This morning, Jordy Smith eliminated Kelly Slater (in his first event back from injury) during Round 2 of the Corona Open J-Bay. Although Slater pulled into a barrel that had potential to score into the excellent range, the Champ was unable to complete it. Smith capitalized, earning an 8.00 on his second scoring ride.
"I'm just sticking to what I know," said Smith after his heat. "I think this is probably the best feeling I've had in a while - with being home. I feel really relaxed. I'm not a frontrunner this year so it's kind of nice to not have any of that pressure on my shoulders. I was pretty bummed because I missed my dad's birthday dinner last night. I wanted to be home and get an early night. I told myself I was definitely going to make it count today, no matter what. There's nothing more I want to do this year than win this event."
The Corona Open J-Bay is one of Kelly Slater's favorite events - causing the Champ to return from injury quicker than expected. Slater earned a 11.74 Round 2 heat total - which was not enough to overthrow the South African.
"I got a really long barrel but it was just sectioning too much," said Slater. "I feel like I surfed alright, considering. I'm definitely rusty and I don't really know where I can push my foot. Yesterday was really my first session back and it didn't feel great."