Pipe Pro: Good day at the office for South Africa
posted by Kelly Footit on 20th February 2008
With a record number of entries, it was always going to be a long run for any rider without any decent seeding. On the plus side, you'd get to spend more time out at uncrowded Pipe than the likes of Mark McCarthy and the rest of the Top 16 who are seeded through to the final 32. So where would you prefer to get seeded?
The lone South African who did end up in Round 1 was Adam Morley who unfortunately missed out with a 3rd. Conditions were definitely a little off and in a low scoring heat everyone was battling to get anything decent. The 3 pointer needed to move through ending up proving too elusive but I'm sure we'll be seeing more from Adam in future.
Round 2 wasn't a convincing start for the rest of the SA crew but Darren Halse and Wes Fischer both progressed with second place finishes. Andre Botha put in the first solid display from the SA guys and won his first heat convincingly and progressed through his next 2 rounds confidently. Expect to see him fighting it out near the end.
Vijay Maharaj with his tour experience was seeded through to Round 3 and with 5 minutes left on the clock and a high score of 1.67, it was looking like an early "thanks for coming buddy". But it is never over till the hooter sounds and with 4 minutes left, Vijay wrapped it up with one wave, scoring a backdoor screamer, some quality barrel time and popping a roll as he exited.
Darren Halse moved through his round 3 heat and met up with Vijay in Round 4 where Darren started getting it together, starting early with 8.0 points earned from a very classy, clean barrel and into a high-speed whipped reverse leaving the rest to play catch up. Vijay, however, didn't appear game and again with 5 minutes left he had another high score of one odd point. At 3 minutes, he bagged one and made it count - a good clean barrel and comes flying out to lay into a big cuttie, putting the board on its rail and releasing into a smooth forward spin - a nice stylish combo which he finished off with a contest roll on the inside section. 8.3 points and the commentators are expecting him to take the lead. Darren still maintains it though and on the buzzer grabs a backdoor smoker, gets a big solid tube and attempts a heavy reverse bash off the closeout. 8.4 points and the heat goes convincingly to Darren with Vijay once again stealing his place to progress.
Tip of the day - get a back-up wave!!!
Wesley Fischer shifted up a gear to win his Round 3 heat and with a second in Round 4 began showing some moments of brilliance to back-up the claims from the commentary crew.
After the close of play, I caught up briefly with Mark McCarthy who has been on the beach supporting the rest of the SA crew today and looks set to hit the water on Thursday for his heat. "I can't wait to surf ... so amped!! Just hope there will be some SA boys with me ... but the way it's going I am sure there will be."
If you'd like a slightly more "as it happened" take on the event, visit: www.sixty40.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1352
The event is being webcast at www.ibatour.com/webcast
20th February 2008 11:21
|Sick one boys! Stoked you oaks are reprosenting 4 S.A.|
Sorry once again Mark for not be able to make it there, but we checking it out as it unfolds! Wez looking good buddy, you oaks must all just have fun and rep like never before. Behind all you boys 100!
20th February 2008 11:18
|Thanx for the synopsis Kelly!|
Really handy for those of us who can't hold up until the early hours of the morning ;-)