- Van Niekerk pays tribute to triumphant Bolt
- Banyana dominate but go down to Ghana in playoff
- Blitzboks bag three wins in Dubai
- International honours for Olympic coach Barrow
- Hall of Fame honours for SA legend Sally Little
- Blitzboks off to a great start with Ugandan whitewash
- Banyana going all out to bag bronze in Cameroon
- Powell opts for experience at Dubai Sevens
- First IGT Tour win for Arnoldi at Centurion
- SA wheelchair tennis rocked by tragedy
Smith surfs to runners-up spot in Portugal
- Updated: October 21, 2014
South African Jordy Smith continued the phenomenal run of form that has seen him jump from 14th to seventh on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) rankings in the past month when he finished runner-up to reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning in the Moche Rip Curl Pro at Peniche in Portugal on Monday.
After the shock elimination of rankings front-runners Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Kelly Slater (USA) on Sunday, Fanning displayed genuine world title winning form by winning five successive encounters yesterday to clinch his third event title of the year at the penultimate stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP WCT.
The victory sees Fanning overtake Slater for second place on the rankings going into the final event of the year at Pipeline in Hawaii in December and opens the door for a possible fourth ASP World Title.
‘I am just so stoked,’ said Fanning. ‘I didn’t really think about a win to tell you the truth, it just happened. Jordy (Smith) surfed amazing, John John (Florence) surfed amazing, Kai (Otton) too. Everyone has been ripping this whole Euro leg and I’m just stoked I got to get a result out of it. It feels so good to get a win, it’s been five years since I won here, so I am very stoked. Going into Hawaii with a title on the line is so stressful, but I guess I will just deal with that when I get there. For now I’ll just enjoy the win here.’
Smith, who won the Hurley Pro Trestles in California last month and finished third in the Quiksilver Pro France and fifth in the ASP Prime rated Cascais Billabong Pro earlier this month, confirmed his status as one of the world’s top 10 surfers. His string of impressive performances culminated in the South African defeating the inform John John Florence in their Semi-final clash which took the young Hawaiian phenom out of the 2014 ASP World Title race.
Smith’s runner-up finish in Peniche and a previous quarter-final berth in the Prime rated event solidified his position at the top of the Portuguese Waves Series and earned him the Cascais Trophy and the coveted bonus of $50,000 in prize money.
‘That’s incredible taking out the Cascais Trophy and the $50,000,’ said Smith. ‘I’m definitely coming back next year. I am so excited and stoked. I didn’t realise it until I came in after my Semifinal and a friend of mine said to me that I’d just won the Cascais Trophy. I was like, ‘are you kidding me”, I was pretty pumped. I like this place, I really like the waves around here and I love Portugal and the people here. It’s a really great place and I always love surfing here.’
South Africa’s Travis Logie was eliminated by Bede Durbidge (AUS) in Round Two in Portugal. Logie’s 25th place finish leaves him ranked 32nd and a long way from the top 22 who will automatically re-qualify for the 2015 ASP WCT.
Heading into the final event of the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pipeline Masters, three surfers remain in contention for this year’s world surfing crown: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Mick Fanning (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA):
The next and final stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour is the Billabong Pipe Masters from 8-20 December, 2014.