South African Jordy Smith, 26, beat Hawaiian John John Florence, 21, to win the Hurley Pro Trestles in San Clemente, California. Smith opened the wind-swept final with a 9.33 (out of a possible 10), but each surfer’s top two waves are scored, and Smith struggled to find another good wave for the remainder of the 30-minute heat. Meanwhile, Florence put together a string of mid-range scores to take the lead as time ran out. But, with only two minutes remaining, Smith found a 7.17 to claim his first win of the season. "I knew I had to get on a bigger wave, do some turns and link it all the way to the inside," Smith said. "I just stuck to what I know." The win bumps him up to 11th in the world.
Current world number one, Gabriel Medina, 20, was knocked out in the quarterfinals, allowing Kelly Slater, 42, to narrow the (still substantial) gap in the world title race to 6,500 points (first place at each event gets 10,000 points, second 8,000, third 6,500, and so on). The next event on the ASP World Tour is the Quiksilver Pro France, beginning September 25th.
On the women's side, five-time-world champion Stephanie Gilmore, 26, beat fellow Australian Sally Fitzgibbons, 24, for her second win of the year. The Women's World Tour also heads to france, starting September 23.