Filipe Toledo (BRA) has won the Corona Open J-Bay today after besting 2017 CT Rookie Frederico Morais (PRT) in the Final. Stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2017 Championship Tour was graced with flawless conditions, resulting in barrier-breaking performances by the world’s best surfers, eight perfect 10-point rides and no shortage of drama.
Toledo, who was responsible for two of these Perfect 10s, showcased a new level to his progressive approach and will be rewarded with a boost from 14th to 7th on the Jeep Leaderboard. Today’s result also marks the Brazilian superstar’s best finish of the season to reboot his 2017 World Title campaign.
“I can’t believe it,” said Toledo. “J-Bay is always a contest that’s been my dream to win. To surf perfect waves like this that we did the entire contest. I’ve got to thank god for the amazing week that we’ve had. I’ve got my entire family here and supporting me. It’s unbelievable and I’m speechless. I think I might leave my hair like this for the rest of the year.”
Toledo’s fourth CT win did not come easy as a stacked field of competitors put the 22-year-old to task in each round. Toledo previously dispatched local favorite Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Quarterfinals with two impressive 9-point rides and then eliminated Julian Wilson (AUS) in the Semifinals.
“It has been an amazing week,” Toledo said. “This is definitely going to be the competition I remember for forty or fifty years, not just because I won but because of the level of surfing during this whole week. With J-Bay, the perfect waves and the level of surfing, it was perfect. Thank you to my crew that has supported me. I want to thank my wife and my daughter who have been here all week supporting me.”
The intense Final saw exciting exchanges between the Toledo and Morais. The two progressive challengers continued to deliver excellent-range scores for the J-Bay crowd, both escaping big barrels and unleashing big carves. With ten minutes left on the clock, another set provided both surfers an opportunity to improve their scores. Morais locked in a near-perfect 9.40 to close the gap to just 0.27 points on Toledo’s 18.00 two-wave total. Toledo attempted to improve his scoreline, but left priority with Morais for the remaining two minutes of the heat. Morais was not able to meet the requirement, giving Toledo the win.
Despite losing to Toledo in the Final, Morais delivered phenomenal surfing throughout his first CT event in South Africa. The rookie previously stunned the competition with a Perfect 10 to defeat reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) in the Quarterfinals, before eliminating 2015 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Semifinals. Morais’ career-best finish will now move him up from World No. 18 to 12th on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“I just love this place, it is amazing,” Morais said. “Everyone is so nice, the waves are amazing, the weather is really similar to home, and the vibe that you feel here is crazy good. It is an unforgettable place. Thank you to everyone for watching and supporting us. First Final ever on the World Tour and it is amazing.
“Surfing against John (Florence), Mick (Fanning), Adriano (de Souza), Gabriel (Medina), Filipe (Toledo) was a crazy week,” continued Morais. “It is always a big challenge and you have to step up your game when you are against those guys. They are the best surfers in the world and World Champs and if you want to beat them you have to be prepared for everything. It is amazing to represent Portugal and be the first Portuguese surfer doing a Final on the World Tour. Thank you to everyone at home.”
2015 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) was dispatched by runner-up Morais in the Semifinals after the rookie posted two excellent-range scores. Today’s result is Medina’s first Semifinal berth since Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and his career-best result at this event (previously earned 5th place finishes in 2014, 2015, 2016). Previously at No. 11 on the Jeep Leaderboard, the Brazilian moves to 9th.
Julian Wilson (AUS) secured his best result of 2017 with a Semifinal berth today where he was defeated by Toledo. Wilson had a great run during the event including a Perfect 10 in Round 3 and remains at 8th on the Jeep Leaderboard.
Current Jeep Ratings Leader Matt Wilkinson (AUS) was defeated by Semifinalist Wilson in the last Quarterfinal match-up. Despite his 5th place result in South Africa, Wilkinson will retain the Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the next CT stop, the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
“I started that heat and I fell on one really good wave that put me out of rhythm, but I am stoked that I came back to nearly take the heat,” Wilkinson said. “To watch all the guys that were in the race for this event dropping 9s and 10s, and to be the last guy left was pretty nice. To surf against Jules (Julian Wilson) in pumping waves is awesome. I will probably go to Teahupo’o to practice if there is a swell. I am excited to go back and hopefully get pumping waves.”
Two-time event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) was eliminated in the Quarterfinals by Toledo and the 5th place finish (his third of the season) will see the South African remain at No. 3 on the rankings. It was an incredible event for Smith who posted a Perfect 20-point heat in Round 3 and another Perfect 10 in Round 5.
“This comp has had some amazing points for me and some where I’ve struggled, but overall I’m proud of myself and I stood tall between those moments and dealt with them,” Smith said. “Filipe (Toledo) surfed great in that last heat and he definitely got better waves than I did and that’s really the difference out there. I’m just really, really tired. Yesterday was just a big day for me. I just want to thank Jeffreys Bay for all the support and everybody that came down, it really meant a lot and I really appreciate that. I learn every time when I come here. There’s a lot of pressure because everybody wants me to do well and I want to do well you just have to take each heat for what it is. The year really starts now and Tahiti is next so I’m focused on that now and we’ll see where that puts me.”
The next stop on the 2017 Men’s WSL CT will be the Billabong Pro Tahiti from August 11 – 22, 2017. The women will next compete at the Vans US Open of Surfing, which opens July 31 and runs through August 6, 2017.
Ocean plastic pollution is one of the biggest global environmental threats of our age. It’s time to take a stand against throwaway plastic culture that is feeding the rise of Wasteland, a new ‘super-power’ threatening the world.
There is a new ‘continent’ in the Pacific, a continent so vast and impenetrable that no explorer has yet fully mapped it. It’s called Wasteland. It has its allies grouping in the North Atlantic and other oceans gyres.
Wasteland was not forged by a shift in tectonic plates, but simply, by us – it is a continent made entirely of plastic… throwaway plastic.
Five times the size of the UK, Wasteland is growing and threatens to destroy us and our planet, yet it is a ‘country’ not many know about.
Surfers Against Sewage has produced a powerful campaign film with Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton providing a chilling voice-over across footage and animations, showing the emergence of the fictional super power, Wasteland. Whilst this is a creative interpretation, the reality is no less stark for all of our oceans.
To highlight the scale of the threat, Surfers Against Sewage commissioned the installation of Wasteland Warship, a curation of thousands of plastic collected from beaches around the UK into a gigantic warship. Infiltrating Marazion’s iconic beach in Cornwall, the 30ft structure has been installed to represent the nation’s greatest threat to environmental security – single-use plastic.
Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage says: “In a remote area in the North Pacific lies one of the most catastrophic man-made disasters to have ever affected us. Five times the size of the UK, Wasteland is growing and threatens to destroy us and our planet, yet it is a ‘country’ not many know about. Our Wasteland Warship is designed to highlight this, helping to spread the message about what is one of the greatest environmental threats of our time, plastic pollution.”
“There are easy steps we can all take join the resistance against the flow of plastic feeding Wasteland. Whether that’s refusing throwaway plastics wherever we can, taking refillable water bottles with you instead of buying single-use bottled water, reusing plastic bags on your weekly shop at the supermarket or making sure you recycle more, we all have our role to play.”
A new SAS study also looked at the plastic consumption habits of over 2000 people across the UK reveals that one in four (24 per cent) are unaware that not all plastics are recyclable, with the average person throwing away 23kg of single-use plastic every year, equivalent to the weight of 1352 plastic bottles, 4600 plastic forks or a seven-year-old child.
The findings also show that a third of Brits (35 per cent) throw away more than three or more plastic bottles on a weekly basis, despite them being either refillable or recyclable.
Single-use plastics, those that are designed to be used only once then thrown away, are playing a detrimental role in the conservation of coastlines and marine ecosystems. According to a recent study by the UN, plastics contribute an estimated 60 to 80 per cent of all marine litter, causing devastation for marine habitats. Nanoparticles from plastic waste are creating vast whirlpools of plastic sludge killing plankton, contaminating the food chain, and resulting in harmful chemicals making their way into supermarket food.
In a bid to reduce the quantities of plastic entering our oceans, SAS is calling for the public to join the resistance against Wasteland – the name given to this growing mass of marine plastic – and resist the use of single-use plastics.
SAS, which mobilises 25,000 beach clean volunteers annually around the UK, has revealed the most common single-use plastics that are found on UK beaches, with plastic bottles, coffee cups and plastic cutlery topping the list.
Most common single-use plastics found on our beaches:
Coffee cups and lids
Straws and plastic stirrers
Plastic packaging for food-on-the-go
Bathroom plastics, such as toothbrushes and cotton buds
Plastic drinking cups
(Source: Surfers Against Sewage, 2017)
Those interested in joining the resistance against Wasteland to reduce their plastic footprint and help create plastic free coastlines can find out more information here: www.plasticfree.org.uk
A 30ft model of a warship, which is made entirely of plastic marine litter is unveiled on Marazion Beach in Cornwall by campaign group Surfers Against Sewage, to highlight the growing threat of throwaway plastic in the seas and encourage the public to reduce their single-use plastic footprint. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 20, 2017. A new study by the action group has found that on average a person in the UK will produce 23kg of single-use plastic rubbish every year, with one in four unaware that not all plastics are recyclable. Photo: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire
The life of legendary waterman Jack O’Neill was honoured spectacularly in a worldwide series of memorial paddle outs on Sunday 9th July and Monday 10th July 2017. The moving display united surf communities across the globe with over 3,500 surfers joining hands in the world’s biggest floating memorial sequence to date.
Jack’s hometown of Santa Cruz, California led proceedings with simultaneous paddle outs taking place in Australia, Canada, Portugal, England, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and South Africa.
With no greater way to honour a man whose life was led by the ocean, the memorial paddle outs were a chance for surfers across the world to pay their respects and remember the man who “just wanted to surf longer.”
Brian Kilpatrick (Marketing Manager of O’Neill Wetsuits): “Every time you are pulling into your wetsuit and jumping in the water, we can all thank Jack for just wanting to surf longer – so thank you Jack!”
As the clouds parted and the fog lifted in Santa Cruz, a huge crowd of surfers gathered at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz next to Jack O’Neill’s house to form the biggest memorial celebration the surfing world has seen to date. Over 2,500 people joined the celebration on surfboards and in boats in the water and lining the cliff. With the O’Neill family on Jack’s legendary sailing yacht in the centre of the circle, former world champion and close friend of the O’Neill family Shaun Tomson honoured Jack as one the pioneers and founders of the surfing industry. “For all of us floating out here, some of the best moments of our lives have been spent in the water – waiting under the great dome of sky and catching that perfect wave that has taken us to where we need to be,” said Tomson.
The impressive ring of surfboards drifting on the horizon attracted crowds of spectators who lined the cliffs and beach below. The moving display symbolised the life of a fellow surfer whose sheer passion changed the face of surfing forever. After paying their respects, surfers paddled back to the shore yet some remained in the water catching waves in memory of Jack.
Edwin Jonkers (CEO O’Neill): “The global turnout to celebrate Jack’s legacy was truly amazing. It is evidence that Jack’s desire to surf longer and invention of the wetsuit changed the surfing world and beyond. His passion, values and lifestyle will be our ongoing inspiration for O’Neill.”
Jack was born in Denver, Colorado on 27th March 1923. He moved with his family to California, where he acquired a love for the beach early in his youth. Following service in the US Navy during World War II, Jack moved to Ocean Beach in San Francisco in the early 1950s and immediately began experimenting on his kitchen table with various materials designed to protect against the frigid ocean water in Northern California. He said, “I just wanted to surf longer.”
By the 50s, Jack had both invented the first surfing and bodysurfing wetsuits and opened his first surf shop near Ocean Beach. He also coined “Surf Shop,” a term for which he later received a Registered US Trademark.
Inspired by the growing surf scene, Jack moved with his growing family 75 miles south to Santa Cruz and opened his next surf shop. Shortly thereafter he began making surfboards, promoting the first surf movies and producing wetsuits for the expanding population of surfers in Santa Cruz and throughout California.
The surfing craze soon expanded way beyond California, and Jack rode that wave better and longer than almost anyone in the surf industry. By 1980 O’Neill had become a thriving international business and the world’s largest ocean recreation wetsuit designer and manufacturer. Jack viewed what he did as a passion, and was more surprised than anyone that the business grew to the point that it did.
Most recognizable for his eye patch and his beard, Jack was often seen driving around Santa Cruz in his convertible Jaguar. The eye patch resulted from his surfboard hitting his left eye while riding a wave.
In 1996 Jack established O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO), a marine and environmental education program which was his proudest achievement. Remarking on OSO, Jack said, “The ocean is alive and we’ve got to take care of it. There’s no doubt in my mind that the O’Neill Sea Odyssey is the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Jack O’Neill, surfer, ocean lover, boating enthusiast, wetsuit pioneer, balloonist, and founder of the iconic worldwide surf company O’Neill, passed away in Santa Cruz, California on Friday 2nd June 2017, of natural causes at the age of 94.
Paying homage to Jack, pioneer, maverick and surfer, O’Neill presents a new film, I Knew Jack O’Neill, directed and produced by Peter Hamblin. Detailing the story of the wetsuit and the first ‘surf shop,’ the mini documentary reveals Jack O’Neill’s life and adventures.