Top seeds add new dimension to Mr Price Pro
The surfing at North Beach in Durban took on a new dimension on the fourth day of the Mr Price Pro as the top seeded men applied their exciting brand of high performance, no holds barred wave riding to the consistent 1.3 metre (4 foot) waves.
Bright sunshine and windless conditions brought out the crowds who hooted and clapped as the occasional overhead set gave the world’s top exponents the opportunity to go ballistic, gouging powerful bottom turns, driving vertically up the wave faces and either boosting over sections or carving under the lip, only to repeat the combination all the way across the beach.
Upsets were the norm as the top seeds tumbled to the new school manoeuvres of the young guns and the contest savvy tactics of the veterans. Reigning world champ CJ Hobgood and 2000 event winner and fellow American Taylor Knox were both eliminated in their first heats as were the fourth and fifth seeded Australians Trent Munro and Mick Fanning.
Top seed Daniel Wills (Aus) restored a semblance of the credibility to the ratings by devastating his opponents in the first heat of the round. The former Gunston 500 finalist rode four waves, two of which earned near perfect 9 point scores (out of a possible 10) for the highest heat total of the event at that point.
Wills’ supremacy was best demonstrated by the two rides that did not count, which would have been to sufficient to win seven of the 12 heats contested in the round so far.
The top seed’s heat tally was bettered an hour later when young Brazilian, Beto Fernandes, matched the events highest single ride score of 9.80 points set in the previous heat by his compatriot Raoni Monteiro, and then added an 8.67 to set the new heat tally mark at an incredible 18.37 points (out of a possible 20)
The South African challenge in the last seeded round started auspiciously when Red team wildcard, Sean Gossmann (Durban), placed second behind Wills to advance with the top seed to the last 32 in the six star rated WQS event. The momentum fizzled as WCT campaigners Paul Canning (Dbn) and Greg Emslie (EL) were eliminated in quick succession, followed by local star David Weare.
Pro junior ratings leader Daniel Redman benefited from the absence of Andy Irons (Haw) who was a no show, to snap up a place in the last 32 with a strong showing that saw the 19 year-old wildcard finish second behind Steve Clements (Aus).
ISA world champion Travis Logie took to the surf to collect the prize-money (US $900) and ratings points (600) for equal 49th place but wisely protected his torn knee ligaments by taking no part in the proceedings after gingerly riding one wave
Earlier in the day the quarterfinals of the R200 000 four star rated women’s event produced a similar mixed bag of results that included the elimination of top seed and current world #1 Melanie Redman-Carr (Aus) and highly rated Hawaiians Megan Abubo and Keala Kennelly.
Defending event champion Jacqueline Silva (Brazil) made her intentions for a second title plain with an emphatic heat win, as did Australian teenager Chelsea Georgeson, who won the ISA women’s world title at the same venue last month and comes up against Silva in the first of Saturday’s semi-finals.
SA’s hope for the women’s crown, Port Shepstone’s Heather Clark, had a heat that that she will want to forget as quickly as possible while wildcard Sacha Moller will take the confidence boosting memories of her third round heat on the World Tour next year.
Saturdays schedule starts with the remaining four heats of men’s round six, followed by the first of two 20 minute Red X demonstrations of skateboarding, BMX and the FMX riders who launch their motocross bikes 50 foot into the air over the vert ramp on the beach while performing their death defying stunts.
The women’s semi-finals take to the surf at 9.45am before more Red X activities and then the men?s roundd seven (round of 32). The women’s final, which will be covered live on ETV, is set for 2.30 pm, with the awards ceremony to be staged at the main podium immediately after the final siren sounds 30 minutes later.
The R1 million men’s event will conclude at the same time on Sunday, preceded by the quarter and semi-finals and Red X activity.
The giant stage on North Beach will host several of the country’s top bands starting at 5.30 on Saturday night. These include Landscape Prayers and Waverly, with Tree 63 the headline act.
Live audio streaming has been added to the live scores on the website www.aspafrica.co.za Viewers can hear the beach commentary while watching the scores awarded by the judges as they happen.
2002 Mr Price Pro
North Beach & Bay Of Plenty, Durban
Results ? Day 4
Round Five (round of 96)
Heat 10- 1. Damon Nicholls (Aus), 2. Zane Harrison (Aus), 3. Kai Otton (Aus), 4. Eneko Acero (Spn)
Heat 11- 1. Armando Daltro (Brz), 2.Dean Randazzo (USA), 3. Russell Molony (Aus), 4.Renan Rocha (Brz)
Heat 12- 1.Troy Brooks (Aus), 2. Ben Bourgeois (USA), 3.Naohisa Ogawa (Jap), 4.Simon Nicholson (SAfr)
Heat 13- 1. Tiago Pires (Port), 2. Mitchell Ross (Aus), 3.Sean Moody (Haw), 4.Crhistiano Spirro (Brz)
Heat 14- 1. Otavio Lima (Brz), 2. Mikael Picon (Fra), 3. Joel Centeio (Haw),
4. Shane Warren (SAfr)
Heat 15- 1. Shane Dorian (Haw), Norimasa Ohno (Jpn), 3. Lee Winkler (Aus),
4. Shannon Pollard (Aus)
Heat 16- 1. Mark Bannister (Aus), 2. Royden Bryson (SAfr), 3.Anthony MacDonald (Aus), 4. Yuri Sodre (Brz)
Round Six (round of 64)
Heat 1- Daniel Wills (Aus), 2. Shaun Gossmann (SAfr), 3. Gabe Kling (USA), 4. Beau Emerton (Aus)
Heat 2- 1.Guilherme Herdy (Brz), 2.Nathan Hedge (Aus), 3.Paul Canning (SAfr), 4.Damon Harvey (Aus)
Heat 3-1.Toby Martin (Aus), 2. Tanio Barreto (Brz), 3. Greg Emslie (SAfr), 4. Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz)
Heat 4-1.Raoni Monteiro (Brz), 2. Peterson Rosa (Brz), 3.Luke Stedman (Aus), 4. David Weare (SAfr)
Heat 5- 1. Beto Fernandes (Brz), 2.Kieren Perrow (Aus), 3. Marcelo Trekinho (Brz), 4. Trent Munro (Aus)
Heat 6- 1. Chris Ward (USA), 2. Chris Davidson (Aus), 3. Fabio Gouveia (Brz), 4. Taylor Knox (USA).
Heat 7- 1. Che Stang (USA), 2. Ross Williams (Haw), 3. Mick Fanning (Aus), 4.Darren O?Rafferty (Aus)
Heat 8- 1. Steve Clements (Aus), 2.Daniel Redman (SAfr), 3.Danilo Costa (Brz), N/S Andy Irons (Haw)
Heat 9- 1.Roy Powers (Haw), 2. Shane Beschen (USA), 3. Lyle Bottcher (SAfr), 4. CJ Hobgood (USA)
Heat 10-1. Paulo Moura (Brz), 2. Zane Harrison (Aus), 3. Damon Nicholls (Aus), 4.Phillip MacDonald (Aus)
Heat 11- 1.Armando Daltro (Brz), 2.Richard Lovett (Aus), 3.Dean Randazzo (USA), 4.Dean Morrison (Aus)
Heat 12- 1. Troy Brooks (Aus), 2. Jake Patterson (Aus), 3.Ben Bourgeois (USA), 4.Travis Logie (SAfr)
Quarterfinals (last 16)
Heat 1:1. Jaqueline Silva (Brz), 2.Melani Bartels (Haw), 3. Kate Skarratt (Aus), 4. Holly Beck (USA)
Heat 2: 1.Chelsea Georgeson (Aus), 2. Pauline Menczer (Aus), 3. Melanie Redman-Carr (Aus), 4. Sacha Moller (SAfr)
Heat 3: 1.Laurina McGrath (Aus), 2.Sofia Mulanovich Peru), 3.Megan Abubo (Haw), 4. Keala Kennelly (Haw)
Heat 4: 1.Neridah Falconer (Aus), 2. Trudy Todd (Aus), 3.Amee Donohoe (Aus), Heather Clark (SAfr)