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Unlike two days ago, when the Billabong Pro J-Bay call was put on hold five times, today's action was called on as soon as the tide dropped, revealing a clean, three-to-four foot southeast swell winding down the point.
Today's conditions for most of the heats were near perfect with light offshore winds and clean faces, but some of the guys struggled with fast sections and reading the speed of the waves.
We're eight days into the event's 11-day waiting period, and for a lot of the surfers, the long drawn out waiting period has been playing games with their mindsets. Brett Simpson, who is returning from injury said early in the week that he was so amped to surf that he might even be "over amped," and that seemed to be the case today. Up against last year's runner-up Adam Melling, Simpson struggled to get into any sort of rhythm and then when he found a clean face went for high risk moves that didn't come off. He freesurfed Supertubes virtually every day in all conditions and was clearly frustrated with his performance.
Pat Gudauskas, who won the Mr. Price in Durban two weeks ago and CJ Hobgood were two other surfers who had been surfing and training every day to keep their minds sharp, both left the water very disappointed after not advancing.
On the other hand, Michel Bourez and Damien Hobgood, who advanced today, had used the lay days in different ways and tried to keep their minds in the right space.
"It's been over a week since I last surfed in the event," said Bourez after his heat, "It's been small and I haven't really surfed. I've tried to stay focused and fill in my time like going to the Lion Park with my girlfriend. It was kind of fun, but you're here for a reason and you just have to keep your mind focused on the contest and that is what happened today. I was focused on the contest and got the scores to make my heat."
|Damien Hobgood overcame first round blues to excel in round two.|
Bourez racked up the highest single wave score of the whole event with a 9.3-point ride and the highest combined heat score tally with 17.07 points out of 20.
While Bourez found the waiting period hard to deal with, Damien Hobgood, who dusted Taylor Knox today (15.00-6.00), actually had welcomed the days off.
"I actually got here a little early before the contest and got some great waves," said Hobgood back on the beach after his win. He then went on to explain how he'd been really disappointed and cynical about the conditions and his performance in round one.
"In my first round three man heat, I was feeling sort of 'what are we doing surfing this junk?' said Hobgood, "Just four days earlier I'd been getting the waves of my life and then my heat came around and the conditions were terrible. I actually think it was kind of good to have it go flat because I just forgot about how good the conditions had been and got into a rhythm of surfing little waves and getting back into form after my first round loss. The wait really gave me a chance to change my attitude towards what we have to surf now. A lot of time in a contest, how you surf has a lot to do with your attitude. I was out there in my heat just then thinking 'A bad day at J-Bay is better than any city break we are going to surf all year.' So I was just trying to think of that and appreciate the waves we have today."
While the waiting period has been frustrating for many of the surfers and playing with their minds, forecasts suggest that the next two days have the potential to produce classic J-Bay.REMAINING BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 2 RESULTS: