Surfers dig deep to give top performances

2014-07-03 00:00

ALTHOUGH the sun shone and spectators enjoyed themselves on the beach, the third day of the Mr Price Pro Ballito produced bumpy, mixed up surfing conditions with a light north-easterly, onshore wind blowing through.

With the tide beginning to go out, it was hoped more sets would come through, thereby providing a better playground for the surfers.

Still needing to round off the last four heats of the round of 48, surfers in the first heat of the day took to the water in small waves of one foot, meaning high scores would be hard to come by. However, these seasoned campaigners are used to Mother Nature not always being on their side and they dug deep to provide top-class entertainment while trying to impress the judges.

In the first three heats, winning scores were just under a combined total of 15 out of a possible 20 and it was left to the final heat in the round of 48 before the action heated up. This was provided by two-time world junior champion Jack Freestone from Australia who dished up a superb performance as he completed four full front side rotation aerials. His best two waves were scored 8,67 and 8,43, allowing him to drop another good ride of 7,83.

He cruised through to the round of 24 that saw four heats completed before organisers called it a day, allowing local surfers to enjoy the still punchy, choppy conditions.

One of the upsets was in heat 11 that saw Australian Yadin Nicol eliminated. In round one, he had been one of the standouts with scores of 9,60 and 9,50 as he tallied 19,10 to win his heat, delivering two of the best rides of the day. This time around, it never worked for him and he has no further participation in the event.

The round of 24 sees three surfers contesting the half-hour heats and there are no losers in this round. The winner automatically proceeds to the round of 16, while second and third contest a man-on-man round of 24.

Star of day two and the only surfer to score a perfect 10 wave to date, 19-year-old Brazilian Filipe Toledo continued where he had left off, biding his time in the second heat of the round of 24 before unleashing a series of solid rides that saw him move from third to first in a matter of minutes. He scored 7,17 and 8,17 on his first two waves, enough to win the heat with a score of 15,34 and stake his claim as a serious title contender.

In heat three, Hawaii’s Torrey Meiser, ranked 51st in the world, got going early, landing a full rotation air reverse on his first wave and scoring a 9,50 within 30 seconds of the starting siren. It gave him the momentum to stay ahead and he went through to the round of 16 with a score of 17,67.

Today, organisers make a call at 8.30 am, continuing with the third round heats. If the north-easterly persists, it will be a matter of how many heats can be completed before the sea becomes a washing machine once more.

Round of 48 results:

Heat nine: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14,56

Damian Hopgood (USA) 13,37

Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.20

Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 12,30

Heat 10: Adrain Buchan (AUS) 12,77

Michael Dunphy (USA) 11,50

Marco Fernandez (BRA) 9,50

Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 8,76

Heat 11: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13,33

Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12,30

Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12,14

Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 11,57

Heat 12: Jack Freestone (AUS) 17,10

David do Carmo (BRA) 15,17

Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12,67

Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11,14

Round of 24 results

Heat one: Davey Cathels (AUS) 14,90

Tiago Pires (PRT) 14,76

Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13,20

Heat two: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15,34

Thomas Hermes (BRA) 13,10

Heitor Alves (BRA) 9,83

Heat three: Torrey Meister (HAW) 17,67

Matt Banting (AUS) 12,17

Frederico Morais (PRT) 6,94

Heat four: Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 17,73

Tim Reyes (USA) 9,67

Dillon Perillo (USA) 7,84.

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