by Martin Otto on 28th April 2007
Competitors were greeted with a clean 4 - 6ft swell with hardly any wind on day 2. No heats were expected to be run today, but Mother Nature has been very kind to us. In first were the Boys quarter finals and it was soon discovered that the paddle wasn't as easy as it might've looked. A few of the boys riders opted to ride the shore break, which paid off for some and was a bad option for others.
Grant van der Wagen (SKZN), Storm Prestwich (SKZN), Andrew Raath (WP), Andre Blignaut (WP), Conrad Bernhardt (SKZN), Bas Koopmans (WP), Jason Selby (WP) and John Williams will all meet up in the boys semi-finals, being run first thing on Sunday morning.
The Mens quarter finals were in next where local boys Wayne Beekman (SKZN), Martin Otto (SKZN) and David Hartmann (SKZN) won there heats convincingly with WP rider Donovan Basset following suit. Also advancing through are Karl Liebenberg (CN), Jake Rosenburg (CN), Simon Heale and Kevin Pearman (CN).
The DK division were run in the last bit of smooth waves as the wind slowly started picking up speed. By the 3rd DK quarter final, competitors were finding it a bit difficult with a bump in the wave. Derek Footit (SKZN) proved why he was DK Champ and rode the sets with style and power. Sean Tickner (CN), Wayne du Preez (CN), Stuart Bradford (CN), Vaughn Harris (SC), Jonathan Oliff (CN), David Lee (SKZN) and Micheal Ostler (CN) all cruised through to the semi-finals.
Next up was the Junior and Pro quarters. Although the gale force winds held of for much longer than expected they returned with a vengeance and the surf deteriorated rapidly causing the surf to become rather lumpy and unpredictable forcing heat strategy to play a large part in who made it though to the next round.
The Juniors did all they could to impress the judges and advance to semis. Local knowledge clearly is a factor as four SKZN riders have advanced to the semis. They are Justin Zietsman, Jared Enslin, Emile van Vollenhoven and Michael Ansermino. CN riders Ian Campbell and Michael Ostler and WP riders Jonathan Mellish and Jared Houston make up the rest of the semi finalists.
The Pros had it slightly harder with even more difficult conditions, which resulted in some upsets like Derek Footit, Adam Morley and Justin Lindsay being knocked out. CN really made their presence felt with Jonathan Oliff, Alistair Taylor, Wesley Fischer and normal Junior division riders, Dane Beales and Michael Ostler all made it through. Ian Kruger (WP) seemed very focused in his heat by advancing quite convincingly as did Vaughn Harris (SC). Charles Pas makes up the Pro semi finalists.
The day ended off well with everyone hopeful and positive for tomorrow. We have 19 more heats left to run on the final day. SABC will be covering the finals which set to be explosive with the wind being predicted to drop over night.
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