Filipe Toledo (BRA) has won the Men's Corona Open J-Bay for the second year in a row.
Filipe, who was on form throughout the contest, lit up four-to-six foot Supertubes at Jeffreys Bay in the final against 2018 CT Rookie Wade Carmichael (AUS).
“Back-to-back wins is always something that I’ve dreamed of,” said Filipe. “It could not be more special here in J-Bay after last year and this year we’ve had such good waves again. Thanks, God. Thanks, Jesus. Thank you to my family and everyone supporting me. I feel so blessed right now.”
Filipe’s back-to-back win came with spectacular performances throughout the entire event. Out of the top ten highest single-wave scores of the Corona Open J-Bay, five belonged to Filipe (all 9-point rides). The same was true for the event’s highest heat total, where he was responsible for five of the top ten.
The 23-year-old Brasilian has now 7 Final appearances, defeating every opponent he’s ever faced in a Final. Filipe now leads the Jeep Rankings and will wear the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey at Stop No. 7 on the WSL CT, the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o.
“When it is Finals Day, it is just something that clicks,” Filipe continued. “It is now or never, and I put it all on the line. That is always my strategy, ‘Go big or go home.’ It is easy like that and I went big. Finals is one of those heats where it is first or second, there are no losers, so I just go really big and put all my work on the wave. That is why I train. That is why I’ve been really focused. Repeating the Final with Wade Carmichael, who has been really solid the whole event and surfing really well, it was a pleasure to surf against him. He took down some really big names. I am stoked to get the win and thank you to everyone.”
Julian Wilson (AUS) fell to Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the second Quarterfinal. The Australian came into this event as World No. 1, but his 5th place finish now moves him down to second on the Jeep Leaderboard. Julian, who is the defending event winner of the next men’s CT stop, the Tahiti Pro, will now prepare to defend his win at the infamous Teahupo’o.
“Me and Jordy (Smith) have had plenty of good battles and we had another close one there,” said Julian. “I feel like that was a great result. I didn’t find my best this week in J-Bay but was able to find a good result. It is just past halfway in the year and there are is a lot of good events left. I am excited for Tahiti. Same as here where you just look at the forecast and either get really really scared or get on your shortboard and throw everything at it like last year.”
The waiting period for the Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o starts from August 10th to the 21st. Visit the World Surf League website for more information.
Photos © WSL / Cestari