Saffas get serious as tour kicks off
Travis Logie & Jordy Smith post highest scores on Day 1 of Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 March, 2013 : - - The world’s best surfers donned the competitor’s singlet for this first time this season as Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast was completed in clean two-to-three foot waves at Rainbow Bay.
South Africans Travis Logie and Jordy Smith started their respective 2013 campaigns impressively by posting the two highest heat totals of the day’s action. Both progressed directly to Round 3, skipping the cutthroat Round 2 elimination heats.
Logie, 32, took top honours by racking up scores of 9.27 and 8.93 and a tally of 18.20 out of a possible 20 for a series of critical backhand combinations.
“It feels so good to start the year off with a heat win,” Logie said. “The past few seasons, my starts have been inconsistent, but I’m healthy, I have good boards under my feet and I feel like I’m surfing at the highest level of my career.
“The draw is so gnarly these days – guys like Adriano (de Souza) and Dusty (Payne) are deadly at any venue on tour and that pretty much goes for the entire Top 34 right now. Really stoked to get a win and hope the waves keep pumping this week.”
Competing in the last heat of the day as the tide drained out and wave selection became more critical, Smith, 25, started slowly before finding a wave that ran the full length of the competition area, allowing him to deliver an electrifying series of manoeuvres that earned him 9.63, the day’s third highest single ride score.
Electing to leave the water and run up the beach rather than wasting time with the long paddle back to the take-off spot, Smith found another good wave with two minutes remaining that the judges rewarded with an 8.30 which left his opponents needing near-perfect nine point rides as the hooter sounded to end the heat.
South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag, a 2013 ASP Dream Tour rookie, caused a massive upset, winning her first WCT heat when she defeated ASP No. 10 Paige Hareb in their Round 2 encounter before going on to outpoint the ASP No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons and fellow Australian Laura Enever in Round 3 to advance directly through to the last eight in the event.
“Sally (Fitzgibbons) and Laura (Enever) are such good surfers so I did not take them lightly,” Buitendag said. “The waves are really fun right now though and I was able to get a couple that stood up well on the bank. It’s my first event as a WCT surfer so to be through to the quarter-finals is a really good result for me already.”
The lanky Southern Cape teenager looked really strong riding on her backhand in waves that were similar to her home break of Victoria, posting scores in the excellent range (over eight points out of 10) in both her heats.
She will meet Fitzgibbons again in the quarters after the 2012 WCT runner-up won her Round 4 match-up with Lakey Peterson (USA) to reach the last eight.
Source: Life's a Beach Communications
Author: The Editors
Tags: South Africa, Jordy Smith, Travis Logie, Bianca Buitendag