The world’s best surfers revelled in the glass 2-3 foot waves on the opening day of the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong, posting several scores in the excellent range (over 8.00 out of 10).
After checking the conditions at 7am, organisers opted to move the event from the main venue at Surfer’s Beach to Bathers Beach, 300 metres to the south, where the waves offered the competitors higher potential to produce the spectacular surfing they are capable of.
Alejo Muniz (BRA), a former Top 34 ranked surfer, made excellent use of his pre-event practice sessions to record rides of 9.00 and 7.50 for a heat tally of 16.50, the second highest of the day, to win Heat 2 and advance to the Round of 48.
Brent Dorrington (AUS) claimed the highest heat tally of the day when he racked up scores of 8.93 and 7.67 for total 16.60 to win Heat 8 and progress to Round 2 along with second placed Tomas Fernandes (PRT).
The pair caused a major upset by eliminating local favourite and current World No. 18, Jordy Smith (ZAF), in the process.
Smith, competing for first time since recovering from a serious knee injury, was hoping for a long run in the event he won in 2010.
The Durbanite will be hoping that more practice will prepare him for the JBay Open after finishing fourth in the heat behind third placed Granger Larsen (HAW). The JBay Open takes place during the JBay Winterfest
A combination of incoming tide and a brisk onshore wind that marred the wave quality led to organisers calling a halt to the day’s action at the end of Heat 9. They will convene at 7am on Tuesday morning to make the call on when to restart the event.
When the contest resumes, Michael February, South Africa’s highest ranked QS surfer, will be up against experienced CT campaigner Adrian Buchan (AUS), Maxime Huscenot (FRA) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) in Heat 10.