Buitendag scores in Hawaii & Dylan Lightfoot progresses in China
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 November, 2014 - South African surfers posted dazzling performances on opposite sides of International Date Line in the past 24 hours with Bianca Buitendag recording the highest score for a single ride on the opening day of the Target Maui Pro in Hawaii while Dylan Lightfoot progressed to Round 4 of the Hainan Classic in China.
Buitendag took to the surf in Heat 6 of Round 1. Starting slowly, the 21 year-old from George in the Southern Cape rapidly built momentum in the excellent 1 to 1.5 metre surf and belted a near-perfect 9.80 out of 10 points for a series of vertical backhand blasts on her final ride.
“I’ve been here for the last 10 days and every time the swell gets bigger than 3 feet there’s so many people out here, so to share that with just two other girls is very enjoyable," Buitendag said.
Buitendag, No. 7 on the ASP Women’s WCT rankings coming into the event, won her heat and advanced directly to Round 3 of the event along with Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright, the three Australians who are in contention for the 2014 ASP Women’s World Title.
On the other side of the dateline Lightfoot was demonstrating his ability in tiny waves at Riyue Bay on Hainan Island in China on Tuesday afternoon.
Seeded into Round 2 of the 4 Star rated ASP Qualification Series event, the Jeffreys Bay resident squeaked through his first heat, narrowly avoiding the ignominy of being eliminated by 15 year-old Leilani McGonagle (CRI), the only girl in event. Awarded 4.53 points for his last scoring ride, Lightfoot clinched second place just three-hundredths of a point ahead of McGonagle.
Lightfoot made better use of the miniscule knee to waist high waves on offer in Round 3, employing both his backhand and forehand attack to secure a solid heat win and moving to within one heat of a Quarterfinal berth.
“That was hard work out there,” Lightfoot said. “That’s what it takes to be a professional surfer, you sometimes get to surf perfect waves, but you also have to be on point in small surf. I’m happy that I’m still in the event and I’m hoping we get some fun surf later in the week.”