Duru will surf again in Round 5 against Fanning for his chance to join Morais in the Quarterfinals.
Heat 3 of Round 4 was called off following a shark breach that was part of a larger feeding activity that was going on and, per protocol, the response team was activated and the heat was called off.
“Judges and ski drivers saw a shark breach about 100 yards out the back of the lineup so the heat was put on hold and we’ve made the decision that we’re not going to restart the heat again today,” said WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow. “We’ll come back tomorrow and we’ve still got great waves on tap so there’s no need to put that heat back in the water again today.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. local time to assess conditions and make the next call.
Corona Open J-Bay Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Joan Duru (FRA) 15.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.40
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.83 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.57
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.83 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.67
Heat 4: Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.07 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.16
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.24 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.67
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 18.27 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.94
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 20.00 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 16.17
Heat 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) INJ
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.30
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) 18.67 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.90
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.73 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.07
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.54 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.47
Corona Open J-Bay Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.74, Joan Duru (FRA) 16.07, Owen Wright (AUS) 13.10
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 19.07, John John Florence (HAW) 17.17, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.90
Corona Open J-Bay Upcoming Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Michel Bourez (PYF)