Chris Davidson dashed South Africa’s hopes of delivering a second ever winner in the prestigious Mr Price Pro surfing championship.
The Australian surfed to a thrilling victory during the finals that took place at Durban’s New Pier yesterday afternoon, defeating South Africa’s Travis Logie from Durban.
Competing in crumbling half-a-metre onshore surf, arguably more suited to the Australian’s natural footed stance (left foot forward), Davidson’s powerful front-side surfing saw him out-position his local rival to win the heat with a 16.10 heat total to Logie’s 12.90, jumping to 7th on the ASP World Qualifying Series ratings.
“I’m stoked I made the final and beat the local boy,” Davidson said. “It was tough for Travis surfing little right-handers on his backside (right foot forward stance) so it definitely favoured me. I’ve got tens here in the past but I was the underdog out there today, so it felt good to come home
with the win.”
A former competitor on the prestigious ASP World Tour, Davidson drew first blood opening with a respectable 6.67 (out of a possible ten) ride and followed up with a near perfect 9.43 putting his South African rival in a combination situation.
Despite finishing as the highest placed South African in the event, Logie was visibly disappointed that first place had eluded him for the second time in his career, after reaching the final here in 2000.
“I’ve always wanted to win this event because I grew up surfing here and I live five minutes up the road,” Logie said. “The final was very tough and Chris definitely got the two best waves, I just couldn’t get the right ones today.”
One of just three South African surfers to advance into the final day of competition today, Logie disposed of fellow countryman Greg Emslie (El) in the Round of 16 before dismissing World No. 19 Jordy Smith (Dbn) in the Quarterfinals, eventually defeating Patrick Gudauskas (USA) in the Semifinals to take home R52 000 (US$ 7400) in winnings.
On Saturday, a new women’s champion was crowned when world number three – Silvana Lima – defeated the 2006 European Junior Champion Pauline Ado from France to become only the second ever Brazilian women’s champion.
Men’s Round of 16:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.16; Corey Ziems (AUS) 9.83
Heat 2: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 16.27; Pedro Henrique (BRA) 16.00
Heat 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.24; Greg Emslie (ZAF) 12.60
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.17; Odirlei Coutinho (BRA) 11.00
Heat 5: Neco Padaratz (BRA) 11.50; Nathaniel Curran (USA)
Heat 6: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 16.00; Abdel El Harim (MAR) 8.53
Heat 7: Chris Davidson (AUS) 18.10; Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.10
Heat 8: Drew Courtney (AUS) 12.77; Kirk Flintoff (AUS) 10.33
Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA 14.34; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.76
Heat 2: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.16; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.60
Heat 3: Neco Padaratz (BRA) 15.17; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 10.50
Heat 4: Chris Davidson (AUS) 11.83; Drew Courtney (AUS) 4.16
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.10; Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.64
Heat 2: Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.33; Neco Padaratz (BRA) 8.23
Final: Chris Davidson (AUS) 16.10; Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.90
Source: ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) INTERNATIONAL