Several of the best scores of the Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill were delivered on Day 4 of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event despite unpleasant weather and extremely tricky conditions.
A slight increase in swell along with strong, gusty cross-shore winds produced punchy 1.0 – 1.3 metre (3-4ft) waves that were perfect to showcase the competitors’ aerial repertoires.
South Africa’s Jordy Smith looked casual as he posted the highest single wave score of the event. Smith started on the lefts looking for a section to complete an air, but then found a beautiful right-hander with less than 5 minutes to go, hacking it to pieces for a near perfect 9.57 points out of a possible 10.
“You’ve got to roll the dice in conditions like this,” said Smith. “There weren’t a lot of opportunities, but I surf this wave a lot and I’ve surfed it enough to know exactly what I need. I tried two or three lefts and it didn’t work out, so I switched the game plan to wait for a longer right and then I got the nine-something.”
Smith and local hero Beyrick de Vries are the only South Africans left in contention after David van Zyl (ZAF) exited the competition following a third place finish in his heat today.
With a building swell and light winds forecast for today it’s going to be an action-packed weekend with the winner to be crowned on Sunday, 7 July.
Photo: Jordy Smith