BALLITO, KwaDukuza/South Africa (Tuesday, July 6, 2010) - Despite a delayed start to competition at the ASP 5-Star Mr Price Pro Ballito that got underway at 12H00 today, competitors punctuated the surf with excellent rides making it worth the wait for spectators who flocked to Surfers Beach, to watch South Africa’s best in action.
Nineteen-year-old Dale Staples (Cape St Francis) put on a class act for beachgoers, posting the highest individual wave score of the event, a near perfect 9.00 (out of ten).
The current runner-up on the ASP Africa Pro Junior Series, sailed away from his competition with a series of smooth, fast, snaps, finishing off with a 360 reverse to defeat Ryan Payne (Cape St Francis), Khayelilhe Ncobo and Dominic Abersalie.
“I spent the morning watching the conditions, it’s really good to know what’s going on out there,” Staples said. “I feel really comfortable surfing in Ballito and I enjoy the warm water. I am also used to beach breaks so I think I’ve got some good advantage here.”
Despite posting just a single worthwhile score (9.00), backing it up with a 2.83 it was enough to secure Staples his win as well as a spot into the next round.
“It was really hard out there and I’m lucky I got that one (wave) off Ryan (Payne),” Staples said. “He didn’t go so I took the opportunity and I’m stoked with my score.”
Warwick Wright (Dbn) looked as consistent as ever, unleashing his trademark powerful backhand snaps to lock in an excellent 8.83 (out of ten).
Visibly relaxed and comfortable in the shifting beach break conditions, Wright backed up his ride with a 5-point score defeating Chris Leppan, Justin Masich and Ntuli Bright.
“I haven’t been doing the tour much this year and because I’m not focusing on winning the whole time I’ve been enjoying my surfing more,” Wright said. “I’ve had time to try out new boards and do new things but I’ll be stoked if I can do some big turns and make it through some heats.”
ASP World No. 13 Chris Davidson (Aus) took his gladiator approach to the Ballito surf, destroying every inch of open -faced wall he could find. Davidson’s fast, stylish surfing earned him a pair of 7.00 rides as well his first heat win in Ballito.
“It’s definitely tricky to find the good ones out there but I’m stoked to get through,” Davidson said. “It’s a good warm up for Jbay and I’m just trying to stay fit and focused and hopefully get a good result.”
2008 ASP Africa Champion and former ASP World Tour campaigner David Weare (Dbn) spent a productive afternoon in his ‘office’. The seasoned Star Tour campaigner showing his younger rivals just how it’s done by clocking in two respectable 6.17 and a 7.00 scores to advance in first place.
“It has definitely improved from this morning but it’s still pretty hard,” Weare said. “You can get one turn on a wave but good luck getting a second. There are still a couple of good sections and it’s always fun to get in the water.”
South Coast power surfer Gavin Roberts showed his affinity for open beach break conditions. Blitzing his way across some respectable North Coast walls, demonstrating the speed, power and flow the judges are looking for, Roberts advanced ahead of Simon Fish, Antonio Bortoletto and Dylan Lightfoot.
“The first heats are always a bit nerve wracking especially because I haven’t been competing the whole year, so it’s good to make the first one and it gets a bit easier from here,” Roberts said.
Former ASP World Tour campaigner Royden Bryson (EL) and current World No. 30 Travis Logie added their names to the round of 96 heat winners, Bryson advancing ahead of Shawn Dennis (Dbn) while Logie finished one step ahead of Shane Warren.
Also advancing today were Shaun Payne (Cape St Francis), Michael Varikas (Dbn), Dave Richards (CT), Josh Salie (Dbn) and Heath Joske (Aus).
The next call will be at 07H00 tomorrow.
Tune in to East Coast Radio for live updates on the Mr Price Pro each day and if you can’t make it down to the beach you can watch all the action live on the web at www.mrpricepro.com
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 96 Results:
Heat 4: Chris Davidson (AUS) 14.67 Michael February (ZAF) 10.54 Josh Redman (ZAF) 7.60 Vaughan Weyer (ZAF) 5.06
Heat 5: Michael Varikas (ZAF) 9.53 David Richards (ZAF) 8.43 Devan MacNicol (ZAF) 5.96 Rob Moore-Boyle 4.60
Heat 6: Warwick Wright (ZAF) 13.57 Chris Leppan (ZAF) 11.77 Justin Maisch (ZAF) 6.76 Ntuli Bright (ZAF) 2.60
Heat 7: Dale Staples (ZAF) 11.83 Ryan Payne (ZAF) 8.77 Khayelinle Ncobo (ZAF) 5.26 Dominic Abersalie (ZAF) 4.20
Heat 8: David Weare (ZAF) 13.17 Josh Sali (ZAF) 6.36 Clinton Gravett (ZAF) 5.46 Rowland Sharples (ZAF) 4.84
Heat 9: Shaun Payne (ZAF) 9.63 Heath Joske (AUS) 7.50 Byron Lindsay (ZAF) 6.93 Chad Schwab (ZAF) 4.07
Heat 10 (WILL SURF TOMORROW): Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) Kyle Beach (ZAF) Dane Patterson (ZAF) Wes Odriscoll (ZAF)
Heat 11: Gavin Roberts (ZAF) 13.67Simon Fish (ZAF) 10.60 Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) 7.65 Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 6.30
Heat 12: Royden Bryson (ZAF) 10.67 Shawn Dennis (ZAF)7.87 Mark Shepperson (ZAF) 7.74 Jono Venter (ZAF) 3.83
Heat 13: Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.33 Shane Warren (ZAF) 6.74 Jaco Kapp (ZAF) 6.40 Dane Staples (ZAF) 5.10
Mr Price Pro Ballito Remaining Round of 96 Match-Ups:
Heat 14: Greg Emslie (ZAF) Kyle Lane (ZAF) Christoffer Frolich (ZAF) Devin Lane (ZAF)
Heat 15: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) Shane Thorne (ZAF) Simon Nicholson (ZAF) Matt Pallet (ZAF)
Heat 16: Anthony Walsh (Aus) Allan Johns (ZAF) Noel Rahme (ZAF) Steven Sawyer (ZAF)
Heat 17: Nathan Hedge (Aus) Frankie Oberholzer (ZAF) Steven Michelsen (ZAF) Bertie Stuurman (ZAF)
Heat 18: Casey Grant (ZAF) Haydn MacNicol (ZAF) Andrew Banks (ZAF) John McCarthy (ZAF)
Heat 19: Chad Du Toit (ZAF) Devyn Mattheys (ZAF) Grant Arendse (ZAF) Gary Muller (ZAF)
Heat 20: Brandon Jackson (ZAF) Matthew Bromley (ZAF) Matthew Kruger (ZAF) Josh Smit (ZAF)
Heat 21: Ricky Basnett (ZAF) Paul Canning (ZAF) David Van Zyl (ZAF) Stevan Rice (ZAF)
Heat 22: Brendon Gibbens (ZAF) Manfred Adrio (ZAF) Lee Bissett (ZAF) Remi Petersen (ZAF)
Heat 23: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) Klee Strachan (ZAF) Mbongeni Hlengwa (ZAF) Siyabonga Khoza (ZAF)
Heat 24: Taylor Knox (USA) Hilton Lawrence (ZAF) Ryan Bissett (ZAF)