Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay: Rookies Continue To Prevail In Round Two

It was another huge day for the underdog today at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay with round two getting underway today in clean one metre (three foot) waves at the famed break known as "Supertubes".

With the swell being somewhat inconsistent many of the biggest names in the sport found the going tough as the rookies and lesser-ranked competitors flourished.

Finding themselves ousted from the event were none other than three-time Foster's ASP Men's World Tour champion Andy Irons (HAW), his brother Bruce Irons (HAW), currently third ranked Bobby Martinez (USA), 2001 world champion {{{CJ}}} Hobgood and 2005 ASP Rookie Of The Year Fred Patacchia (HAW).

Finding the big scores needed to claim wins were rookies Roy Powers (HAW (defeated Andy Irons), Jarrad Howse (AUS) (defeated Martinez), David Weare (ZAF) (defeated Bruce Irons), Mikael Picon (FRA) (defeated CJ Hobgood) and Pancho Sullivan (defeated Patacchia).

Creating the biggest stir today was Powers. His victory has put a serious dent in Andy Irons' fourth world crown aspirations just when it looked like the highly competitive naturalfooter was on a roll after his win in the previous event held in Mexico.

Powers was in excellent form and in perfect tune with the waves and came from behind in the last three minutes to post a 7.33 on a long walling wave where he executed no less than six top to bottom rail turns that were right on edge.

Powers had mixed emotion after the heat - he was elated with himself and his win, given that it is only his second since joining the top ranks in 2006, but he also felt for friend Irons who so desperately needs to get another solid result in order to reel in the ratings lead of Kelly Slater (USA).

"It feels good to get a win," said Powers. "I haven't had one all year except in my first heat and it has been a little bit depressing, but I feel good now. It kind of sucks beating someone you grew up with, somebody you look up to. I mean, he's my hero. He's been my hero since I was a little kid, and he's really done a lot of stuff for me, so in a way I feel bad, but then, you know, it feels good for me to beat him too, 'cos he is the champ."

Powers is now looking forward to brighter things and is hoping to maintain the momentum and finish in the business of the esteemed event.

"I've been looking anywhere for a turning point to tell you the truth!" laughed Powers. "But definitely, I thought to myself 'this is going to be the heat of my year' because this heat is against number two in the world and he's the hardest guy to beat, so I feel like it's a turning point. But you just take it heat by heat, see where you go and don't get too ahead of yourself and start getting all big headed."

Howse like Powers was ecstatic with his win over Martinez, who has been one of the form surfers of the year.

Howse has also been struggling to find the means to win throughout the year, but today he attributed a "crisis meeting" and a bit of help from his friends as giving him the edge for the win.

"Yeah, we had a crisis meeting last night and we said 'it's our day boys, step it up!'" said Howse. "Roy beat Andy which was pretty gnarly. It was inconsistent, and he got the good one at the end. Similar to me, Bobby had the better of the exchange but I sort of played a smart heat and had my mates on the hill waving when sets were coming so I knew what waves to take. You need every bit of help you can get out in waves like that."

Howse has now set a goal to get past the third round.

"We're midway through the year and I've had two 17ths and three 33rds. Now, I can hopefully go on to get my first ninth, or quarters, or who knows? Anything can happen. I feel like I'm surfing good and I just hope that the waves come up and I get through a few more heats."

Local Davey Weare had the support of the massive crowd on hand and every time he sprung to his feet there was a huge roar egging him on to victory.

He also found strength in the fact that many other big names had already gone down to rookies and underdogs.

"It all started with Roy taking out Andy in the beginning," said Weare. "Today it's just about who gets the best waves and luckily enough I got one towards the end that was by far the best actual wave of the heat. I've been here a bunch of times so I feel pretty comfortable.The three-man South African contingent on the Foster's ASP Men's World Tour have been a rising force this year and later in the day Weare's good mate Travis Logie showed shear determination to win his heat against Bede Durbidge (AUS) with a broken foot.