JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Tuesday, July 17, 2007) –Foster's ASP World Tour surfers Bede Durbidge (AUS) and Adriano de Souza (BRA) have advanced to Round 4 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay after winning their Round 3 heats today. The last two heats of Round 3 were wrapped up before the event was called off for the day.
Durbidge beat Brazil's Rodrigo Dornelles 13.84 to 11.17 in their 40-minute bout. Event officials increased the duration of the heats today to compensate for inconsistent conditions.
"It was really slow out there and there weren't many waves," Durbidge said. "Rodrigo and I probably got the only two waves with any scoring potential out there. There was no room for error because if you fell, that was your heat over. We had really tough conditions and a tough heat and I just got slightly higher scores on my waves than Rodrigo so that gave me the edge."
Durbidge will now face Brazilian Adriano de Souza who beat Bruce Irons (HAW) 15.00 to 13.66 in Heat 16.
"I am pretty happy to win over Bruce in this heat and go through to Round 4 where I will surf against Bede Durbidge who is a really really good surfer," de Souza said. "He got second place in the first event of the year and put pressure on all the guys."
Both surfers had excellent scoring waves in the 8-point range early in the heat, but de Souza's last-minute 6.87 trumped Irons' backup score of 5.33.
"I am happy that the contest organizers made the heat 40 minutes," de Souza said. "That's really good for me because I got my last wave at the very end. I am so happy to move to Round 4 because I need some points in order to stay on the Foster's ASP World Tour next year."
De Souza suffered an injury in the previous Foster's ASP World Tour event in Chile which forced him to withdraw from the contest. De Souza sits 31st on the world ratings and is looking for a strong result in Jeffreys Bay.
"In Chile I had a big cut in my head and I was so unlucky at Bells," de Souza said. "At Snapper and Tahiti the conditions in my heat were really bad. Hopefully I will get a win over Bede, get some points and be on the tour next year."
Heat 7 of Round 4 will pit 8X Foster's ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) against Australia's Luke Stedman. The regular-footed Australian finished ahead of Slater in their Round 1 heat at JBay in 2003 – Stedman's rookie year on tour.
"I have beaten him out here before, so it is going to be a great heat," Stedman said. "He is one of my favorite surfers and he surfs fantastically well out here. I won't be changing any of my preparations or my surfing out here. I feel that what I have done has been working so I am going to stick with it. I am just hoping that the waves are consistent and fun and I'm sure we will both have fun out there."
Only one full day of competition is needed to complete the 2007 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay. There are five days left in the event waiting period, which stretches until Sunday, July 22nd, 2007. The next call on competition status will be made tomorrow at 7am local time.
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Round 3 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Results:
Heat 15: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.84 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 11.17
Heat 16: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.00 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 13.66
Round 4 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 3: Daniel Wills (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 4: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 5: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)