Epic start to Ballito Prime Event
The grinding tubes of Ballito Beach were firing on day one of the Mr. Price Pro in South Africa on Monday. The sand bank at the top of the point is in perfect shape, and when combined with a pumping swell, light winds and an talented pack for this PRIME event it was easily one of the best days of competition so far this year.
Snapped boards, crushed egos, and a pair of perfect ten point rides were the story of the day.
Kolohe Andino and Josh Kerr turned in the performances of the day in consecutive heats, 2 and 3. Kerr. fresh off the jet plane and no sleep, was able to build on an early lead and never look back. He sealed the heat about mid way through with a 9.6 for getting completely blown out of one of the bigger thicker barrels of the day. His 18.43 would stand as the highest total of the day.
Andino, who had taken a much different approach and arrived in Ballito last week to prepare, was in the next heat. Kolohe was riding a step-up size of board, so instead of the usual fin-throwing tricks we are used to seeing from the kid. Turns out he can do more than airs, starting off with an 8.27 for a long tube to grab rail cutback. He then backed it up with the bomb of the day, weaving through two backdoor-esque sections and finishing with an air-drop floater on a wave that was much bigger and heavier than almost any other wave ridden all day.
Cory Lopez locked in the day's only other ten point ride for an impossible-looking backside tube ride later in the day, after conditions had begun to deteriorate with side-shore winds.
It wasn't all tube rides and high-fives though. With solid hollow conditions, some surfers are bound to be caught out of rhythm, which is a tough pill to swallow when your fellow competitors getting waves comparable to backdoor. WCT surfers Brett Simpson, CJ Hobgood, and Fred Pattachia all suffered shockers in round 1, failing to break double digits while Kolohe Andino is getting a double digit score on 1 wave.
The hungover-heat(s) of the day go to Eric Geiselmen and Mason Ho, who despite being incredible surfers in these type of waves, barely managed to get to their feet twice in 30 minutes of perfect surf. I hear the night-life in SA can get pretty stellar. Geiselman managed a two-wave total of 2.07. I hope she was hot dude!
Another day of excellent surf is expected tomorrow, which should prompt the completion of round 1 and start of round 2. The event starts at 11pm west coast time, check it here.
Mr Price Pro Ballito Trials Results:
Heat 1: Frankie Obherholzer (ZAF) 13.50; Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 8.50; Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 7.84; Allan Johns (ZAF) 5.00
Heat 2: Sean Holmes (ZAF) 14.00; Casey Grant (ZAF) 10.30; Kyle Lane (ZAF) 8.83; Chad Du Toit (ZAF) 7.17
Final: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 13.17; Sean Holmes (ZAF) 12.33; Frankie Oberholzer (ZAF) 7.60; Casey Grant (ZAF) 4.73
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.16; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 9.24; Greg Emslie
(ZAF) 8.26; Brett Simpson (USA) 4.24
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 18.43; Brandon Jackson
(ZAF) 10.70; Andre Silva
(BRA) 8.17; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 6.77
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 18.27; Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.67; Billy Stairmand (NZL) 4.57; Felipe Luel (BRA) 00.00
Heat 4: Junior Faria (BRA) 10.34; Dale Staples (ZAF) 9.73; CJ Hobgood (USA) 8.93; Bernando Miranda (BRA) 6.36
Heat 5: Glenn Hall (IRL) 14.60; Royden Bryson
(ZAF) 9.00; David Weare
(ZAF) 8.33; Marco Fernandez (BRA) 7.57
Heat 6: Pablo Paulino (BRA) 11.17; Jesse Mendes
(BRA) 6.10; Raoni Monteiro
(BRA) 6.03; Eric Geiselman (USA) 2.07
Heat 7: Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.63; Rudy Palmboom
(ZAF) 12.17; Gabe Kling (USA) 9.07; Jihad Khodr (BRA) 8.24
Heat 9: Jay Quinn (NZL) 14.93; Austin Ware
(USA) 13.00; Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.10; Romain Cloitre (FRA) 9.57
Heat 10: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 12.03; Kiron Jabour
(HAW) 11.93; Adam Melling (AUS) 8.06; Mason Ho (HAW) 3.17
Heat 11: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.97; Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 13.06; Jeronimo Vargas
(BRA) 11.30; Frederick Patacchia
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (RSA) 11.36; Sean Holmes (ZAF) 10.06; Thiago Camarao (BRA) 8.63; Tonino Benson (HAW) 6.26
Upcoming Round of 96 Mr Price Pro Match ups:
"Shoulda been here yesta-day" was probably the most commonly uttered expression today at Surfer's Beach in Ballito for day 2 of competition. Yesterday's spitting barrels were replaced by disorganized onshore peaks. Still contestable by all means, but compared to day 1, pretty deflating.
Despite the drop in wave quality, event organizers decided to get the remaining round 1 heats out of the way.
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