The Corona Open J-Bay kicked off with the completion of Men’s Round 1 and the first two heats of Round 2 at Supertubes. The men made the most of the conditions with a full day of surfing that included big announcements, wins, and performances.
Joel Parkinson, 2012 WSL Champion and two-time event winner, announced his retirement ahead of his opening Round 1 heat. Parkinson will surf the remaining events of 2018 and officially hang up his competitive jersey after the Billabong Pipe Masters in December.
Earning the Round 1 win against current World No. 1 Julian Wilson and event wildcard Matthew McGillivray, Parkinson advances straight to Round 3, while Wilson and McGillivray surfed against each other in elimination Round 2.
Wilson went on to battle Jeffrey’s Bay local McGillivray in Round 2 Heat 1. The nail-biting heat had the home crowd on their feet rooting for the local favourite, but the South African fell just 0.93-points short of defeating the Jeep Leader in his CT debut. McGillivray exits in Equal 25th place.
Defending event winner, Filipe Toledo has already set the bar at the Corona Open J-Bay with a near-perfect 9.17. The Brazilian shot out of a deep barrel to earn the highest score of the day and skip the dreaded elimination Round 2.
Frederico Morais, 2017 event runner-up, opened the day with a big win over South Africans Jordy Smith and Michael February. Despite having the support from the crowd, Smith and February will need to win their elimination Round 2 matchups to avoid an early exit from the Corona Open J-Bay.
Kanoa Igarashi defeated Italo Ferreira and Kelly Slater in non-elimination Round 1 Heat 3. Igarashi displayed aggressive surfing to take the win over the two top seeds. Slater’s return to competition marks one year since his foot injury sustained at Jeffreys Bay in 2017. He will now need a strong performance in Round 2 against Jordy Smith to avoid early elimination.
Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Frederico Morais 11.93, Jordy Smith 10.17, Michael February 7.24
Heat 2: Sebastian Zietz 14.03, Michel Bourez 13.67, Ian Gouveia 6.66
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi 13.50, Italo Ferreira 11.94, Kelly Slater 8.73
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina 11.83, Tomas Hermes 7.83, Miguel Pupo 6.73
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo 13.84, Matt Wilkinson 12.14, Wiggolly Dantas 10.67
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson 10.10, Julian Wilson 9.90, Matthew McGillivray 9.86
Heat 7: Willian Cardoso 12.30, Keanu Asing 11.76, Ezekiel Lau 11.06
Heat 8: Conner Coffin 16.14, Joan Duru 15.67, Owen Wright 12.73
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino 14.87, Mikey Wright 13.26, Patrick Gudauskas 6.00
Heat 10: Yago Dora 13.23, Adrian Buchan 11.67, Adriano de Souza 11.23
Heat 11: Griffin Colapinto 13.63, Wade Carmichael (12.23, Jesse Mendes 10.94
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores 15.80, Connor O’Leary 15.07, Michael Rodrigues 10.96
Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 2 (H1-2) Results:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson 14.43 defeated Matthew McGillivray 13.50
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas 11.77 defeated Italo Ferreira 9.73
Photos by WSL / Cestari / Tostee.