Three SA surfers still in

2013-07-04 00:00

THEN there were three and one could make history.

Jordy Smith, Beyrick de Vries and rookie Dylan Lightfoot are the three South African surfers who remain in the Mr Price Pro in Ballito, with Smith on course to become the first double winner of the contest if he continues his consistent form.

Day two of official action at Willard Beach dawned with ideal conditions, a strong overnight north-easterly wind bringing in favourable two-metre swells that allowed organisers to give the green light from 7.15 am.

The conditions allowed 18 heats of 30 minutes to be completed, including all 12 of the round of 48. The last six heats of the round of 96 saw surfers make the most of a consistent swell.

South Africans on the waves were Shaun Joubert and Greg Emslie, but both failed to catch the waves that counted, finishing fourth in their heats and bowing out at the first time of asking.

This left the South African trio to make inroads through to the last 24 and they did not disappoint local fans.

Smith, up against Alejo Muniz (Brazil), Marlon Lipke (Portugal) and Ezekile Lau (Hawaii), made full use of conditions he knows well, scoring 7,00 on his first wave and winning the heat with a seventh wave score of 8,23. His total of 15,23 was well ahead of second-placed Lipke on 10,67.

“It was tough out there but I think I was willing to wait for the right waves,” said Smith. “When they came, they paid off for me, getting me the scores I needed to progress.”

De Vries, who powered to an opening-heat win in the first round, again impressed, finishing second to Frenchman Maxime Huscenot for a last 24 spot. This matches De Vries’s effort last year, when he made it to the same stage of the event.

“Home surf advantage is a huge plus and an unbelievable confidence booster,” he said. “I’m at the same stage I reached last year and obviously want to take the next step and go one, possibly two or more better.”

Australian Julian Wilson, the current ASP No 11, picked three beauties in his heat, scoring 8,67, 8,00 and a best of the day 9,87 for the highest score of the day — an 18,54 out of a possible 20.

“These are not easy conditions but I was a lot better on the waves than in my first heat. It’s pretty fun out there and I feel good, surfing my own heat each time,” said Wilson.

The biggest cheer of the day came for Lightfoot (18), surfing his first prime event. A final wave score of 5,80 was enough for him to take his heat, ahead of Brazil’s David do ­Carmo.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m through to the last 24,” he said. “I was chuffed to get that last wave and managed to adapt to the tricky conditions. I have great support here and will take each heat as it comes.”

The biggest upset of the day saw 2009 champion Tanner Gudauskas eliminated in a heat in which he battled to impress the judges with what came his way. Other than Smith, there are no former champions through to the last 24.

Organisers are confident of another full day of action today, with another early call scheduled for 7 am and the first heat off at 7.15 am.

ROUND OF 48 RESULTS

Heat 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.60; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.97; Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.07; Garrett Parkes (BRA) 10.90

Heat 2: Granger Larsen (HAW) 13.33; Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 12.70; Gabriel Villaran (PER) 11.23; Michael Dunphy (USA) 9.00

Heat 3: Stu Kennedy (AUS) 12.50; Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.27; Bernado Miranda (BRA) 9.47; Davey Cathels (AUS) 9.23

Heat 4: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.77; Thomas Woods (AUS) 11.93; Frederick Patacchia Jnr (HAW) 9.90; Kiron Jabour (HAW) 7.27

Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.23; Marlon Lipke (PRT) 10.67; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.17; Ezekial Lau (HAW) 8.40

Heat 6: Maxime Huscenot (REU) 14.23; Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 13.40; Matt Banting (ZAF) 13.04; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 6.70

Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.54; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 11.84; Nathan Hedge (AUS) 11.50; Messias Felix (BRA) 11.40

Heat 8: Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 11.97; David do Carmo (BRA) 11.93; Chris Friend (AUS) 8.26; Joan Duru (FRA) 7.66

Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.67; Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.67; Brett Simpson (USA) 13.23; Tanner Guduaskas (USA) 8.60

Heat 10: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 9.36; Mason Ho (NZL) 8.63; Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.10; Tom Whittaker (AUS) 4.90

Heat 11: Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 11.73; Jean Da Silva (BRA) 11.24; Brian Toth (PRI) 9.40; Peterson Cristano (BRA) 8.83

Heat 12: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.86; Mitch Crews (AUS) 15.10; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.16; Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.20

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