The South African surfing team continued to post impressive performances on Day 2 of the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games in Panama when all six team members advanced to the next round in their respective qualifying streams and captain Shaun Joubert produced the highest scoring single ride of the Men’s event to date.
Making excellent use of the morning’s clean but tricky head-high conditions at Santa Catalina, Joubert briefly took an early lead in his Round 2 match-up with a 5.83 before being overtaken by Mexico’s Adrian Rodriguez who negotiated his way past the fast breaking third section of the wave to earn an 8.50.
Realising the difficulty of getting long rides, Joubert dropped into his next wave and blasted a vertical off-the-lip manoeuvre, carved a roundhouse cutback and then launched a high-flying air reverse that he landed cleanly to get a massive 9.87 from the judges, two of whom rewarded him with a perfect 10 point score.
Joubert couldn’t improve on his second highest score of 5.83 and was eventually overtaken by the smooth surfing Mexican who added a 7.50 to his total in the dying seconds of the 20 minute heat, but both safely progressed to Round 3 of the Men’s qualifying stream well ahead of their two opponents.
Earlier Mikey February set the standard for Team SA when he squeezed past Italian standout Frederico Pilurzu to record his second straight heat victory at the event with a narrow 10.16 vs. 10.10 result.
Kommetjie teammate Davey Brand then showed his superior heat management skills by holding onto second place after producing a pair of 6.33 point rides in his Round 2 encounter. Left trailing when Australian Thomas ‘Tiger’ Woods, who grew up and learned to surf in Kommetjie, opened his account with a sensational 9.57 point ride, Brand staved off the challenges of Luca Santamaria (ARG) and Michael Tudela (PER) to earn a berth in Round 3.
David van Zyl followed that up with his second heat victory, ending ahead of WQS campaigner and big-wave charger Gabriel Villaran (Peru) in a see-saw battle. Looking much more comfortable riding his own surfboard, which had been lost in transit on the long trip to Panama, van Zyl steadily accumulated a trio of mid-range scores before shredding a set wave for an 8.0 to take the lead from Villaran with just three minutes remaining.
After Joubert’s heroics and the onset of the customary midday onshore breeze, South Africa’s two women took the waves. Tanika Hoffman demonstrated the experience she gained by spending most of 2012 living in France and competing on the WQS when she comfortably maintained second place behind New Zealand’s Thandi Tipene in her first heat at the event,.
Faye Zoetmulder, like Hoffman a goofy-foot surfer (rides with right foot in front), then posted a similarly strong performance in her opening encounter. Despite the freshening onshore wind making the waves crumble, the 21 year-old from Cape St Francis managed to find a couple of runners on which she delivered a series of manoeuvres that earned her second place and progression to Round 2.
With all six team members remaining in the qualifying stream of the double elimination format, South Africa holds a psychological advantage over the other 23 nations at the event, all of whom have at least one competitor already in the cutthroat repercharge rounds, including defending team champions Australia and second seeds Brazil, both of whom have three members who will have to take the long and gruelling route to the finals.
Today’s action at the Reef ISA World Surfing Games will see the first competitors eliminated from the event when the Women’s repercharge Round 1 heats are run. Hoffman and Zoetmulder will contest their Women’s qualifying Round 2 heats while the SA men have the day off as none of them are in the Men’s repercharge rounds.
Reef ISA World Surfing Games (Santa Catalina, Panama)
Schedule for Day 3 (SA time and SA surfers in brackets)
3pm Women’s repercharge Round 1
3.40pm Women’s qualifying Round 2 (Tanika Hoffman Heat 2, Faye Zoetmulder H3)
5.40pm Men’s repercharge Round 1
All the action can be followed live via webcast at www.isawsg.com Each day’s webcast begins with the Morning Show at 2.40pm (SA time) followed by surfing action starting at 3pm.
The 2013 South African surfing team has been provided with kit by RVCA.
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is the recognized governing body for the sport in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA)
1. Shaun Joubert completed this spectacular air-reverse to post the Men’s highest single ride score of the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games in Panama on Monday.
2. Mikey February powers off the bottom of a hollow wave.
3. David van Zyl carves off the lip on his way to a second successive heat victory at the event
Photos: ISA / Rommel Gonzales