Australia’s Owen Wright is on it, scoring the highest heat total yesterday in the Quik Pro Durban. It seems the local boys aren’t really feeling it, in fact most of them aren’t even in it anymore, with the exception of Travis Logie and Royden Bryson. Watch the highlights from day three, and check out the press release.
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NEW PIER, Durban, South Africa (Wednesday, April 22, 2009) – New Pier surfer Travis Logie, one of the favorites in the 2009 Quiksilver Pro Durban, made use of his local knowledge to spearhead the local charge to win his heat this morning and advance through to the Round of 48.
Following a disappointing day for the local boys that saw several top contenders eliminated, only Logie and Cape Town’s Royden Bryson kept the Rainbow Nation’s flag flying as they placed first in their respective heats to advance.
“There were actually some fun waves out there, and I really enjoyed surfing my heat,” said Logie after leaving the water. “It was quite inconsistent out there and I was in two minds if I should sit and wait for the good ones or just get some scores under my belt. In the end I decided to just take off on anything half decent and went for the big turn option, and it seemed to pay off.”
The only other South African to make it through today’s heats was Durban’s Chad du Toit, who placed second behind Logie to move in to the next round. Logie and du Toit eliminated former Brazilian ASP World Tour campaigner Yuri Sodre, and Scottburgh charger Gavin Roberts in their early morning heat, while Bryson advanced with Australian Daniel Ross ahead of Adam Robertson (Australia) and Luke Patterson (Durban).
Of the South African casualties, the biggest surprise was the elimination of reigning champion David Weare (Durban) after a disappointing heat against Tahiti’s Alain Riou and the Hawaiian duo of Jesse Merle-Jones and Mason Ho. As the onshore wind began to strengthen at the start of the heat, all four surfers found themselves out of sorts in the shifting lineup and battled to find a rhythm. Weare in particular seemed flustered as time ticked by, falling twice on waves that were potential high scorers. As the final few seconds of the heat ticked down Weare found himself needing a 5.11 and facing a flat ocean. Riou and Merle-Jones took the top two spots relegating Weare and Ho to the beach for the rest of the event.
“I’m really bummed to be out the event,” said a clearly disappointed Weare, “I really wanted to defend my title and I blew two waves that could have put me one step closer to it. I think I just took the wrong option going for that aerial on the second wave and it cost me. I blew a wave and lost a heat.”
Australian Owen Wright continued his Quiksilver Pro Durban charge as he once again posted the day’s highest heat score – 15.00 out of a possible 20 – to take the heat and move into the final 48 along with ASP World Tour No. 14 Jihad Khodr, eliminating Jarrad Sullivan (Australia) and Marcio Farney (Brazil).
American Eric Gieselman’s high-flying aerial antics were a hit with both the crowd and the judges, as one stylish punt scored him an 8.00, one of the highest wave scores of the day and saw him take out the win ahead of runner-up Brent Dorrington (Australia), while Dion Atkinson (Australia) and Damien Fahrenfort (Cape Town) were knocked out.
Former Durban surfer Shaun Gossmann, who now resides in Australia, called on his years of surfing at New Pier to take his heat and advance with Jean da Silva (Brazil), while Virgin Mobile Wild Card Julian Wilson (Australia) was in devastating form and easily dispatched of Dale Staples (St Francis) and Warwick Wright (Durban) to move into the remaining 48 with Puerto Rican Brian Toth.
The first twelve heats of the Round of 96 were surfed today at Durban’s New Pier, and tomorrow will see the remaining twelve heats completed. A 6.30 am call will be made by the contest director, and with the fore promising 3-4 foot waves and clean conditions through the morning at Ansteys Beach on the Bluff, there is the possibility of tomorrow’s heats being surfed there.
The Quiksilver Pro Durban is currently being contested by some of the world’s best surfers and carries the highest possible ASP WQS rating and US$145,000 in prize money with the winner pocketing US$20,000 and 3,500 ASP WQS ratings points.