Mundaka, one of the world’s best lefthand surf breaks, redeemed itself on Thursday. The at-times fickle river-mouth produced enough one to 1.5 metre waves to host 20 heats of ASP World Tour action in just seven hours, thanks to the ASP Dual Heat format which allows for overlapping heats.
South Africa’s Royden Bryson (East London) was the day’s biggest victor, beating renowned barrel-rider Damien Hobgood (US) 19.37 to 17.26 after out tube-riding him.
“I’m just super stoked,” Bryson said. “You sit here all day and wonder if you are going to get a chance to surf out there when the waves are good and the tide is right and then in my heat with Damien everything came together. We both got really good waves, I think I was just fortunate to pick the better ones.”
Bryson earned the first perfect 10 point score of his career in the heat – just moments after posting a 9.73 – leaving Hobgood comboed despite the 8.83 and 8.43 in the Floridian’s score line.
“Never mind the World Tour, that was my first perfect 10 even in a provincial contest,” Bryson said. “It’s a bit of a blur but I just remember taking off and pulling into the first section and watching the whole wave kind of slow up like it was standing still. I just kept going and going and then I think I did a turn and got another little barrel.”
The second-year surfer currently sits 34th on the ratings – only the top 27 surfers re-qualify at year’s end. Bryson has yet to make it out of Round 3 this year and is not backing up his ASP World Tour campaign on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). “Right now, I’m on the bubble so I just want to make a couple heats,” Bryson said.
“I haven’t had the best of years so I’m just trying to re-qualify and make sure I’m doing this next year.”
South African Jordy Smith (Durban) also shone, scoring the second highest heat total of the event behind Bryson. Smith, who finished third in his Round 1 heat yesterday, avoided early elimination by beating fellow rookie Jay Thompson (AUS) in Round 2.
“I’ve been messing up in all of the first heats this year and I’m stoked to make it to the next round,” Smith said. “Hopefully the surf will stay like this and we have some great waves. I caught about 14 waves in that heat and luckily I caught some fun ones and got some good scores.”
In contrast to Bryson and Smith’s Round 2 success, fellow South Africans Travis Logie (Durban) and Ricky Basnett (Bluff) were both eliminated on Thursday. Sitting 39th and 45th on the ratings respectively, and sans back-up results on the WQS, it is unlikely either one will be on the ASP World Tour in 2009.