Men’s Round 1 and 10 Heats of Round 2 Completed in One Metre Waves

Young guns and veterans alike tore into the one metre waves at New Pier in Durban on the opening day of the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley as the organisers completed Round 1 (Round of 160) and the first 10 heats of the Round of 128 in the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series QS3,000 rated men’s event.

Cloudy skies and occasional light drizzle did not dampen the level of performances from the South African and world’s best performers, with multiple scores in the excellent range (8.0 or more out of 10).

Mateus Herdy (BRA) produced one of the standout results of day’s action, emerging with the heat win after a titanic battle with compatriot Weslley Dantas (BRA), South Africa’s Dale Staples and Henrique Pyrrait (PRT).

Herdy burst out of the blocks with an 8.0 in the opening minutes and then produced an outstanding near-perfect 9.6, the highest single score of the day, to establish a substantial lead over his opponents. Staples held onto second place until the dying moments when Dantas delivered the score he needed and grabbed the runner-up spot and a place in R3.

“My board is pretty good, the waves are really fun and very similar to my home break at Joaquina in Florianópolis and this stretch of beach reminds me of Brazil, so I feel really comfortable here,” said Herdy.

“I’m here for ten days in Durban and now I’m just focusing on the contest. Then I’m going to Cape Town. I came to South Africa to do all these QS and junior events so I’m here for a couple of weeks and hope to do well.”

Peterson Crisanto (BRA) posted two rides over 9.0 to claim the highest heat total of the day, 18.17 out of 20 in his Round 1 heat. The 25-year old then just scraped through his Round 2 encounter which was won by Nick Callister (AUS).

Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) was the top South African performer today, winning the first heat of the event and then slamming the door on his Round 2 rivals with a strong 9.0 in Round 2 to advance into the last 96.

Portuguese surfing legend Tiago Pires, 37, in South Africa to coach and mentor the next generation of his country’s surf stars, showed he has lost very little of the skills that saw him spend most of the last decade at the very highest level of the sport on the WSL Championship Tour (CT), by convincingly progressing to the next round

Nolan Rapoza (USA) won a tightly contested heat when he held off the challenge of Hawaiian based South African Benji Brand, who had not caught a single wave at the halfway mark. But rides of 5.87 and a closing 7.33 saw Brand join the young American in the next round.

“That heat went pretty well and I did exactly what I wanted to do. I got the first wave on the inside, a left with a little double up at the end,” said Rapoza. “Then I was fourth priority and went over to where the other guys were sitting and a bomb came in and that’s just what I wanted.”

Organisers will complete the Round of 128 and the Round of 96 in the men’s event before ending Thursday’s action with the JQS1,000 junior men’s event.

The provisional schedule for the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley sees the junior champions crowned on Friday 16 June (Youth Day), the women’s title decided on Saturday and the men’s final run on Sunday.

An outreach programme will be conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) during the event. Participants will be involved in beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest, beach relays and an Easter egg hunt with all participants receiving breakfast, lunch and a commemorative medal.

Live scoring, results, images, videos and more will be available at and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing is proudly supported by Hurley, Tsogo Sun, Durban Tourism, Skullcandy, El Jimador, Yesman, California Dreaming, World Surf League, Surfing South Africa and Accelerate Sport.


Caption: Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) was the top South African performer on the opening day of the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley at New Pier in Durban on Wednesday • Photo: WSL / Thurtell

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

About Surfing South Africa

Surfing South Africa is recognised by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

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