There was a moment in his post-Semi interview when Jordy Smith’s will almost seemed to buckle. He was clearly relieved to be in the Final—against John John Florence, who’d just smacked Kelly Slater in their Semifinal—and the close observer might have thought: “Ah, Jordy you’re a little too happy to be there.” Probably not the best mindset to take into the Hurley Pro Final. Did Jordy not hear Ross Williams chastise Johanne Defay earlier for feeling the same way in the Semifinal heat she soundly lost? Was the same thing happening with Jordy?
Jordy almost shut up anybody thinking along those lines when he opened with a blazing 9.33 score. But then, the falling. His next seven waves scored no higher than a 3.03. Meanwhile Florence was having the same heat, just without the 9-plus ride. Jordy was standing there at victory’s door, holding it wide open for Florence, practically smiling and waving John John through to the first place trophy. After Florence cracked two solid scores, Jordy roused himself from slumber, and politely closed the door on Florence. Jordy, needing a 6.54, stroked into a long-walled right, stayed atop his board through some meaningful but not superhuman hacks, then bobbed through an awkward water interview with Peter Mel while he waited to hear his score—a just enough 7.17. A smartly surfed final wave for what was maybe Jordy’s most professional victory, the fourth of his career.
On the women’s side, Stephanie Gilmore turned the Swatch Pro final into a victory lap by dropping a 10 and a 9.5 in her win over Sally Fitz. Sally’s runner-up finish nevertheless boosted her to the top of the world rankings. All week, Gilmore’s graceful, powerful style was the perfect accompaniment for the long, muscular walls Lowers showed off. She squeaked through her Quarterfinal heat with Coco Ho, but the rest of the event was a breeze for Gilmore.
FINALS DAY RESULTS
F: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.50 def. John John Florence (HAW) 15.87
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.10 def. Ace Buchan (AUS) 13.30
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 15.10 def. Kelly Slater (14.10)
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.87 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.53
QF 2: Ace Buchan (AUS) 17.43 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.77
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 17.37 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.26
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.87 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.33
F: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 19.50 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.03
SF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.84 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 13.03
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.04 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.66
QF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.17 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 12.23
QF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.67 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.00
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.44 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.33
QF 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) 16.20 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.13
FINALS DAY HIGHLIGHTS
Jordy Smith’s 9.33 in the Final
Steph’s Perfect 10 in the Final
Slater’s 9.37 in the Quarters
John John’s 9.17 in the Quarters