Once again, the Billabong Pro J-Bay proved to be a great arena for the world’s best surfers to display their talents. Bottom line —great surfers in great waves equates to a great contest. Watch these 3 heats with Sean Holmes defeating Kelly Slater and Andy Irons and then finally losing to Bede Durbidge in the quarter-finals.
Watch Kelly Slater vs. Sean Holmes in Round 3 of Billabong J-Bay
Sean Holmes, 13.10pts defeats Kelly Slater, 13.06pts
Just when I was applauding the judges for rewards those surfers who were doing the most critical turns in the most critical sections, I saw Kelly Slater surf against Sean Holmes in Round 3. What is saw hear was Slater get underscored as he laid his rail in more critical sections on wave after wave. Sean Holmes caught better waves, but he surfed very conservative. Holmes is a great surfer with a smooth style but clearly his injury was holding him back from critical turns in the pocket.
Watch Andy Irons vs. Sean Holmes in Round 4 of Billabong J-Bay
Sean Holmes, 15.60pts defeats Andy Irons, 15.17pts
I saw more beautiful surfing from Sean Holmes in this heat, but he continued to be more conservative. Any Irons on the other hand laid his board on the rail and pulled some sick snaps.
Watch Bede Durbidge vs. Sean Holmes in Round 4 of Billabong J-Bay
Bede Durbidge,12.17pts defeats Sean Holmes,11.83pts
In this heat, it seemed like the judges got it right. Watch Holmes first wave in which he scored a 3.67. The judges would have scored it a 6 in the Slater or Irons heat’s but in this heat they got it right. In retrospect, the judges have over-scored Slater and Irons in heats years ago. Sean Holmes does rip and a little home court advantage should be expected.