Only three local surfers have advanced to participate in the next round at the 2009 Quiksilver Pro at Durban’s New Pier.
Travis Logie, one of the favourites in the competition, advanced to the next round by winning his heat yesterday morning.
The only other South African surfer to win his heat was Cape Town’s Royden Bryson.
“There were actually some fun waves out there, and I really enjoyed surfing in 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 last South African to qualify to the next round yesterday was Durban’s Chad du Toit. He placed second behind Logie to move in to the next round.
By far the biggest unpleasant surprise of the day was the elimination of reigning champion David Weare of Durban, who lost out to Tahiti’s Alain Riou and Hawaiians Jesse Merle-Jones and Mason Ho.
“I’m really bummed to be out of the event,” a clearly disappointed Weare said. “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 too the wrong option going for that aerial on the second wave and it cost me. I blew a wave and lost a heat.”
Weare’s bitter disappointment is understandable. This event, which pits 136 of the world’s best surfers against each other, carries the highest possible ASP WQS rating as well as a very generous US$145 000 in prize money, with the winner pocketing US$20 000 as well as wracking up 3 500 ASP WQS ratings points.
Day 3 of the event is underway with the following South Africans surfing their heats today: Greg Emslie, Rudy Palmboom, Brandon Jackson, Manfred Adrio, Haydn Mac Nicol, David Richards, Paul Canning, Ricky Basnett, Daniel Redman, Kyle Lane, Keegan Nel, Shane Thorne, Antonio Bortoletto, Kyle Beach, Beyrick de Vries and Casey Grant.
Good luck, guys!