Women's top seed Zoe McDougall (HAW) produced a stellar performance on Day 2 of the Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lamberts Bay on Saturday while men's top seed Beyrick De Vries (Umhlanga) was eliminated from the event he won last year.
Yo-Yo's continued to deliver great surf throughout day and despite the onshore wind increasing during the day while the swell dropped marginally to the 1 to 1.5 metre range, the final heat of the day still saw scores in the excellent range.
McDougall, currently ranked No. 12 on the women's QS leaderboard, recorded the highest score of the day, 9.17 out of the 10, in her first heat at the event. Adding a 6.0, the Hawaiian junior left the experienced Tanika Hoffman (Sea Point) requiring a near perfect 9.67 as they both advanced to the semifinals.
Sophia Fulton (AUS) and Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) also scored convincing quarterfinal heat wins while Jeffreys Bay surfers Kirsty McGillivray and Emma Smith fought out a seesaw clash that eventually went McGillivray's way to set up a talent packed final eight who will battle for the title on Sunday.
De Vries had dominated all of his heats until his Round of 16 clash where he uncharacteristically spent most of the 20 minute match-up struggling to find a backup for his solid opening ride. Needing just 2.01 to advance to the last eight, De Vries was eliminated with just one ride on his score-line.
Renan Peres (BRA) and last year's junior men's champion Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) took advantage of De Vries' demise to progress from the low-scoring heat. They will be joined in the last eight by David Van Zyl (Glenashley), second seed Michael February (Kommetjie) and the inform Shane Sykes (Salt Rock), all of whom ran out comfortable winners..
Mateus Herdy (BRA), whose impressive aerial repertoire has been well rewarded by the judges, and New Zealander Daniel Farr advanced through both their men's and junior men's heats today and will be doing double-duty on the final day.
The junior men's quarterfinals see the top eight seeds enter the fray for the first time. They will be up against three South Africans in Aya Gericke (Wilderness), Llandudno standout Luke Slijpen and perennial finalist Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie), and five international campaigners in Herdy and Farr along with Takuto Ohta (JAP), Jose Gundesen (ARG) and Joao Chianca (BRA).
The Vans Surf Pro Classic crowns champions in the men's, women's and junior men's events on Sunday. Organisers expect great conditions for a start at 8am local time.
Lamberts Bay is in the drought affected Western Cape and the drinking water for the event officials and competitors has been supplied by local bottler Cedarberg Aqua, who are the water sponsors for the Springbok and Blitzbok teams.
The Vans Surf Pro Classic is proudly supported by Zigzag Surfing Magazine, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.