Jordy Smith on top in Tasmania

30 March 2009

Solid two-metre waves at Bluffs Reef proved ideal for South African surfing sensation Jordy Smith as he took victory in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Marrawah, Tasmania on Sunday.

Smith, the world number nine, defeated world number five Damien Hobgood of the USA, with a total heat score of 15.56 to 13.17 (combined two-wave total out of a possible 20) in the final of the six-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event.

The victory was worth $20 000 and 2 500 WQS points to the South African standout.


Both surfers suffered slow starts in the 35-minute final, but Hobgood held an early lead with a ride of 7.50. He struggled with his second ride, managing only a 5.67.

With 10 minutes remaining, Smith posted a heat-high 8.73 to back up his earlier 6.83 for victory.

Smith stood out his opening heat in the week-long event and overcame a classy international field of 144 surfers to claim victory in the inaugural event to be held in the wild north-west of Tasmania. The 21-year-old’s free surfing approach was the key to his victory, with massive snaps and big aerial manoeuvres all part of his repertoire.

‘I’ve had the greatest time’

“I’ve had the greatest time here in Tasmania. It’s been just amazing with such powerful surf and fun people in this remote location,” said Smith after his win.

“I always enjoy surfing waves that offer power and here in Tasmania every wave you surf is straight out of the deep southern waters, and the power just makes for great surfing. I love it.”

Hobgood was just as impressed with the wilds of Tasmania, saying: “It’s been a special week for me here in Tasmania, so many great waves and just amazing people who have welcomed us here. It”s been an adventure for all of us and I”ve felt like a young kid all week!”


In the semi-finals, Smith used a timely last wave to end the dream run highly-regarded Brazilian, Jadson Andre. Andre, 21, who earlier in the event had eliminated the top seed CJ Hobgood, led for most of the 35-minute match-up until Smith locked in a last-minute 8.27 score to secure a berth in the final.

The second semi-final was an all-American affair between Damian Hobgood and Pat Gudauskas. After a tight battle, Hobgood advanced; Gadauskas needed 9.17 to win in his final ride and came up just short with an 8.90.

O’Neill Coldwater Classic – Tasmania



  • 1. Jordy Smith (RSA) 15.56
  • 2. Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.17


  • SF1 Jordy Smith (RSA) 16.10 def Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.27
  • SF2 Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.07 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.90

Men’s WQS Ratings
(After Event #5 O’Neill Coldwater Classic, Tasmania-Australia)

  • 1. Bruno Santos (BRA) 2 813
  • 2. Jean da Silva (BRA) 2 550
  • 3. Jordy Smith (RSA) 2 500
  • 4. Darrell Goodrum (USA) 2 488
  • 5. Pablo Paulino (BRA) 2 475

South Africans

  • 40. Travis Logie 1 313
  • 49. Rudy Palmboom 1 125
  • 86. Warwick Wright 875
  • 99. Damien Fahrenfort 813
  • 105. Daniel Redman 794
  • 167. Brandon Jackson 600
  • 173. Royden Bryson 563
  • 187. Ricky Basnett 538
  • 262. Klee Strachan 375

SAinfo reporter

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