Freestone sets surfing event alight, showing how it should be done

2014-07-04 00:00

ACTION got under way a little later than scheduled at the Mr Price Pro Ballito yesterday but when nature played its part, it allowed for eight heats to be completed as the event moved into the round of 16 with man-on-man heats.

The last four heats of the no loser round of 24 were polished off and once again, it was Australian and two-time world junior champion Jack Freestone who gave a display of how things should have been done.

His aerials have set the event alight, with people flocking to the beach when word gets around that his heat is coming up. He made maximum use of what came his way, knocking up scores of 8.67 and 8.17 for the best overall total of the day, 16.84. He is definitely eyeing a spot in Sunday’s final.

“I feel good and the waves were similar to what I enjoyed on Wednesday when I managed a couple of nines out there,” he said. Then it became serious, with the man-on-man heats, the winner ­progressing to the round of 16 and the loser going home. Losers in this round finish tie 17th overall, earning 1 300 WQS points and R22 000.

First to qualify was Portugal’s Tiago Pires, ranked 25th in the world, who overcame Brazilian Heitor Alves.

“I have trained well and it’s great to get through the heats and keep progressing. Heitor is a dangerous opponent and I was fortunate to get the waves on my side.”

Also still in the contest is Brazilian Caio Ibelli who beat fellow countryman Tomas Hermes, United States Dillon Perillo, who caused the upset of the day taking care of Australia’s Matt Banting, and Tim Reyes (U.S.).

“This is a great result for me,” said Ibelli. “It wasn’t easy out there and I struggled to get the sets I wanted. I hope to keep moving through the heats and I was fortunate catch a decent scoring wave near the end of the heat as Tomas was ripping up to that point.”

Considering Perillo is 81st in the current qualification series, his win showed that anything can happen on the water and no one heads into a heat as the ­underdog. “This is a highlight for me as I have never made a heat in a prime event and now I have come through three,” he said.

A call to determine how today works out will be made at 7 am as organisers hope to complete the remaining four heats of the current round and then move into the round of 16.

No Loser Round of 24:

Heat five: Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.26

Marlon Lipke (PRT) 10.94

Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.83

Heat six: Jeremy Florens (FRA) 13.67

Adam Melling (AUS) 11.53

Tom Whitaker (AUS) 4.36

Heat seven: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.50

Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 11.83

David do Carmo (BRA) 9.17

Heat eight: Jack Freestone (AUS) 16.84

Michael Dunphy (USA) 11.24

Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.60

Loser Round of 24

Heat one: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.50

Heitor Alves (BRA) 13.16

Heat two: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.17

Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.10

Heat three: Dillon Perillo (USA) 16.00

Matt Banting (Aus) 15.00

Heat four: Tim Reyes (USA) 11.43

Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.56.

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