Beyrick De Vries in action at the Ballito Pro, where he won the wildcard into the Corona Open JBay. © Van Gysen

De Vries is currently the highest placed South African on the World Surf League Qualifying Series, and has been awarded the sought-after wildcard.

Ballito – In a hotly contested heat this morning, Beyrick De Vries overtook the other South African surfers vying for the coveted wildcard by advancing to the round of 16 in the Ballito Pro.

Coming up against the Australian duo of Jordan Lawler and Jack Freestone, De Vries finished a close second to Freestone, with Lawler getting eliminated with a priority interference.

The result saw De Vries rise above Adin Masecamp 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.

Masencamp was placed 29th before this contest, with De Vries in 61st spot, but with the tournament being a 10,000 event, the points awarded for a slot in the round of 16 were enough for De Vries to climb ahead.

“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.”

An emotional De Vries with his dad, Ray. © Van Gysen

The Corona Open JBay is a WSL Championship Tour event that takes place in Jeffreys Bay from 9 – 22 July. There is a US$100,000 first place prize, and the defending champion is Brazilian surfer Filipe Toledo.