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World’s best surfers battle at ASP World Tour Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay

July 16, 2010 |  1:55 pm

Australia's Owen Wright dominated the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Friday and looks to be a major threat.

South Africa’s premier point-break delivered once again with clean 3- to 4-foot surf along the shoreline as Round 2 and the opening four heats of Round 3 were completed at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.

Owen Wright, Australia, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie and currently ranked No. 11, exploded in a fury of progressive backhand surfing in his Round 3 heat, collecting the round-high 17.00 out of a possible 20 to dispatch compatriot and fellow Rip Curl stablemate Ben Dunn.

"I’ve been feeling very comfortable out at Jeffreys," Wright, 20, said. "I got here a week early and have been working the place out on boards and sections. It’s such a fun wave. I saw Ben’s heat in Round 2 and he was looking really good so I knew I would have to pull out something special. I didn’t feel nervous at all though, I went out and tried to maximize each wave I caught."

Adriano de Souza, 23, stumbled in his opening round heat, but after a late Round 2 victory Thursday, unleashed a barrage in Round 3 Friday afternoon. The lightning-fast Brazilian appears completely in tune with his body and boards and boasted a forehand assault that netted him a 16.67 out of a possible 20 to advance.

"Every heat I feel like I am gaining more confidence in my abilities" the No. 8-ranked De Souza said. "I have really good boards right now and am just enjoying surfing excellent waves at Jeffreys Bay. I’m inside the Top 10 right now and I just want to keep pushing here and at the next events to the Top 5, the Top 3 and eventually a World Title."

Australian Adrian Buchan, 27, was one to notice the effects of the midyear cutoff firsthand.

“You definitely see the urgency and intensity at this event,” he said, referring to the new format that will reduce the roster from 45 to 32 surfers after the fifth event of the season, the Billabong Pro Teahupoo in August. "It was certainly the case today and even yesterday. Everyone on tour this season is so talented and the fact that there are only two more events means that everyone is fighting for survival. It’s a great thing for the spectators to watch and great for the event as well. It’s going to make things very interesting heading into Tahiti."

Event organizers will reconvene Saturday  morning at 7 a.m. (South Africa time) to assess conditions for a possible 7:30 a.m. start.

Remaining Round 2 results:
Heat 3: Sean Holmes (ZAF) 13.50 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.07
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.83 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 11.50
Heat 5: Tim Reyes (USA) 13.34 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.23
Heat 6: Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.86 def. Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.50
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.04 def. Marco Polo (BRA) 11.30
Heat 8: Jay Thompson (AUS) 18.33 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.47 
Heat 9: Neco Padaratz (BRA) 11.36 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 10.93
Heat 10: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.03 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 9.00
Heat 11: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.40 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.26
Heat 12: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.83 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.37
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS) 14.14 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 12.93
Heat 14: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.60 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 12.00
Heat 15: Ben Dunn (AUS) 16.33 def. Pat Gudauskas (USA) 9.83
Heat 16: Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.84 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 9.03
Round 3 results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.67 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 9.27
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.27 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.80
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 17.00 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 10.74
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.07 def. Nate Yeomans (USA) 9.10
Remaining Round 3 match-ups:
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 6: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Sean Holmes (ZAF)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 10: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 15: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 16: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Australia's Owen Wright dominated the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay on Friday and looks to be a major threat. Credit: Scholtz / © ASP