Sun, 7 July 2019

Ninth place in choppy five foot surf at the Ballito Pro pres by O'Neill yesterday has earned Durban surfer Beyrick De Vries the local wildcard into the Corona JBay Open next week.

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BARRELS IN BALLITO: A mixed bag of conditions can be expected over six days. Photo Janssens

De Vries earned the coveted entry when he advanced from the Round of 32 to the Round of 16 to overtake the other South African surfers vying to become the highest placed South African on the WSL QS Africa rankings - the requirement for the coveted JBay wildcard.

Coming up against the Australian duo of Jordan Lawler and Jack Freestone, De Vries finished a close second to Freestone, with Lawler getting eliminated with a priority interference. His disappointment in losing to Carlos Munoz in the Round of 16 will be mitigated by the huge news of a wildcard at JBay.

Masencamp was placed 29th before Ballito, with De Vries 61st, but with the tournament offering 10,000 points for the win, points awarded for a slot in the round of 16 (3,700) were enough for De Vries to rocket past several Saffas to finish ahead of them all on a total of 7,380 pts to Masencamp's tally of 6,045 after banking only 600 points for his 49th place finish.

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AIR WAYS: Beyrick de Vries has had mixed fortune, but this is huge for him. Photo Janssens

“This is a dream come true,” exclaimed an ecstatic De Vries on the beach after his heat. “I've been doing this for a while now so I'm used to surfing under pressure. I think being at home helps so much, you can feel the energy and it almost felt like it was going to happen before it did,” said De Vries. "I've got nothing to lose, I'm going to be surfing against (Gabriel) Medina or Kolohe (Andino) and there's no holding back. I'm not going to surf for a 12.00 total, I'll need 18 points to beat those guys and that can be liberating."

Fellow South African Jordy Smith was stoked that De Vries would be joining him in the Supertubes line-up: “I know it’s been a big dream for him to compete at Jeffreys, so now that he’s in he has to focus on what he wants.”

Smith was eliminated in his Round 9 encounter with Deivid Silva (BRA). It was a tough heat, with Smith looking for the aerial opportunities, while Silva stuck to throwing down power turns.

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PIPPED AT THE POST: Adin Masencamp's result in Ballito didn't help his QS ranking. Photo Janssens

“Jordy surfs amazing but the waves are so hard. I’m just really glad to make another heat,” said Silva. While it’s the end of the road in Ballito for Smith, his focus now shifts to the Corona JBay Open.

“Just being at home competing in front of friends and family, it’s very soothing and calming and it’s good to be in that mindset ahead of J-Bay. To be honest, it’s the best I’ve felt in my whole career, it’s a combination of a lot of stuff. You just need to keep adding to it, waking up every morning and keep on bettering yourself,” said Smith.

The quarter-finals of the Ballito Pro pres by O’Neill are on today in three foot wind-effected surf. The winner will be crowned the 51st champion of the world’s longest running professional surfing event and will walk away with a huge 10,000 points towards qualification for the 2020 Championship Tour.


PROUD DAD: Beyrick's dad Ray was the first to hug him after his wildcard 'win'. Photo AVG

Website: www.theballitopro.com
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   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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