Fri, 5 July 2019

Jordy Smith and Beyrick de Vries are keeping South Africa's hopes alive after both surfers won through to the Round of 24 in tricky surf at the Ballito Pro pres by O’Neill today.

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ADRIANO SLICE: Adriano de Souza has been surfing fast and loose at Ballito. Photo WSL / Cestari

The weather was unpleasant and the surf extremely tricky, with a slight increase in swell to 4ft and strong cross-shore winds. However, the aerated chunks were the perfect ramps to showcase the competitors’ aerial repertoires. Smith and local hero Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) are the only South Africans left in contention after Durban’s David van Zyl exited the competition following a third place finish in his heat today.

Jordy Smith (Durban) looked casual as he posted the highest single wave score of the event. Smith started on the lefts looking for a section to complete an air, but then found a beautiful right-hander with less than 5 minutes to go, hacking it to pieces for a near perfect 9.57 points out of a possible 10.

“You’ve got to roll the dice in conditions like this,” said Smith. “There weren’t a lot of opportunities, but I surf this wave a lot and I’ve surfed it enough to know exactly what I need. I tried two or three lefts and it didn’t work out, so I switched the game plan to wait for a longer right and then I got the nine-something.”

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DRAGON SLAYER: Jordy Smith scored the highest wave of the event. Photo WSL / Cestari

Last year’s runner-up in Ballito, Jack Freestone (AUS) finished ahead of former World Champion Adriano de Souza (BRA) in the first heat of the day, sending Marcos Correa (BRA) and Miguel Tudela (PER) home.

“It was tough, there were talented surfers in that heat,” said Freestone. Every heat here looks like a final. It was probably the hardest conditions to compete in. Hopefully there will be more swell with the southerly wind, but that was so difficult.”

It was an unlucky draw for brothers Wiggolly and Weslley Dantas who had to face each other in a heat with fellow Brazilian Ian Gouveia and Keanu Asing (HAW). Wiggolly jumped into first with a 7.33 and 7.07 ride for a total of 14.40, less than half a point ahead of Gouveia, with Weslley Dantas and Asing eliminated.

“I really wanted to make my heat with my brother, the conditions aren’t super good but it’s still fun. I know it’s good for airs and I went for the backside airs, but my brother didn’t have the waves to get those airs,” said Wiggolly.

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FREE TO AIR: Jack Freestone also looked super stylish for his berth in Round 8. Photo WSL / Cestari

“It’s hard surfing against Weslley, it’s the second time this year, and a second win but I’m stoked to get through. My board is feeling mental, I’m feeling confident and I’m really happy to be here. I was out of the water for three months last year with a leg injury, so everything is super happy for me right now and I’m stoked to be in Africa.”

While the wind did make things extremely tough for some, others embraced the gusty southerly. Barron Mamiya (HAW) went flying for a massive rotation to land cleanly in the flat section of a left-hander and the judges didn’t hesitate to drop an excellent 9.17 and the Hawaiian advanced to the Round of 24.

With a building swell and light winds forecast for tomorrow, it’s going to be an action-packed weekend with the winner to be crowned on Sunday, 7 July.

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa's hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes - rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance - will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors to this coastal holiday highlight.

Website: www.theballitopro.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/theballitopro/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBallitoPro
Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheBallitoPro
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theballitopro
Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro

The Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, O’Neill, Capitec, Casio G-Shock, SMTH Shapes, OAKLEY, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, North Coast Courier, SMG MINI, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

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