Jordy Smith (ZAF), Glenwood High School old boy, won the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong in front of a packed beach of partisan spectators today, defeating powerful Brazilian Willian Cardoso (BRA) in a pulsating final to add the 2017 event title to his previous victory in 2010.
The big South African overcame a stomach bug that almost derailed his charge in mid week to reach the final of the first World Surf League (WSL) QS10,000 rated event of the year where he used his trademark repertoire of aerial manoeuvres to post an impressive heat total 18.06, including near perfect 9.73.
“I had a bit of a slow start, but I ended up sticking that first air and from there I was actually enjoying my surf out there and just taking my time as the waves came through,” said Smith. “Eventually I got that one wave with a nice section and got one of the biggest ramps all week and just went for it and I landed it.
“I’m really happy with my performance this week and hopefully I can take this momentum to J-Bay. Willian is a tenacious competitor as all the Brazilians are. He’s one of the most powerful surfers in the world and we’re both bigger guys so we were matching fire with fire.
“It’s such an honour winning this event with so many of my friends and family here. Thanks so much to everyone who’s come down to the event, your support makes a huge difference for us local surfers.”