27 June, 2018 27 June, 2018

Ballito Pro – Day 3

Ballito Pro Wedge City – The Ladies Go to Battle

Welcome to the Day 3 of the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong where overnight ‘Surfers’ has turned into a wedge factory. Little cheeky wedges peeking up all over the place. You could either go for one big crack or two medium-sized ones. The bowl of the wave holds a lot of power considering its size, but as soon as you move out of the bowl and onto the flats the power all but vanishes under your feet. So the girls had to balance the power through the bowl and flowing it through the flats. Here are two ladies that impressed us, as well as a rundown of the final.

Cover: WSL / Cestari 

Tasha Van Greunen was shredding but fell just shy of a quarterfinal birth. Image: WSl / Cestari

Two Surfers That Impressed Us:

Leilani McGonagle

Leilani McGonagle came out in quarterfinal number one, a woman on fire. Blazing hot yo. She hustled the first wave of consequence off the other ladies and proceeded to make it count. The bowls were tight and difficult to manage, and Leilani managed those bowls like a lawyer in a power suit about to send a perpetrator to justice. 

She dropped two scores on the other girls before they could say, McGonagle. Boom. First, she dropped a 6.25 and she quickly backed it up with a 6.15. After Leilani dropped it like it was hot, the Ballito Pro experienced a power cut. TIA baby, TIA. While the other girls sat in the darkness of silence, waiting for the power to reactivate (as Giggs loves to say) and provide them with a situation update, Leilanie sat pretty, enjoying the fruits of her early labour. And on to the semifinals she went, where she was knocked out by eventual runner-up Phillippa Anderson. 

Leilani McGonagle was on a tear. Image: WSL / Cestari

Shino Matsuda

We love the way Shino Matsuda surfs. She’s like one of those girls who’s rooms are perfectly in order. You walk into her room and you’re shocked at how wonderfully neat everything is. Her bed, like a hotel bed, not a crease in the duvet. Sheets tucked into the sides. A shelf of clothes all neatly folded, organized by season. Shoes, on a neighboring shelf, closed shoes at the bottom, fancy shoes in the middle, open shoes on top. That’s how Shino surfs, everything is perfectly in order, nothing is out of place. Even when the ocean throws a curveball, the waves get messy and bumpy, Shino’s backhand attack remains perfectly in order. 

Today Shino surfed a beautiful clean heat to eliminate Chelsea Tuach and Zoe McDougall, but she fell just shy of the final when she was knocked out by winner Sofia Mulanovich in the semifinals. 

Shino Matsuda, everything in its right place. Image: WSL / Cestari

The Final: Philippa vs Sofia

With the high tide filling in at ‘Surfers’, the powers that be decided to shift the finals to ‘Bathers’ where the waves were a moustache hair better. Actually, I don’t even think the waves were better, they looked pretty much the same. Anyway, the final began with Philippa Anderson taking an early lead, quickly posting a 4.25 and 4.85 straight off the bat. But Sofia, the veteran that she is, with a wealth of contest experience, decided that wasn’t the way things were going to pan out, so she began to reel Philippa in like a Cape Town snoek off the Kalk Bay Harbour wall. First by posting a 6.00 and backing it up with a 5.25 to emerge the victor.

Let the reel in begin. Sofia Mulanovich. Image: WSL / Cestari

Sofia won the Ballito Pro when it was still called the Mr Price Pro and when the WSL was the ASP back in 2002. That’s over 16 years ago! It’s been her dream to represent her country at the Olympics, so she saw it fitting to sharpen her contest blade in preparation.

Philippa Anderson bangs one for a runner-up position. Image: WSL / Cestari

Welcome back to competition Sofia and well done on the win! Hopefully, we’ll be seeing her represent Peru at the Olympics.

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