Surf: Out of nowhere lined up 3-5 feet waves with the North Westerly devil wind providing a bit of cross chop.
Events Held: The rest of Round 2
Nature’s Call: “Surprise!”
Forecast: Swell moderating throughout the day to inconsistent, wind dropping, clean free surf conditions. Still looking good for Saturday and even better for Monday/Tuesday.

The mumbled sounds of commentary on a PA system work their way into my beer addled slumber, percolating through the outer layers of consciousness. The competition is on. It can’t be, I surfed the last of the frothy onshore slop at dusk yesterday, no way could that transform itself into competition quality waves overnight, nuh-uh, nyet, nein, not possible. More PA sounds from the competition tower. Never turn your back on J-Bay, is Mike Parson’s mantra for running this competition. And while we went out last night, took in some comedy and several beers courtesy of Billabong and Fosters, Neptune did an about face and caught us all napping.

As I stumbled down the track, Beau Emmerton raced passed me, down the stairs and into the line-up. Honk honk, the circus is in session, third day in a row. Yeehaw! Naughty Beau ended up getting pummeled by Richie Lovett who managed to be in the right place at the right time in the inconsistent surf to catch all the scoring waves. Kalani Robb and Tim Curran squared off for the battle of the goofies next. Tim led the heat until the end when Kalani scored a smoker and snatched the win from the Oxnard local.

“Yeah, Timmy’s a really good surfer,” explains Kalani. ‘We’re both backside, so you know we’re going to be doing the same manouvres. I was just trying to get as much as I could in there. I don’t like waiting out there at all. It’s kind of nerve wracking. But the more heats I make the better it is for me because I start getting more warmed up, I feel a lot better now.”

And he better because Kalani is coming up against J-bay maestro Jake Paterson in Round Three.

Cory Lopez slipped into a sick double barreling, warping, sucking beast from the Point down beyond Impossibles to pip Neco Padaratz. Looking to his third round match up with Lee Winkler, Lopez reckons, “I’m just going to try and catch the good waves and make the most out of them. That’s the key, not falling and making mistakes.”

In the final heat of the day and round two, absolutely nothing happened until the last ten minutes when suddenly both Trent Munro and Tom Whitaker went ballistic on a series of sets, setting up avery exciting last flurry of surfing for the day. Mr Whitaker snitched the heat with a double-barreled wave plus a few serious kick-the-skegs-free turns off the top scoring nine points.

“It’s been doing that all day, getting slower and slower,” said an elated Whitaker, gnashing his teeth in a post wave adrenal frenzy. “I was out there splashing water thinking it was done, but in the last five minutes things can happen. I was kind of lucky. They just gave me Trent’s score and I knew I needed a six or something and I just had this barrel section ahead. I wasn’t going to go around it. I just went for it, had a little wall all the way in and I was just riding it.”

Tom’s plans for the rest of the event are relatively simple. ‘I’m not going to leave it to the last five minutes, that’s for sure. I’m going to catch more waves. I love this place so I’m just going to enjoy it out there instead of stressing out.”

And as quickly as it happened, it was all over. Blear-eyed hangover victims swayed gently in the stands while the free surf posse invaded the break like a group of neoprene wrapped lemmings. The pros standing out, head and shoulders above the plebs with their vertical turns, positional prowess and deeply sick surfing. The sun is out and there is still time to score a few, maybe I’ll wax up the kookmobile and join them. Andy Davis

Billabong Pro Round Two Heats (1st>Rnd3; 2nd=33rd receives US$3,400)
H12: Richard Lovett (AUS) 15.16 def. Beau Emerton (AUS) 5.17
H13: Kalani Robb (HAW) 12.5 def. Tim Curran (USA) 10.{{{57}}}
H14: Cory Lopez (USA) 13.34 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 12.66
H15: Marcelo Nunes (BRA) 11.67 def. Michael Campbell (AUS)
11.13H16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 16.5 def. Trent Munro (AUS) 13.0
Upcoming Round Three Heats (1st>Rnd4; 2nd=17th receives US$4,225)
{{{H1}}}: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Luke Hitchings (AUS)
{{{H2}}}: Jake Paterson (AUS) vs. Kalani Robb (HAW)
{{{H3}}}: Lee Winkler (AUS) vs. Cory Lopez (USA)
H4: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) vs. Shane Beschen (USA)
H5: Michael Lowe (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
H6: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Nathan Webster (AUS)
H7: Richie Lovett (AUS) vs. Phil MacDonald (AUS)
H8: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Sean Holmes (ZAF)
H9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
H10: Peterson Rosa (BRA) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
H11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
H12: Nathan Hedge (AUS) vs. Troy Brooks (AUS)
H13: {{{CJ}}} Hobgood (USA) vs. Shane Powell (AUS)
H14: Sunny Garcia (HAW) vs. Marcelo Nunes (BRA)
H15: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Greg Emslie (ZAF)
H16: Daniel Wills (AUS) vs. Toby Martin (AUS)