Another beautiful day dawned in Surf City, Durban, and the waves continued to pour over the New Pier bank. The first heat of the day was sent out at 7am sharp, and the high scores started coming in straight away. Heat winner Nathaniel Curren put a 7.5 on the scoreboard almost immediately, a score which was Highest Score Of The Day at that point in time. This was soon eclipsed by the German surfer Marlon Lipke who scored a solid 8 point ride in the next heat, a result that remained for most of the morning.
Brian Toth from Puerto Rico was the next surfer to go to town on the high performance waves, winning his heat with a strong backhand performance on the good right-handers. “I first thought that the good waves were the ones going wide, so I sat there for a while but got skunked,” said Toth after his heat. “Then I paddled deep and got this set wave that had such a good wall on it. I cracked it a few times for a solid 7.83, so I was stoked.”
There have been some surfers opting for the lefts, but Toth wasn’t in agreement with this approach. “I was watching and I saw a few lefts, but they didn’t look like they had the scoring potential of the rights,” said Toth. “I stuck to the rights and they worked for me. Having said that, as soon as I got out the water I saw Masatoshi Ohno get such a good left in his heat, so there you go.”
Ohno, one of the Japanese surfers, actually scored a 6.93 for his left and snuck in behind Leigh Sedley from Australia to advance through their heat, with Ola Eleogram (Hawaii) and local surfer Lyle Bottcher being eliminated.
Heat 22 was an absolute cracker, with old-school versus new-school in a shoot-out between Yadin Nicol from Australia and former world champion Sunny Garcia from Hawaii. Eric De Souza was the other surfer in the heat. Sunny was looking fast and light-footed in the fast right-handers that came through consistently throughout the heat, and was throwing sheets of spray as only he can. Yadin Nicol was blasting as well, and tallied up an 8.5 and a 8.67 to net him the best average heat points so far. Nicol was excited about the waves that the New Pier was producing. “It seems that whenever we come to Durban there is one good swell that hits here, and the set-up is incredible,” said Yadin. “It was cool to surf against Sunny as well. He was surfing really good.”
Sunny, who is on a mission to requalify onto the World Tour, was also upbeat about his heat, his boards and the waves at New Pier. “You know I look at my heroes like Potts and Tom Carroll and they’re not competing anymore but they’re still ripping, and they often say to me that they’d love to still be competing,” said Sunny of his bid to requalify. “I’m still surfing good and I can still win heats, so I’m going to have another go.”
It was deja vu for Chris Davidson as he paddled out for heat number 24. Davo’s wave opened up for the Australian and he went to town on it, scoring the first ten-point ride of the event. At last year’s event it was Davo who also scored the first ten point ride of that event. “That wave was just a perfect one. I did a tail-release re-entry and a second turn before I set up the inside section,” said Davidson. “I love this place. The waves remind me of home, and we always get it good when we come to Durban.” Davidson went on to score 18.33 (out of a possible 20 points) for the best average heat points of the day.
The forecast is for excellent surf later in the week, with tomorrow and Friday looking like the best days. For live webcasting and live scores log onto www.quikprodurban.com and follow the live webcasting links.
For people not able to get down to the beach or not able to get computer access, the contest can be viewed live from your mobile phone. Just look for www.quikpro.mobi on your mobile phone browser to access live video and live scores.