2 July, 2019 2 July, 2019


Ladies and gents, I think we just gonna have to use yesterday’s catchphrase to describe today: Dreamboat conditions. The waves picked up exactly where they left off at the close of play on day 1, just with a touch more consistency. The swell direction slightly shifting, allowing the banks to do their job by opening up the face of the wave, where the likes of Jordy Maree, MFeb and Beyrick de FREAK were able to bang in three + turns on the reg. Just to the right, Bathers and Bogs were absolutely firing, a great day of surfing no matter what direction you decided to crank your neck. Barrels and solid turns were on tap all day. Gotta love the Dolphin Coast.

Slade Prestwich (ZAF) is eliminated from Round 1 at the Ballito Pro pres by O’Neill 2019 after a third place finish in Heat 1, Ballito, South Africa.

Round 5 – Jordy Maree and Jordan Lawler got Round 5 underway, the Aussie banging out an excellent ride straight off the plank!! Lawler, the better of the two Jordan’s just pipping Maree. Unfortunately, not all the Saffas faired well at the start. Slade Prestwich bowing out early in the first heat of the day, but not before banking the sick pic above! Yew!

The third heat really got the action going with Brazzo Wiggolly Dantes putting up two excellent scores, demolishing his fellow heat compatriots. “I feel really good and the waves are pumping,” said Wiggolly. “Every year coming here we get good waves and it’s a super special place for me, Africa is amazing and I always have a great time coming here with good friends. Traveling with my brother gives me great confidence, we’ve both been making heats and having fun.”

Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) advances through to Round 2 at the Ballito Pro pres by O’Neill 2019 after WINNING Round 1 Heat 3 at Ballito, South Africa.

Heat 6 featured the 3rd South African surfer of the day, Eli Beukes, who came up against Marc Lacomare, Dusty Payne and Manuel Selman. Dusty Ripping out a late 6.6 to see him make the jump on the Frenchman Lacomare midway through the heat. That was until the man from Chili decided to kick over the apple cart, smash them apples and feed it to the Hawaiian, locking himself into first place. Tasty. Eli Beukes needed to go full on white knuckles near the end of his heat, unfortunately, he just couldn’t get himself on the bomb he needed to get the 6.8 required to take him through into round 6. 

The bar fridge and expat, Benji Brand, got his comp underway in Heat 7 holding on to the lead for the first half of the exchange before Marco Giorgi, the man in red, whipped out a 7.83 to dethrone the man fridge from Hawaii. Not being one to sit out back and let waves go by unsavaged, Rio Waida attacked every section, going full vert back to back and knocking Benji down another peg. Rio’s surfing was beautiful, his board turning into a single bladed windscreen wiper punctuated with big finishes on every wave.

In the end, Benji made one or two questionable choices regarding wave selection when he had priority. As a result, the score he needed never came his way. Unlucky Benji, but ey bru it’s good to have you here!

Beyrick De Vries put on a show for the crowds. WSL / RYAN JANSSENS

Round 6 – First up was local favourite and 3-time Monster Expression Session winner, Beyrick de Vries, coming up against CT surfer, Seth Moniz. The energy on the beach was peaking, everybody loves Beyrick it would seem, or maybe it was Seth? Lol, we know it’s you Beyrick! Both surfers broke open the bank early on with some explosive surfing. But, they weren’t alone with Jordan Lawler and Charly Martin making the most of the tide as it started to push. With 6 minutes left on the clock, Beyrick needed a big score to climb out the bottom, and you bet your ass he did just that. Jodan Lawler also left it late and was able to knock Seth from 2nd place, advancing through to Round 7. 

“I’m happy to get the first heat at home out of the way,” said Beyrick. “The 10,000 points on offer gets you amped, but also seeing familiar faces and hearing the crowds on the beach as you run down, it’s always better when it’s at home. This is the best forecast we’ve had in years, the sand is the best we’ve had in four, five years. The conditions, the banks, the people, everything is here!”

Mikey Freestyle Feb donning a green rashie was next in, putting a good solid opener on the board. The crowd really picking up what the surfers were putting down were all glued to the man in green out back. Mikey really looked solid, only coming undone once on a wave where he hit a weird wobble mid face. Other than that it was a silky smooth performance from the 2018 CT surfer narrowly missing out on the heat win over Noe Mar McGonagle. In the end, it didn’t matter, the man did enough to make it through to Round 7.

Jordy Maree (ZAF) advances through to Round 2 at the Ballito Pro pres by O’Neill 2019 with a second place in Round 1 Heat 1 at Ballito, South Africa.

Next up in Round 6 was Jordy Maree, in a stacked heat against Jadson Andre, Carlos Munoz and Patrick Gudauskas…. Damn, just read that again! WHAT HEAT! Might as well grab a handful of ghost peppers, pull your eyelids out and stuff them in there. Basically, the same thing went down as it did in Heat 3.  In the end, experience seemed to outweigh youthful exuberance, Jordy Maree just not able to crack the code, unable to get the score required, wave selection really being key due to the tide. 

Without much notice, the last Heat was called and Adin Masencamp was sent out to bury some rail. The man’s pretty much blowing up right now, have you noticed? Poised, focused and ready to go and bang some lips. Coming up against two fiery Hawaiians in Josh Moniz and Zek Lau, the man’s job was a tall ask. Being Ballito, the tides really played a part which saw the surfers shift down the beach to catch the sections forming a little more off to the left. Compared with the earlier heats in the day, patience really did become a virtue and young Masencamp was ready like an angler fish to demonstrate how patient he could be. But even the angler fish fails to snag it’s prey sometimes, and today as much as it pains me to say, Adin was that angler unable to snatch up the dangling score he needed. Unlucky Kid!

Following the last heat the action continued with the first Monster Cash Up taking place. Up for grabs was 1.5k cash money + a R500 voucher to the Groundswell Surf shop, and claiming it today was Finn McGill with a manoeuvre we don’t even know what to call. But what we do know, is that it brought sexy back!! Alan Van Gysen on hand to snap the man in action!!


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