Jordy Smith in action at the Hurley Pro Trestles in San Diego, California. Photo: Kenneth Morris/WSL

SAN DIEGO, California – South Africa’s Jordy Smith has increased his lead at the top of the Jeep Rankings leaderboard after finishing runner-up to Brazil’s Filipe Toledo in the final of the Hurley Pro Trestles last Friday, stop No 8 of 11 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).

In a wave-starved final in San Diego, California, Smith’s strategy of waiting for the bigger waves saw him record the highest score of the 35-minute encounter, a 9.0 out of 10. 

But Toledo stayed busy and racked up scores of 8.0 and 7.67 to secure his first title at Trestles and in the process became the first male CT surfer to win two events this year.

“I would’ve liked to get a couple more waves in that heat, but today wasn’t my day, unfortunately, and Filipe (Toledo) just surfed really well,” Smith said.

“I went out there with a strategy and executed it pretty much as perfectly as I could. But in surfing there are some things you can’t control, and that’s Mother Nature. In those 35 minutes, I just didn’t get a second chance.

“Now I’ll just try to focus on the next event and live every moment for what it is and what’s to come. It’s time to get ready for Europe, where it’s very happy-go-lucky and I like roaming those line-ups and just being there.”

Smith, who came into the event ranked No 1, 950 points ahead of 2016 world champion John John Florence of Hawaii, earned US $50 000 (approx R650 000) and 8 000 points at Trestles.

The Durbanite is now 2 450 points ahead of Florence, who remains rankings runner-up following his defeat by Toledo in the semi-finals, and 8 650 points above No 3 Julian Wilson of Australia.

Toledo put on spectacular performances for the San Clemente crowd with his powerful turns and big airs throughout the event. 

The Final Series witnessed Toledo continue to turn up the heat en route to the fifth CT victory of his career.

African News Agency (ANA)