This wasn’t supposed to happen. The contest was supposed to be off today. The forecast was calling for a wind-blasted day of storm surf. Lay-day on the horizon, time to put on your party pants, right? Surprise! It’s 12 foot and heavy with a wicked rip running down the point. Ah, the life of a WQS warrior!
Competitors were caught with their pants down this morning (literally, in many cases) as Ballito shocked everyone by delivering bombing sets with cleaner-than-expected conditions. The call was made to run the round of 48 in some seriously wild surf.
Many big names fell today, as the Brazilian invasion continues into the man-on-man round 3.
Day 1 standouts Josh Kerr and Kolohe Andino were eliminated in the first 2 heats of the day. Huge currents combined wirth sharp rocks prompted the use of jetski assist for the surfer’s safety. Despite the free rides, the current and size of the waves made securing 2 good rides a very difficult task. Neither Kerr nor Andino could find rhythm in the chaos.
Granger Larsen, who is currently on the qualifying bubble, had victory snatched from him in the dying seconds by Brazilian Jesse Mendes. A heartbreaker for Larsen, who needs another good PRIME result in order to make the cut.
Dream tour rookie Julian Wilson comfortably won his heat, as did defending event champion Jordy Smith. Jordy is now scheduled to face Saffa legend Sean Holmes in the man-on-man round 3. That is going to be a showdown.
The highest heat score of the day went to Brazil’s Gabriel Medina. The young goofyfoot has been on an unbelievable tear as of late, and didn’t show any signs of slowing down today with a 16.00 two wave total. Even more impressive is that the kid didn’t take to the air once, which is usually the basis of his heat strategy. Apparently the kid can carve, too.
Check back here at 10:30 pm tonight on the West Coast to watch it live.
Mr Price Pro Ballito ROUND OF 48 RESULTS
Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.83; Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.66; Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.20; Dale Staples (ZAF) 5.27
Heat 2: Junior Faria (BRA) 12.67; Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 9.20; Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.53; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 7.33
Heat 3: Pablo Paulino (BRA) 16.86; Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.90; Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.37; Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 9.27
Heat 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.16; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.47; Granger Larsen (HAW) 9.17; Royden Bryson (ZAF) 4.70
Heat 5: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 11.34; Sean Holmes (ZAF)
11.00; Jay Quinn (NZL) 6.20; Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 4.53
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.84; Kiron Jabour (HAW) 10.40; Austin Ware (USA) 5.27; Corey Lopez (HAW) 2.37
Heat 7: Maxime Huscenot (REU) 11.37; Brendon Gibbons (ZAF) 9.10; Stu Kennedy (AUS) 7.83; Adam Robertson (AUS) 2.33
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (ZAF) 14.16; Blake Thornton (AUS) 8.37; Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 7.60; Alain Riou (PYF) 7.00
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.00; Jano Belo (BRA) 8.60; David Van Zyl (ZAF) 6.03; Joan Duru (FRA) 5.80
Heat 10: Richard Christie (NZL) 13.27; Heath Joske (AUS) 12.17; William Cardoso (BRA) 9.84; Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.53
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW) 15.40; Kai Otton (AUS) 14.86; Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.53; Damien HObgood (USA) 8.90
Heat 12: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.27; Felix Messias (BRA) 11.47; Adrian Toyon (REU) 10.33; Dave Cathels (AUS) 7.93