Ballito, KwaDukuza, South Africa Saturday July 7, 2012 - Many of the world’s best surfers put on an exciting display of aerial surfing at the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro Ballito as the 16-man field was whittled down to eight Quarterfinalists at Willards Beach, Ballito, South Africa, on Saturday July 7, 2012.
Jordy Smith and Travis Logie kept the flag flying for South Africa, the pair of Durbanites advancing into the final day of competition with inspired performances in front of a fervent a home crowd.
Smith revealed his ability to turn average waves into impressive scores, opening with the highest individual wave score of the day, a near perfect 9.00 for a full air rotation on his opening wave, to snatch the win over Nate Yeomans (USA).
“It was a really fun heat, conditions were smaller than yesterday but luckily I got that nine under my belt and backed it up with a five to win the heat,” Smith said. “Unfortunately Nate didn’t find anything substantial out there but I’m really glad myself and fellow local boy Travis went through.”
Looking for the air sections Smith dominated the shifting line-up, riding every score-able wave leaving Yeomans with little on the scoreboard with just five minutes remaining.
“There were definitely a few little air sections out there,” Smith explained. “With the wind blowing into me I knew that that was going to be my game plan and luckily the waves came to me in the heat.”
Travis Logie employed the exact opposite approach attacking the Willards Beach walls with as many vertical lip bashes as he could fit into a single wave, his faultless performance earning him victory over fellow goofy-footer and former ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) opponent Nathan Hedge (AUS).
“It was really cool to be out there with ‘Hedgy’, we’ve been on tour for so long together that it was like a blast from the past heat,” Logie said. “Conditions are super challenging out there, it was going to come down to wave selection and not making any mistakes. I knew I needed to do one or two big turns on wave and I stuck to that game plan and it paid off.”
Taking the upper-hand on both positioning and priority, Logie left nothing to chance surfing smart to eliminate Hedge with 12.20 to 7.33.
American surfer Nathaniel Curran posted one of the day’s most exciting victories, edging out Tomas Hermes (BRA) with the highest heat total of the day a 16.86.
“I haven’t done well in a contest in a while,” Curran said. “It’s been a year and a half of struggling and trying to make heats but I feel like I have been surfing good and a big result is just right around the corner.”
While both surfers opened with excellent scoring rides, it was Curran who showed his technical skill in the small conditions looking in complete control to advance off an 8.33 and 8.53 rides.
World No. 4 Adriano De Souza (BRA) caused a big upset by eliminating defending Champion Patrick Gudauskas (USA) from the event, the pair of WTC campaigners exchanging air for air in one of the most exciting heats of the day, De Souza winning with 13.60 to 12.67.
“It was a tough heat against the defending champion, I knew he was going to go for everything and my strategy was just to choose two waves and put everything into them,” De Souza said. “The last result I had at this event was a quarterfinal finish so I’m proud of myself and will be pushing to do better.”
Nat Young (USA) posted his best result of the year using his priorty to come from behind with a massive 8.93 aerial maneuver, securing a well-deserved victory over Alex Ribeiro (BRA).
“It was a big heat for me, it’s the best result I’ve had in a Prime all year so stoked,” Young said. “I’m just trying to keep going, I’ve made it to the last day and my aim was to get as far as I could so now I’m out to win it.”
Former ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (AUS) put on an inspired performance to edge out ASP World No. 20 Alejo Muniz (BRA) thanks to a complete frontside air rotation, earning an excellent 8.10.
Also advancing were Brian Toth (PRI) who advanced ahead of early event stand out Torrey Meister (HAW) and Glen Hall (IR) who spelt the end of the road for Jay Quinn (NZL).
The Mr Price Pro Ballito Free Music Concerts rocked Salt Rock Beach last night and continue this evening with Toya Delazy, Lloyd Cele, iscreamstix, Locnville, Pascal & Pearce, GoodLuck and Dino Bravo between 16h00 – 22h00.
Log on to www.mrpricepro.com for more information.