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The winner’s round
Round 2 has the worst stigma. It’s the losers round, people say. The reject roundup. A graveyard for the wildcards and low seeds, a layup for the title contenders who couldn’t get it done in Round 1 and a grind for everyone else. But that’s pessimism speaking, and pessimism is a stupid lying bitch. Because when you see world class surfing in world class waves — as we did for the back half of Round 2 at J-Bay — everybody wins. Well, everybody except Jeremy Flores (see below).

…And also the goofy’s round
The guiding light of Mark Occhilupo shined bright like the African sun today. Goofyfooters prevailed like darlings in Occy’s sun. Matter of fact, a goofy won every single heat which featured one. A lot of that had to do with the waves. It wasn’t quite XXL and an offshore wind blew from sunup to sundown. A fast, steep wave like J-Bay can become a trap to frontsiders. It can sucker ’em into never really committing to a single turn — they’re always thinking about the next one, and the next one, and the one after that. Goofs, on the other hand, just hang in the pocket and tee off like there’s no tomorrow. So today, winners included the mostly right foot forward cast of…

Matt Wilkinson: 2014 hasn’t been a sweetheart to Matt Wilkinson. Actually, it’s been a bastard. In the five previous events, Wilko has only once evaded last place. Rough year, sure… until he nearly won the Mr. Price Pro last week. Must have given the man a boost, because he dismantled Bede Durbidge today — which is never a petty task in long rights. Only problem is that Wilko faces Kelly Slater in Round 3. Yikes.
Owen Wright: You need not beg our pardon if you if you missed this heat. We’ll pardon you, no questions asked. Owen beat Dion Atkinson 12.06 points to 9.87 points in a heat that wasn’t exactly #blessed with waves.
Alejo Muniz In another slow heat, Alejo prevailed over Filipe Toledo. And good for Alejo; he’s a great surfer in need of a result. But it’s a shame for Filipe — his freesurfs have been phenomenal. I’d question whether or not the kid is capable of not fully rotating each of his spins.
CJ Hobgood: CJ avenged his early Fijian exit with a win against Tiago Pires. Like Bede, Tiago is not a guy you want to draw in long righthanders (Just ask Jordy). But CJ got the job done, barrel and all.
Miguel Pupo: Miggy beat Jadson Andre and did so with an 8.50 and a 7.87. Boom roasted. Sebastian Zietz: Seabass has one of the most gorgeous girlfriends forehand carves on tour. It’s so strong. So stylish. So Kauai. We’re not going to make an AI reference here, but we’re going to at least hint at it in reference to that carve.
Freddy Patacchia: Freddy was a fireman today. 9.93 and an 8.00 to send Travis Logie on the not so long trip back home. Dude’s spraying everybody.
Ace Buchan: Ace made life harder for ‘CT rookie Mitch Crews today. It was a back-and-forth heat, but Ace kept his composure and slid by. Afterwards, he probably finished reading a book and engaged in an spirited intellectual discussion because he’s Ace Buchan and that’s what Ace Buchan does.

But definitely not Jeremy Flores’ round…
No, no, no it so was not. You ever hear a story about a guy who goes to Vegas, has atrocious luck at the tables and and loses everything? Well Jeremy lost everything today, including his shit. After getting ousted by Seabass to the tune of .14, Jeremy stormed the judging tower like Napoleon goddamn Bonaparte invaded Russia in 1812. He threw his board, he punched the wall and he screamed hurtful words. While we don’t expect him to win this year’s sportsmanship award, you can’t really blame him after the luck he’s had this year. At least you know the guy is coming from a place of passion — which is far better than a place of, say, apathy.

They say that tomorrow…
Contest? Probably nah. Expect things to get started again on Monday in waves just a tit bigger than today, then settle into a string of laydays before getting a good run of swell towards the end of the waiting period. See you there. —Bren