Smith gets highest total

2013-07-05 00:00

AN incoming tide at Willard Beach, Ballito, early yesterday afternoon forced tournament director Colin Fitch to call off action for the day at 2.30 pm on the third day of official action at the Mr Price Pro after eight heats in the round of 24.

As the tide came in and the south-easterly wind increased, any decent competition waves disappeared, leaving the beach deserted and only a group of die-hard wave riders bobbing on the swell in search of a decent break.

Earlier in the day, organisers had given the go-ahead for the round of 24 heats to start at 7.15 am in clean, three- to four-foot off-shore waves. These conditions allowed those involved in the early heats to enjoy solid waves offering big rides and the opportunity to pile on the points.

South Africa’s Jordy Smith, on course to become the first double winner of the event, having won in 2010, proved his class and pedigree in his heat against fellow South African Beyrick de Vries and Basque surfer Aritz Aranburu, registering the highest heat total of the competition, a staggering 18,57 from a possible 20.

Not wishing to be upstaged by the younger De Vries, Smith picked his moment, landing two waves of 9,07 and 9,50 to secure his automatic progress to round five. By finishing second, De Vries meets Portugal’s Marlon Lipke in an attempt to reach round five. This showdown was due to hit the water when a halt to proceedings was called and will be the first heat in the water today.

“It came down to another waiting game for me after a slow start to the heat, and thankfully it paid dividends,” said Smith. “Beyrick got the best waves in the beginning, a couple of barrels, and I had to step up my work rate. Thankfully, I got the waves to execute some huge sweeping turns and great finishes.”

Rookie Dylan Lightfoot, the other remaining South African in the draw, was up against Australian Dion Atkinson and the USA’s Kolohe Andino in his heat, and finished a distant third. He meets Brazilian Jadson Andre in today’s third heat, and is needing to pull out all the stops if he hopes his dream debut at the event continues.

From the eight heats that were possible, Australia’s Julian Wilson, the top seed in the event, continued his progress, winning his heat against Brazilians Andre and David do Carmo with another solid performance. His score of 16,07 was well ahead of second place Andre (10,40) and followed his second round 18,54. He has been one of the stand-outs to date and talk on the beach indicates he could be a strong favourite to win in the next few days. “There wasn’t as much power as in my previous round but with less wind, the waves were more structured and easier to pick. I’m happy to still be in the running,” he said.

Likewise with Frenchman Maxime Huscenot, who is relishing what the Ballito surf has to offer. He delivered another consistent performance, winning his heat against Lipke and Thomas Woods (Australia) with a score of 14,33. Others to progress to round five were Caio Ibelli (Brazil), Jesse Mendes (Brazil), Kolohe Andino (USA), Krystian Kymerson (Brazil) and Filipe Toledo (Brazil).

This was a good day for the top seeds with no major upsets. Spectators can look forward to some classy surfing in the coming heats as some of the world’s best square up to each other. Organisers are hoping for another early start today and are hoping to hit the start siren from 7.15 am.

ROUND OF 24 RESULTS

Heat 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.40; Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 13.27; Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.00

Heat 2: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 15.46; Stu Kennedy (AUS) 14.17; Granger Larsen (HAW) 7.43

Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18.57; Beyrick De Vries (ZAF)14.94; Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.24

Heat 4: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 14.33; Thomas Woods (AUS) 13.33; Marlon Lipke (PRT) 12.03

Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.07; Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.40; David do Carmo (BRA) 6.70

Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (ZAF) 13.26; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.27; Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 6.77

Heat 7: Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 14.80; Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.67; Billy Stairmand (NZL) 13.24

Heat 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.63; Mason Ho (HAW) 10.50; Jean Da Silva (BRA) 1.38

No Loser Round of 24 Results:

Heat 1: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 13.50 def Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.27 Heat 2: Stu Kennedy (AUS) 12.93 def Jay Thompson (AUS)

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