February ‘in a good place’

2017-07-11 06:02
Kommetjie’s Michael February has been awarded a wildcard entry into the R6m Corona Open starting tomorrow.PHOTO: WSL/ Cestari

Kommetjie’s Michael February has been awarded a wildcard entry into the R6m Corona Open starting tomorrow.PHOTO: WSL/ Cestari

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Michael February from Kommetjie has been awarded the World Surfing League (WSL) commissioner’s wildcard entry into the Corona Open J-Bay which starts its 12 days of contest in Jeffreys Bay tomorrow.

He was overjoyed at the news that he would get to compete against the world’s top 34 ranked surfers after a stellar run of results on the qualifying series (QS) this year.

February has won three QS1000 events and also reached the semi-finals of the QS10 000 Ballito Pro on Saturday to rocket into fourth position on the QS rankings.

“I’m really, really happy about the wildcard for J-Bay. Reaching the semis at Ballito was such a cool achievement for me and when [WSL deputy commissioner] Travis Logie told me about the wildcard, I was really stoked,” says February.

The lanky natural footer has had plenty of experience at Supertubes, reaching the finals of JBU supertrials twice and also competing in the 2015 championship tour event as a last-minute injury replacement for Australia’s Matt Banting.

“I was given an injury replacement spot at J-Bay two years ago. But that was a last-minute decision, so this time I have a little more time to prepare for it.

“The forecasts look like the event will only start a couple of days into the window period and after this last result I’m feeling comfortable and couldn’t be better prepared for going into a champsionship tour event,” explains ­February.

Although the full draw for the heats have not yet been officially published, February is ranked higher than Dale Staples, who was awarded the wildcard for winning this year’s JBU Supertrials last month. He is likely to line up aganst compatriot and two-time J-Bay winner Jordy Smith and America’s Conner Coffin in the first round.

“As a wildcard you’re always going to be facing the top seeds. Jordy is one of the best out at J-Bay, so it’s going to pretty hard, but I’m really excited about it.

“I’m in a good place right now, enjoying my surfing and enjoying making heats and now I’m getting opportunities like this, so I’m really happy. Having the championship tour between the Ballito and US Open QS10 000 events is great. It’s good to have these events back to back.”

The winner of round 1 heats advance directly to round 3, while the second and third-placed surfers compete man-on-man in round 2 heats where only the winner ­advances.

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