With just a few days to go before the inaugural Quiksilver Pro Africa gets underway in Durban, Surf City is getting ready. The Quiksilver Pro Africa presented by Virgin Mobile in association with Resolution Health is the biggest World Qualifying Series event ever to be held in the country, and surfers from the world over are busy making their way to the event. Surfers from Japan, Brazil and Europe as well as surfers from Australia, America and Hawaii are set to come up against their South African counterparts in their bids for contest victory at this ground-breaking Six Star Prime WQS event.
Whilst better known for his big-wave bravery, Mark Matthews is part of the Australian contingent, along with young bloods Leigh Sedley and former South African Shaun Gossman. Stalwarts Nathan Hedge, Chris Davidson and Jarred Howse, also from Australia, will be competing in a bid to regain their WCT footing.
Hawaii also has great surfers in Roy Powers and Marcus Hickman entered, as well as Makua Rothman and Jesse Merle Jones. Any of these surfers could blow up when the New Pier starts cranking.
The European crew, headed by Tiago Pires, Russel Winter, Tim Boal, Jeremy Flores and Joan Duru, could also find the perfect right hand walls of New Pier to their liking and cause some major upsets along the way. Always the underdogs, the European surfers have been doggedly plugging away at the WQS circuit and are starting to benefit from their hard-earned experience. Wildcard Duru in particular is a favourite to win heats and Boal is on a good run right now.
The incredibly talented Dane Reynolds spear-heads the young Americans, along with surfers of the calibre of Brain Toth, Mike Todd, Shea Lopez and Alex Gray. The three Gudauskas brothers, Dane, Patrick and Tanner are also going to be in attendance, as well as former Capetonian surfer Cheyne Cottrell.
The South African surfers, with the advantage of local knowledge and home crowd support, as well as the partisan support of the City Of Durban, are all set to own this event. WCT surfer Travis Logie, with his lightning fast backhand attack at New Pier finely-honed after years of practice, is primed as the local hero for this event. Young wonderkid Jordy Smith, with a long list of victories behind him and on a roll right now could also claim a victory at the event. Other surfers also determined to make it onto the winners podium are an extremely focussed former WCT surfer Davey Weare, New Pier local Antonio Bortoletto, WQS campaigners Warwick Wright, Keegan Nel, Dan Redman and Brandon Jackson, as well as local pros Simon Nicholson and Shane Thorne.
“We are very stoked to have such an international gathering of surfers in attendance for our event,” commented Quiksilver Marketing Manager Dane Patterson on the international entry list. “It’s only the first year of this event but it already feels like it is popular, and is undoubtedly set to become one of the favourite events on the World Qualifying Series. I’d just like to wish good luck to all the competitors in the event.”
The event kicks off on Sunday 15 April with the Virgin Mobile Trials, and proceeds through to the men’s finals around 2pm on Sunday 22 April. Those surfers who are not able to catch the action from the comfort of the stands at New Pier have been catered for and will be able to follow the event with live scoring and webcasting at: www.quikproafrica.com and live results and videos available on cell phones at www.quikproafrica.mobi