Words by Gero Lilleike
Photos by Alan Van Gysen
Word on the street has it that the 2012 Billabong Pro J-Bay was one of the best, if not the best event held in Jeffreys Bay to date. Last year saw a lack in swell and the surfers had a tough time competing in the small conditions. This year, J-Bay lit up and provided world class surf almost right through to the end of the event and for those who were there, excluding myself, must have been treated to some phenomenal surfing and I’m pretty sure people will remember this one for years to come.
Two-time J-Bay winner Jordy Smith, despite his best efforts, fell to the sword of Frenchman Joan Duru in the round of 16 who went on to face Brazilian Adriano De Souza in the final. But it was local boy Dale Staples who carried the hopes of South African spectators with an epic battle against Hawaiian John John Florence in the round of 16. Staples laid down the law to advance to the quarter finals, leaving Florence with his tale between his legs. Dale Staples then came up against Aritz Aranburu in the quarters and unfortunately struggled to catch the right waves, giving Aranburu an easy win.
Adriano De Souza and Joan Duru both came out on top in the semi’s and set the stage for the final showdown. The two battled it out in the onshore conditions and at the end of the day, Adriano De Souza was crowned the Billabong Pro J-Bay winner for 2012 with a 16 – 13.60 defeat over Duru. De Souza had this to say of his win, “I’ve come to South Africa and to Jeffreys Bay for so many years, and have always seen the guys win the Billabong Pro, and now it’s my turn, I’m just so happy, and I’m going to remember this win for my whole life. J-Bay is a special place for me and hopefully see you again next year.”