4 July, 2019 4 July, 2019

THE O’NEILL BALLITO PRO 2019 – DAY 4

Rocking up to the contest site this morning before that early bird grazed the worm, again, there was a slight nip in the air. Perhaps due to the fresh morning offshore or maybe it was a sign of things to come. Day 3 of the men’s would no doubt be the day things really started to get interesting here at the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill.

The first heat featuring Joan Duru, Jake Marshall, Jackson Baker and Wesley Santos was played out in a pretty, yet lackluster ocean. The tide still full with the predicted swell not yet showing its face. However, there were some signs of something more promising coming through on the odd set. It would be a waiting game, remember that angler fish reference? Well, patience would be key once again with the biggest issue being wave consistency, it just wasn’t there. Fingers crossed, the dropping tide would provide some rippable sections for the likes of Davey Van Zyl and Matty McG coming up in back to back heats.

Heat 19: Matt Banting, Gatien Delahaye, Dion Atkinson, and Durban’s poster boy, David Van Zyl. With the tide dropping the wave did open up a touch giving the surfers some space to work with. And there goes Davey, racing down the line for a big floater to open up followed by a cute little snap off the top for a mild 3.0. Redirecting his board to gun for the take off spot a wave snuck through the pack and Davey was up and riding once again, two big turns showing that 2-foot wave what rail surfing is all about and earning himself a respectable 4.0. Then again, this time on his backhand, two quick tail smashes throwing buckets, a pleasure to watch. Tantalizing stuff. Davey racking up 3 quick scores to take him to the top, pegging him as the man to beat. 
 
Que Matt Banting, No.2 on the QS ranking with a beautiful carve followed by a little lip bash to finish, the score dropping in at a 5.0. With the beach filling up Davey wanted to show off,  and that he did, reeling in a 6.5 and then quickly backing it up with another 6. Aaaaaah, Davey, you’re looking great mate!! Say what you will, the man’s a showman and into Round 7. 
 
 
This is the part where I wish I could tell you Matty McG did enough. But in the dying minutes, Marco Giorgi went large or rather ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE. Flying through the air at least 100m earning himself an 8.13 when all he needed was a 5.8. Unlucky Matty, that stung. 
 

AVG ©

 
With some ‘irrie scented incense’ floating around the beach and basically hot boxing the media tent, I felt my muscles relax and mind sharpen in on what was happening before the water’s edge. This one’s for the youth, what are you doing? Dopping before 12 in long sleeve rugby jerseys with the sun beating down at least 25 + degrees. Unconstitutional madness! And of course that god damn JBL speaker was there, again!! This time I stepped in to put an end to it using the commentators as the scapegoat! Peace restored to the beach….for now.
 
Also, what the Franklin has happened to fashion! No word of a lie, I witnessed a grown ass man strutting the beach in what looked like high waisted slacks paired with the most floral shirt I’ve ever checked, tucked in obvs, garnishing his ludicrous attire with a wooden bowtie… How far we have strayed, I’m not even gonna get into what the groms were sporting. Straight up unholy!! That felt good to vent to you guys, but you’d understand if you were here.
 

AVG ©

Round 7

Heat 1: Beyrick De Vries, Noe Mar McGonagle, Jadson Andre and Ezekiel Lau. With tukka smashed and the belly full, we were headed into Round 7. With the beach almost at maximum capacity, Beyrick hit the sand to stretch the legs before paddling out. The crowd started to purr, never mind hum. Following Beyrick’s heat, the crowd would be treated to another crowd pleaser in the form of Mikey Feb. As for me, I was pretty much at full froth waiting in anticipation to see what the man from Umhlanga was gonna throw down.  

With the lulls getting longer between sets due to the tide filling up, as it was yesterday, wave selection would be critical as we neared the business end of the day. Beyrick knows these waters giving him a nudge above the likes of Ezekiel Lau and Jadson Andre who were both doing there best to make sure the South Africans flame was torched. But Beyrick had other ideas, going to the air multiple times setting himself up well as the clock wound down. With the final minutes approaching and with Zeke firmly in the lead it was a battle between Beyrick and Noe.
 
If the beach had bleachers, everyone would be at the edge of their seats, you could feel the tension in the air. It was more than palpable. The buzzer went and both Beyrick and Noe were waiting for scores to drop. First in Noe… a 4.97, moving him into 2nd. Beyrick biting through his bottom lip waiting to hear if he got the score…… Boom,  baby, he gone done it (photo evidence above courtesy of Alan van Gysen)!!! The crowd went nuts and so did Beyrick who had to turn away from the groms getting his John Hancock as he fist pumped the air! Good on ya!!
 

1 X Stoked Beyrick!! AVG @

 
Heat 2: Morgan Cibilic, Carlos Munoz, Jordan Lawler and the man that 50% of the online audience predicted to win the heat, Michael February. On his 3rd wave, Carlos Munoz posted a solid score of 6.8 to back up his 3.33. Mikey Feb holding 2nd position with a 5 and 4.27 was pushed down to third following Jordan Lawler banking a 6 followed by a 5.57 to push his combined score up to  11.57 seeing him into the lead.  Mikey, in the end, bettering his 4.27 and dropping his highest score of the day with a 5.23 but it just wasn’t enough forcing the South African style icon to take a knee and settle with 25th place. Join us for more action tomorrow as we enter the business end of the draw, looking forward to your company!  
Then, the Cash Up, don’t worry we never forgot mate.
 
The winner, the high flying and heavy wave charging Barron Mamiya (below) going huge. Here’s where it gets funny, the man stood me up. There I was CASH IN HAND, waiting like a castaway amongst a sea of people. But instead of running up to claim his dolla, he ran down the beach, not phased. Maybe he did a dollar to rand conversion and was like meh! Barron, come find me tomorrow let’s get you paid son!
 
 
 
 
 
 

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