7 April, 2018 7 April, 2018

Port Alfred Classic – Day 2

Day two of the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic presented by Quiksilver (what a mouth full) and Satan’s wind from hell died down. The sun came out, the swell was a beautifully solid 4ft and there was even a cranking bank to the left of the contest zone spewing out dredging brown barrels. Occasionally you’d see a homie get spat out of a filthy one or Joshe going for a death rotation into the flats. Anyway enough of the introductions, here’s who blew us away today. 

Jordy Maré’s Interference

Dale Staples took off deep. Way deep. He gave his board two pumps, and started to fly, gave the lip a speed jam/floater pumped round the section into a big foam climb to find Jordy Maré midway through a backhand bottom turn and burning the stuff outta him like a bad boerie. Dale, distracted by Jordy’s inequities, fell off on the foam climb rendering his efforts useless. An interference was called on Jordy. The consequence? One scoring wave lost. But Maré continued to push on, applying pressure, taking waves and using his last remaining tactic; priority. And either due to a lack of a game plan by his competitors or the fact that the ocean suddenly and abruptly slowed down, Jake and Dale were unable to capitalise on Jordy’s errors. It was certainly unusual to see, on this level, a surfer progress through the heat with an interference to his name, but stranger things have happened. Let’s see if Jordy can capitalise on his second chance. 

Sometimes you make a mistake and life doesn’t punish you. Life gave Jordy Maré a freebie today. Image: Thurtell

Dylan Lightfoot – The New White Lightening

At the VW Nelson Mandela Bay Pro presented by Billabong, we wrote that Dylan Lightfoot was finding that inner confidence that he seemed to be lacking back in 2017. Well after his round 4 heat it’s safe to say, Dylan’s got his swag back. Like a rapper who made two lame albums, everyone may have written him off, and then in his defeat recorded one of the best albums of the decade. Fast, precise and powerful. When Dylan’s on, his surfing is always right (like a German). He chooses exactly the right turn for exactly the right section and links them seamlessly. And damn fast. You can’t flaw him. His surfing is right. Mick Fanning just retired, but SA’s got its own White Lightening. And we dig his surfing. Dylan’s through to the quarterfinals where he will face Matt Pallet, let’s see how far his confidence takes him.

Just cause Mick Fanning retired, doesn’t mean ‘White Lightning’ retired. #CheersMick. #HelloNewWhiteLightening Image: Thurtell

Greg Emslie – Applause from the Ballies

Round 4 and Greg Emslie took off way out back, on one of the first waves of the heat, and it so happened to be the best. Greg did a couple of juicy open face man carves. Like an authoritarian addressing a bunch of school kids, Greg lectured the groms on the beach on how to beat a wave into submission. Like a sushi chef with a hot blade, Greg carved up a storm. Massive open face gouges, one after the other into a closeout bash which he didn’t land. The cantankerous ballies nearby who’d been talking about fights them or their friends were involved in last night, erupted in applause! And the wave certainly was worthy of a fighting applause. But it brought up an interesting thought. Would you rather, get the best wave and surf it well, or get the second best wave and surf it creatively? Cause Greg didn’t do anything special on that wave. He pretty much surfed it the way he’d surfed any wave on tour for the last 10 years, but there was no denying, it looked good. Perhaps Greg knows himself. He knows what kinda surfing he can and can’t do. Like a straight edged realist. Greg plays his strengths to his advantage. And that sort of wisdom only comes with age. Let the ballies erupt in a fighting applause once more, cause Greg just dodged a bottling and is through to the quarterfinals. Here’s to the Duracell battery that just won’t die.

Slade Prestwich’s Redemption Song

Today Slade paddled out with something to prove. He needed to get something off his chest. Something had been bothering him. And he wanted homies to know. For too long Slade’s top-class surfing had been lost in translation. Struggling to gather the results that suited. He wanted to throw it back to the glory days when he took a field of top grommets out at the Volcom VQS Global Champs in Fiji. And today he did just that. Slade’s a tall kid and he surfs powerfully and it seemed East Beach suited him down to a T. He chose waves that ran wonderfully down the sand bottom point and it allowed him to open up and display his most valued weaponry. His turns although kinda old-school have a youthful exuberance about them; classic lines done by a new man with a new school approach. Somebody turn on ‘Redemption Song’ by Bob Marley. Slade’s back.

Slade was on FIRE! Image: Ian Thurtell

Enjoy the gallery below:

Oh yes, and all these images, including the cover image was taken by the mighty Ian Thurtell.  

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