Local surfer aims big

2014-06-26 00:00

UMHLANGA surfer Beyrick de Vries is relishing the chance to take on the best the world can offer at his local break when the Mr Price Pro comes to Willard Beach, Ballito, from June 30 to July 6.

Eighty-four international surfers are in town for the ASP Prime event and De Vries is raring to go, undaunted at who he takes to the water against.

“Jordy Smith and Travis Logie have headed the South African challenge in the past and now I want to be part of that as well,” he said. “We are blessed to have an event of this calibre, recognised so highly in world surfing circles, on our doorstep.

“It also offers double prize money and points ratings, meaning a foot in the door for those like myself who want to make inroads on the international stage.”

Last year, De Vries was a crowd favourite as he blasted his way into the round of 16 and this year, he has climbed to a respectable 28th on the ASP world rankings, almost 100 spots up the ladder since the same time 12 months back.

This gives him a realistic chance of pocketing the title, while also enabling him to make valuable ground toward qualifying for the 2015 ASP World Tour.

“This event is important to me regarding my rankings,” he said. “Last year’s performance has given me some confidence and after a disappointing round two elimination in Mexico this week, I hope to make up some lost ground.”

Home advantage is a huge plus for De Vries, the waves of Ballito virtually in his backyard, only 20 minutes away from his home. “Surfing at home has a huge impact. There is no stress regarding travel, accommodation, jetlag or diet,” he said.

“This is an advantage for me as I surf depending on how I feel on the day. When there is no stress, I have more confidence and hence surf better.”

De Vries has new shaper Elton Fursman in his camp after his previous shaper moved to Australia. “I’ve worked with Elton for a while and he is 100% behind me in my quest to qualify for world tour.”

Come Monday, De Vries will hit the water with at least a podium finish on his mind. “I will not rest until I win the Mr Price Pro Ballito,” he said.

“This is my home event, one of the best in the world, the one I have set my heart on and the one I have to win.”

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