Double joy for Smith with a perfect-20 total at World Surf League event

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Jordy Smith of South Africa surfs during the World Surf League (WSL) championship at Supertubo beach in Peniche.

Jordy Smith of South Africa surfs during the World Surf League (WSL) championship at Supertubo beach in Peniche.

JOHANNESBURG - A sensational day of action played out at the J-Bay, World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) event, on Tuesday as the world’s best surfers delivered four perfect 10-point rides in double overhead waves in Jeffreys Bay.

South Africa’s Jordy Smith created history by recording the first perfect 20-point heat total at Jeffreys Bay as the competition ran through Round 3 and the opening two heats of Round 4, before being called off when a shark was sighted breaching about 100 metres outside the competition area.

Smith, the two-time event winner (2010 and 2011) posted his perfect 20 heat total in his Round 3 match-up with 2017 WSL Rookie Leonardo Fioravanti of Italy. This is only the 10th time the feat has been achieved in 40-plus years of professional surfing, the first time anyone has earned a perfect 20 at J-Bay and the first ever perfect heat for Smith.

Despite a strong opening from Fioravanti, the hometown hero found the best waves of the heat to deliver two perfect rides. First Smith laid down two huge turns and a deep barrel for 10 points, followed quickly by a display of his incredible power surfing and two more barrels for another perfect 10 to seal his victory and his place in the history books.

“It feels absolutely phenomenal,” said Smith. “Just be to here at J-Bay where the waves are firing and to have that opportunity is incredible. To do it, to get 20 points in front of all my friends and family and all these local fans, is also just such an amazing thing. It’s Mandela Day today, and I think Madiba was looking out for me and sent me the bombs today.

“My first two heats in the event were really slow and to get blessed with that was absolutely amazing. You go out there and give it absolutely everything you’ve got. I don’t want to take anything away from Leo (Fioravanti), he’s an absolutely amazing surfer, especially on the rail, so I just had to do my best surfing. This heat I was just fortunate to get the bombs. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would get a perfect 20 and to get it here at J-Bay makes it extra special.”

Fioravanti was equally elated about the quality of the on offer at Supertubes.

“The waves were perfect and it was a great heat,” said Fioravanti. “I knew two 8’s weren’t going to cut it. Every time we had an exchange he always seemed to get the edge though. Jordy is one of the best out there so I just went out there trying to surf my best, but he got two 10’s and made history out there. It’s such an incredible place, so we’re so lucky to be here. That was the best heat I’ve ever surfed, so I’m stoked to be part of it. I can’t wait to get over to Tahiti now.”