With a meager swell filtering into J-Bay, contest officials at the Billabong Pro opted to call it a day after running only half of the heats in the second round. At the forefront of the heats that were completed today stood Australia's Ace Buchan who posted the highest score of the round with a 15.8 to defeat Cory Lopez.
"It's challenging out there with the inconsistency," Buchan said. "We're always in a tough spot when faced with less-than-stellar forecasts, and I think the guys understood that we had to get out there and battle one another. It might not be equal for all heats in a round or all rounds in a contest, but at least it's equal between each guy in the heat."
Brazil's Adriano De Souza, the current World Tour rating's leader, also advanced out of his second-round match-up in a narrow victory over Gabe Kling. After an emotional win in his home country in Brazil that saw him move to the head of the pack, De Souza suffered a knee injury on a freesurf in the Maldives. From all accounts, the injury is looking to be behind him as he put on a sold showing today.
"I think with every surf I'm building momentum," De Souza said. "I'm really happy to make this heat. I've been a little low during my last few surfs, but this win really builds my confidence. I'm just focusing on each heat and each event and not thinking about the title right now."
Noticeably absent from the event was Kelly Slater. After failing to show up to his second-round heat, he was replaced by South African surfer Travis Logie. Surfing against local wildcard Shaun Payne today, Logie advanced into round three.
"It's been the weirdest week of my life," Logie said. "I've been hanging around and wondering if I'm getting into the event and dealing with the rumor mill. I guess it was all worth it though. That was a huge heat for me and my campaign to get back on tour full time."
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.33 def. Shaun Payne (ZAF) 7.30
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.33 def. Sean Holmes (ZAF) 6.04
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.10 def. Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 11.06
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.03 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 12.50
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) 11.86 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.77
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.80 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 6.50
REMAINING BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 9: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 11: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)