The sun is shining, the weekend is here, and I’ve got a hangover that could sink a battleship. Still, it’s on fire down in Durban…
Owen Wright and Travis Logie are still very much in the running for the $20,000 and 3,500 ASP WQS points, after pulling through against Jean da Silva and Sunny Garcia in mucky conditions at Antseys Beach, Durban.
I’ve boshed up the morning and afternoon highlights below. I’m still loving the soundtrack.
If you’re of a more literary disposition, I’ve whacked up the press release beneath the vids.
More Surfing >>
More Surfing >>
ANTSEYS BEACH, Durban, South Africa (Thursday, April 23, 2009) – Durban’s Travis Logie and Australia’s Owen Wright continued to show their good form in the Quiksilver Pro Durban, both advancing through to the final 24 at Ansteys Beach on Durban’s Bluff today.
Meeting up for the first time in the event in their Round of 48 match-up with Brazilian Jean da Silva and 2000 ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia (Hawaii), the exchange between Wright and Logie kept the crowd on the beach enthralled. But by the end of the heat, Wright emerged victorious with Logie placing second, effectively ending da Silva and Garcia’s hopes of claiming the US$20,000 first place cheque.
“The conditions were a bit trickier out there than they looked,” said Logie on the beach, “especially on the rights which were closing out a lot. Also with the wind picking up we were battling to hear the commentator’s updates, so I wasn’t really sure how I was fairing in the heat and just had to keep soldiering on and hope I could do enough to impress the judges.”
With four heats of the 12 that make up the Round of 48 being surfed this afternoon, Logie and Wright’s match-up proved the most exciting as the local crowd on the beach got behind the Durban boy, boisterously cheering every move the lithe goofy-footer pulled off in the heat.
The following heat saw ASP World Tour surfers Jay Thompson (Australia) and Jihad Khodr (Brazil) knock out Durban’s Chad du Toit and former Durban surfer now Australian Shaun Gossmann, while Dusty Payne (Hawaii), Alain Riou (French Polynesia), Wiggolly Dantas (Brazil), and Jesse Merle-Jones (HAwaii) advanced through the other two heats that were surfed before the contest was put on hold for the day.
Earlier this morning the remaining 12 heats in the Round of 96 were contested, and the South Africans made a valiant fight back to secure several spots in the Round of 48. Bluff surfers Rudy Palmboom and Ricky Basnett put their local knowledge to good use and each advanced through their respective heats to the Round of 48 along with nine fellow South Africans.
In the first heat of the day Palmboom found himself having to contend with world tour veteran Paulo Moara (Brazil), 2009 World Tour member Greg Emslie (East London) and Brazilian ripper Thiago Camarao. With clean four foot lefts peeling across a sandbank on the north side of the beach, Palmboom looked incredibly comfortable as he utilised his clean backhand attack to take the heat and advance into the final 48 along with Moura, while Emslie and Camarao were eliminated.
Palmboom and Basnett will now contest the final 48 along with fellow South Africans Brandon Jackson (Durban), Kyle Lane (Umhlanga), Antonio Bortoletto (Durban), and Casey Grant (Scottburgh) all of which advanced through their heats today, along with Royden Bryson (Cape Town) who made it through won his Round of 96 heat at New Pier yesterday.
The top performance of the day came from Australian charger Leigh Sedley, who’s devastating backhand attack proved a favourite with the judges as he secured a heat score of 16.33 out of a possible 20 to take the heat ahead of Brandon Jackson while Hadyn MacNicol (Bazley) and Manfred Adrio (Durban) were eliminated.
While most of the surfers competing opted for open face moves, Kirk Flintoff (AUS) decided to spend his heat playing hide and seek with the judges as he repeatedly disappeared into some deep left-hand tubes, emerging from two to claim the victory in his heat and advance with Brazil’s Andre Jadson while Japan’s Izuki Tanaka and Capetonian Dave Richards were knocked out.
Keeping the South African flag flying, Scottburgh stylemaster Casey Grant put on an incredible display of power surfing in the last heat of the day to claim the win ahead of runner-up and World Tour competitor Drew Courtney (AUS), while the Brazilian duo of Hizunome Bettero and Charlie Brown were eliminated.
Other heat winners today in the Round of 96 included Australians Adam Melling, Yadin Nico, Blake Thornton, and Matt Wilkinson, Ireland’s Glenn Hall, and Brazilians William Cardosa, Simao Ramao, and Raoni Monteiro.
If you’re still reading, the comp is back on right now, will keep you updated fo sho.