Aritz Aranburu (EUK) moved in to the Quarterfinals of the Mr Price Pro Ballito today.
Ballito, South Africa (Friday July 5, 2013) – Six of this year’s eight quarter finalists were decided in powerful two-meter surf at Willard’s Beach, as competition intensified at the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro Ballito on Friday July 5, 2013.
The final six heats of the round of 24 were completed, followed by six heats of the round of 16. Organisers were then forced to call the event off for the day due to deteriorating conditions.
The three-man strong South African field was reduced to just one, as World No. 4 Jordy Smith (CT) became the only local surfer to advance into this year’s quarterfinals.
Living up to expectation in the highly anticipated clash against fellow countryman Beyrick De Vries (Umhlanga), Smith put pressure on his opponent from early on, building momentum to lead the heat from start to finish.
Posting a set of solid scores for a variation of maneuvers, Smith consolidated his win with the final barrel ride of the heat, eliminating De Vries by 14.43 to 9.30 (both out of 20.00).
“I’ve been watching Beyrick’s surfing for a long time, he’s a tough competitor, ‘AKA’ he’s very cheeky,” Smith said. “I went out there thinking I would be doing open face turns but the wind made it bumpy and there’s a lot of chop on the faces, so you have to pick your sections and hold on.”
Morocco’s Ramzi Boukhiam proved a force to be reckoned with, his smooth backhand surfing and perfect timing earning the best single score of the morning a 9.57 (out of ten). Boukhiam defeated Caio Ibelli (BRA) to top score with 17.07 (out of 20.00) and advance into the quarterfinals.
“I came down this morning and saw some good waves, the swell is bigger and has more power so I went for two big turns and the judges liked it,” Boukhiam said. “This is my first quarterfinal result in a Prime, so I’m stoked.”
Basque surfer and former elite WCT campaigner Aritz Aranburu was just as impressive against Maxime Huscenot (REU). With exceptional timing and perfect control over his equipment in the bumpy conditions, Aranburu won the heat by 15 .66 to 8.40.
“The conditions are bumpy and it was a really tough heat,” Aranburu said. “I was lucky to get that first big one with the open face and made two big turns. I’m really happy with my progression through the event, it’s a good result and I’m hungry for more.”
David do Carmo (BRA) caused one of the biggest upsets of the day, eliminating World No. 21 Kolohe Andino (USA). While Andino struggled to post more than a 4-point ride, do Carmo seemed unperturbed, earning 7.33 and 6.87 rides for the win.
Stuart Kennedy was on fire in his Round of 16 match-up over Jesse Mendes. With sweeping turns perfectly suited to the reeling right-handers, the Australian netted solid 7.00 scores to advance in first place.
“It was tricky on the low tide but I was lucky I got that last 7 point score,” Kennedy said. “I’m rattled from all the sets I was copping on the head but stoked to get through to the quarters.”
Also advancing, was yesterday’s standout Julian Wilson (AUS) who edged out a tenacious Jadson Andre (BRA) in the final 30-seconds of their round of 16 heat.
The next call will be made at 07:00am (CAT) on Saturday July 6, 2013 for a possible 07:15am start.
The Mr Price Pro Ballito is Stop No. 3 of 8 on the ASP International Prime Tour featuring 96 surfers from 16 countries, including 13 of the top 34 elite World Championship Tour campaigners.
The event also features a dynamic Beach Festival, three nights of Free Music Concerts on the Beach as well as an exciting new Food and Wine exhibition.