7 July, 2019 7 July, 2019


Before making my way to cut shapes on the sand at Salt Rock and after putting the last daily wrap to bed I had a young squiz at the projected forecast for today. To say I was frothing for Round 9 to kick off would just not do it justice. With my alarm detonating next to my head come 6 AM, I was quick to rise, no small feat considering the previous nights antics. A quick splash in the shower, tande borsel and a coffee later I was off to the event site. Making my way down the ramp I caught the first glimpse of the sets rolling in. The forecast was on point, baby! 3-5ft sets with an offshore puffing it was a regular footers dream.

Speaking of dreams, an amped up Beyrick de Vries was out here trying to make a certain J-Bay dream come true. With all the Monster lads and lasses on the VIP deck to show their man, Berkie, some love there was a laka buzz about the jol. Coming up against Jack Freestone and in form Jordan Lawler Beyrick needed to show some BMT to get through the round.

The opening 15 minutes of the heat was pretty standard, let’s compare it to a plain white piece of bread. Not so exciting. But then things got really heated turning that bread into some toasted ciabatta drizzled with balsamic and olive oil. Sumptuous. It also came with a side of drama. De Vries finished a close second to Freestone, with Lawler getting eliminated with a priority interference seeing his 2nd score striped. If it were not for that event Lawler would have secured 2nd and Beyrick would have been eliminated. The result saw De Vries rise above Adin Masencamp on the QS rankings to become the highest placed South African on the rankings, and as a result he was awarded the wildcard into the Corona Open JBay.

“This is a dream come true,” exclaimed an ecstatic De Vries on the beach after his heat. “I have been aiming for this over the past few years and it has finally come together.”


Hugs all round! Everyone really feeling the love, that good old saffa gees was definitely in the air. With enough time to quickly grab a Mi Acai smoothie it was now time for Jordy Smith. With the wind picking up and turning more and more onshore the wave started to crumble, those beautiful morning barrels now relegated to the past tense. It was time to grind it out the old fashioned QS way. Sloppy wind chop, yeah sure, but totally rippable. 

Setting off on his first wave and arching his back, dipping the shoulder and with his eyes focused on the lip he through himself into the first turn turning water into steam. Following that heavy-footed hack, he finished with a big air sticking the landing busting the ‘no claim’ claim. We loved it and so did the judges. A 7.17 for Jordz, no lukka. A couple waves later and with some sultry rail surfing, Jordy was able to get a decent backup score. Jordy, looking like thorough bread stallion out there!!  Later in the heat Joan Duru would drop the exact same score, it didn’t matter to Jordy he was out front and would remain in the hot seat, closing the heat with a combined score of 12.57. The man from France, Duru, a close second with a 12.27.

Once again, the beach was packed, lighties playing beach cricket while all teenagers awkwardly flirting giving the classic ass out hug. What a day, Willards 100% the best place to be in the country right now. Today there was something for everyone. From snake shows featuring Black Mambas (no thanks) to dudes on motorbikes hoping on rocks, the beach was lit, fam!! Next on the lit train was the man of the moment Beyrick de Vries, no doubt still jacked from his earlier advancement into Round 9.

With the conditions not even remotely similar to what he surfed earlier on in the day, and coming up against Carlos Munoz a man who’d been on fire throughout the event Beyrick would once again have to pull another pair of fresh socks from the BMT draw. Beyrick was quick to get up and riding banking two 4’s. Carlos on his first attempt not getting enough foot behind the board leaving the wind to strip it from his foot, almost taking a fin to the ass in the process. Well, he obviously learned from his mistake going HAM on the next air after a neat and well-executed snap off the top. An 8.33, overscored in my opinion. But hey it was what it was. Beyrick looking calm out the back as he prowled the backline for a section to ramp off. But, before he could do that, Carlos again going big pulled in a solid 6. Not at the table Carlos, not at the table!

Boom, there goes Beyrick a monster Method Grab landing in a critical section, emerging out of the exploding white water… But he required a 9.99. The last ariel, big enough to replace his 2nd highest score but not enough to take out Carlos ‘The Hadeda’ Munoz. Beyrick, you did good mate, now get your ass to J-Bay. 

Now, let’s get into O’Neill’s man, shall we? Jordan Smith, paddling out the beach was on their feet a blue electric haze floating above the crowd. Pure energy being generated, Eskom I hope you taking notes ek se. He was up against Deivid Silva currently 18 on the QS ranking. You wouldn’t exactly say it was a fair heat, Jordy clearly the favourite. While the cookie started to crumble Jordy went large clutching a 5.33 on an air reverse, probably the 100th of the day. I think it’s time we gave that manouver a rest. LAYBACKS, bring those back! I can watch those all day…..probably. 

So before I tell you what happened next, I’ll just mention that there’s a swell coming through to J-Bay tomorrow. Cough, cough. Alright so Silva, the guys obviously part rooster with the tails he was spraying all over. I’m not gonna lie it was beautiful. But back to Jordy who had slipped down into second place requiring a meager 4.7 I think it was to get through, with the conditions offering up a decent air section, you’d think Jordy would bite back… Well he didn’t… The hooter sounded and the homie was outta here. He’s probably sat comfy on a plane now on his way to the Eastern Cape. I don’t know, what you rate? But hey, at the end of the day there’s a world title on the line.


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