Brazilians hot in Ballito

2012-07-07 00:00

AND then there were 16, two being South African.

That’s the situation at the end of day five of the Mr Price Pro Ballito, which got under way at 7.30 am yesterday with the final two heats in the round of 24, in a high tide expected to offer solid one-metre walls as it subsided.

Willard’s Beach was abuzz with supporters and spectators keen to get into the weekend mood with some inspired action on the waves.

They were not disappointed as South Africa’s Jordy Smith and Travis Logie won their heats to advance to the round of 16. Thursday’s sensation and local hero, Beyrick de Vries, advanced to the non-losers round of 24 before falling to Australian Nathan Hedge. De Vries has much to take home from the contest, his equal 17th overall finish the best of his career to date.

Smith and Logie turned it on for local supporters, although Smith admitted being a little relaxed against the USA’s Nate Yeomans, relying on two waves at the end of the heat to pull him through.

“I was a little too relaxed today. I thought first and second advanced into the round of 16 and had my foot off the gas. In the end I was fortunate to get those waves (7,83 and 7,00) at the end and seal my win,” he said.

Logie was the opposite, flying out the blocks in his heat and attacking Hedge, scoring 6,00 and 7,93 in his session. He attacked the best Willards could offer, impressive with a series of powerful backhand hooks to bolster his score.

He said he enjoyed some rhythm in the first heat, “getting it right from the start”.

“It makes a change from having to claw my way back which I often have to do,” Logie said.

The ASP world No. 20, Brazilian Alejo Muniz, etched out the best individual heat total of the day with 17,17 in the last heat in the round of 48, the second heat of the morning.

He was grateful for a series of good waves which came his way. “I enjoy the heats where you have to paddle all the time and never give up. It paid off for me,” he said.

Fellow Brazilian Adriano de Souza, ASP world No. 4 and top seed for the contest, maintained his march toward the title — easily taking care of defending champ Patrick Gudauskas and Brian Toth. He scored 7,83 and 8,04, delivering a powerful performance which included round house carves and floater finishes.

“Luck was one my side and it was a tough heat taking on the defending champion. I have been watching the local guys, Jordy Smith in particular, when it comes to position and wave selection and tried to add that into my surfing. I am enjoying these waves and hope to keep advancing,” De Souza said.

Rounding off a perfect day for Brazil, Thomas Hermes scored 7,83 and 8,00 rides to advance to the final 16 — leaving no doubt about how he felt with his accomplishment.

“I am so happy to win my heat. This is my best result this year. It’s working well for me. I feel good, love the wave, feel comfortable and am keen to advance into the next round,” he said.

Yesterday saw 16 heats completed, including all eight in the non-losers round of 24 and six heats of the round of 24 losers. Officials make a call at 7 am today.

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