Timmy Reyes, 31, (USA) etched his name into the history books by taking out the biggest victory of his career, defeating Australian Matt Wilkinson, 25, (AUS) in six-to-eight foot (1.5- 2 meter) surf at the ASP Prime-rated Mr Price Pro Ballito on Sunday July 6, 2015.
A former World Championship Tour (WCT) campaigner turned big-wave free-surfer, Reyes opened his account with a 7.17 (out of a possible ten points) for an early lead off his powerful performance on a reeling right-hander. While Wilkinson answered back with an impressive 9.2 score, Reyes maintained his composure and, in accordance with a dream he’d had, sat wide to find a wave under Wilkinson’s priority, scoring an 8.27 to secure his victory over the Australian.
“This is definitely the biggest win I have ever had in my life,“ said an emotional Reyes. “I knew Matt would get a 9 and he did but I had a dream a few days ago that I should just sit wide, be patient, and the wave would come to me. Almost every heat I had, the same thing happened and that’s what happened on my 8.25 in the Final.”
Just two weeks back in the water after a ten-week shoulder injury, Reyes's razor sharp performance saw him pocket $40 000 and 6500 rankings points. His victory rocketing him from 131 on the Qualification Series (QS) rankings to a remarkable no. 5 in the world, opening the door for a chance to re-qualify for the elite ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) in 2015.
“I’m just going to take it one contest at a time, and one heat at a time and see what happens,” Reyes said. “It’s been a special day for me. Ballito came alive and I’ve had amazing support from the locals and my friend Sid who gave me a home away from home this week.”
Wilkinson, current no. 33 on the WCT, was a standout performer netting some of the highest scoring waves of the competition including, a 9.90 in the Semifinal and a 9.2 in the Final. Failing to find a second high scoring ride in the Final, Wilkinson was forced to settle for a second place finish.
“It’s been an unreal event, I’ve had so much fun here and the waves have been amazing,” Wilkinson said. “I got that 9.2 under Timmy’s priority, and I thought I had it until I let him take a wave under my priority and he got that 8.2 score. I’m really stoked to come second but obviously I’m pretty disappointed at not winning.”
Tiago Pires, 33, (PRT) current no. 25 on the WCT and Adam Melling, 29, (AUS) current no. 21 on the WCT, finished in equal third place respectively.
Pires stuck to his game plan in his Semifinal decider against Reyes but with high tide conditions providing few opportunities, Pires found himself with his back against the wall and was narrowly eliminated with 11.26 to Reyes’s 11.50 (both out of 20.00).
“It was a very weird heat for waves, and I had a strategy that didn’t really pay off,” Pires said. "It’s always good to come here and make a few heats and build up a bit of momentum. I’m not really looking for a qualification on the QS but it’s a pity I didn’t make the final. It’s always big for our careers to win such a prestigious event here in South Africa and one of the longest running ones in the world.”
Melling’s strategy also did not pay off in his Semifinal against Wilkinson. While Wilkinson kept busy, Melling chose to be patient and soon found himself in a combination situation, needing an excellent scoring ride to advance.
“I’m pretty happy with this result and I’m stoked for ‘Wilko’, he’s been surfing amazingly and I’m glad there’s an Aussie in the Final,” Melling said. “Wilko built a lot of momentum in that heat and unfortunately I was just caught sitting around waiting for something that never came.”
Finishing in equal fifth place were Filipe Toledo (BRA), Dillon Perillo (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA) and Jack Freestone (AUS) who were eliminated in the Quarterfinals.
The Mr Price Pro Ballito ran through six action packed days of competition and included some of the best aerial performances seen on the ‘QS this season, including a pair of perfect-10 point rides from Brasil’s Filipe Toledo.
For more information visit www.mrpricepro.com.
Mr Price Pro Ballito Final Result:
Tim Reyes (USA) 15.44 def Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.70
Mr Price Pro Ballito Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Timmy Reyes (USA) 11.50 def Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.26
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.57 def Adam Melling (AUS) 10.50
Mr Price Pro Ballito Quarterfinal Results
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.00 def Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.60
Heat 2: Tim Reyes (USA) 11.43 def Dillon Perillo (USA) 9.16
Heat 3: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.17 def Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.74
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.20 def Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.90
The final eight surfers have been decided after a crucial day of competition at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Mr Price Pro Ballito on Friday July 4, 2014.
Filipe Toledo (BRA),19, current no. 16 on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) put on yet another show-stopping aerial performance, earning his second Perfect-10 point ride of the event, during the Round of 16.
After breaking his ‘magic’ board on the first wave of the heat, Toledo appeared to be on the back foot against former ASP World Junior Campion Caio Ibelli (BRA) but fought back hard, securing the lead off an excellent 9.00, followed by his perfect score, to advance into the Quarterfinals.
“I don’t have words to describe what I am feeling,” Toledo said. “I broke that board but I think God helped me to get my backup board and it worked out much better.”
“Caio is a great competitor and it is sad to see him out of the event but I’m feeling confident and looking forward to the next round.”
With so much at stake, competition came down to the wire and many heats were decided on a surfer’s final wave with scores separated by less than a point.
In a nail-biting decider, two-time ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (AUS) got the better of his American opponent Michael Dunphy (USA), when the pair squared off in the Round of 16.
With the lead exchanging hands numerous times Dunphy was defeated in the final seconds when Freestone blasted his way back into first position with a 7.67, winning the heat by just 15.60 to Dunphy’s 15.10 (both out of 20.00).
“I’m sick of being patient and waiting until right at the end, it’s so scary I’m going to lose all my hair,” Freestone said. “That was such a close heat with such good waves, Dunphy had two solid scores and I knew all I needed was two solid turns and luckily it went my way.”
Timmy Reyes (USA) hit his stride, showing plenty of rhythm with clean, forehand turns that were in stark contrast to his Brazilian opponent Krystian Kymerson’s aerial antics. Reyes netted a pair of 7.93 and 7.50 scores to defeat the Brazilian and advance into the Quarterfinals.
“This wave is tricky, you see guys catching not the best waves but going huge in the air and its more of gamble to wait for the better waves and do better turns,” Reyes said. “I don’t do many events, so I’ve got to make them count and this one counts.”
An equally tense match-up saw world no. 21 Adam Melling (AUS) take on world no. 28 Jeremy Flores (FRA), the power and variety in Melling’s performance securing him the win with 8.50 and 7.33 scores.
Australian Matt Wilkinson pulled out his best performance yet to best good friend and fellow WCT campaigner Adrian Buchan (AUS) in the day’s battle of the goofy-footers.
Exuding flair and showmanship Matt Wilkinson was able to overcome Buchan with a pair of 7-point rides.
“It’s kind of annoying coming up against a good friend so early in the competition,” Wilkinson said. “If that had been a final, it would have been amazing. Adrian is one of my favourite surfers to watch, so to beat him feels pretty good.”
Another inspired performance came from Dillon Perillo (AUS) currently no. 81 on the QS, who turned on the heat against aerial maestro Torrey Meister (HAW). Perrillo’s critical surfing earned him a near perfect 9.00 and ultimately, his place in the quarterfinals.
Portuguese surfer Tiago Pires (PRT) surfed a smart heat to take the win over Davey Cathels (AUS). Pires opened with a 7.17 and chipped away to edge out Cathels who couldn’t find his rhythm in the challenging lineup.
“It was a tough heat and the waves didn’t co-operate,” Pires said. “I started well and Davey was chasing the whole time, there weren’t too many opportunities out there so I was just lucky.”
Also advancing into the Quarterfinals was Jadson Andre (AUS) who used a studious approach to overcome the powerful Tom Whittaker (AUS).
“I watched Tom’s earlier heat and I knew when the wind came up, I’d have the advantage against him,” Andre said. “I know every surfer and how they approach their heats and I knew he was going to be patient, so I had to stay busy and I’m stoked it worked out and I am into the Quarterfinals.”
The Mr Price Pro Ballito continues tomorrow, Saturday July 5, 2014. The call will be made at 09:00 for a possible 09:15 start (local time).
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 16 Results
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.84 def Dave Cathels (AUS) 10.50
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.00 def Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.94
Heat 3: Dillon Perillo (USA) 14.17 def Torrey Meister (HAW) 12.67
Heat 4: Timmy Reyes (USA) 15.43 def Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 14.26
Heat 5: Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.17 def Tom Whittaker (AUS) 8.17
Heat 6: Adam Melling (AUS) 15.83 def Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.03
Heat 7: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.86 def Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.17
Heat 8: Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.60 def Michael Dunphy (AUS) 15.10
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 24 Results
Heat 5: Tom Whittaker (AUS) 15.84 def Marlon Lipke (PRT) 14.53
Heat 6: Adam Melling (AUS) 13.10 def Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.90
Heat 7: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 18.10 def Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 14.33
Heat 8: Michael Dunphy (USA) DNS David Do Carmo (BRA)
NMMU team captain Scott Lenton gives us the wrap on the recent SA Student Champs:
"The USSA Championships of Surfing, or SAU’s (South African Universities) recently took place from 24th to the 27th of June 2014 in Victoria Bay. One of the coastlines premiere right hand point breaks, everyone was amped to get some reeling rights with only 2 or 3 other guys out.
NMMU are fortunate enough to be sponsored by Billabong South Africa, and this year the men’s team consisted of: Jean du Plessis, Josh Saunders, Dane van Greunen, Scott Lenton, Dane Cox, Simon Paton, Merrick Fairall and Casey Beveridge. The two girls Margot Riley and Kaamilah Adam rounded off a strong NMMU team.
Top Individual results (men’s):
1st Jean du Plessis
7th Dane van Greunen
9th Scott Lenton
All our male surfers did very well to make it into round 3. Unfortunately our top seed Josh Saunders strained his hamstring in his round 1 heat with an air drop floater into the flats.
We were all really bummed losing such a good surfer right in the beginning of the event, but luckily the guys rallied together with the goofy-footers dominating on their backhands.
Jean du Plessis eventually taking the SAU’s title (Brad Beck being the previous NMMU winner), with some precise backhand surfing in the final in some solid surf on the final day. His run throughout the contest was calculated, just doing what he needed to get through heats. In the final however he showed everyone his backhand prowess with good top to bottom surfing and some claims similar to that of Gabriel Medina.
Margot and Kaamilah also did really well by both advancing to round 3.
NMMU retained the men’s division and top individual men’s result: two very prestigious trophies. As well as bragging rights until 2015."
By Scott Lenton
Photo's Margot Reilly & Casey Beveridge
Competition intensified on day four of the ASP Prime-rated Mr Price Pro Ballito as the surfing moved into man-on-man competition that saw upsets galore on Thursday July 2, 2014.
The Mr Price Pro is the biggest Qualification Series event in Africa boasting crucial ratings towards surfers’ qualification hopes for the 2015 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT).
Four heats of the Men’s No-Loser Round of 24 were completed, followed by the first four heats of the Round of 24 (elimination round), leaving just 20 surfers remaining out of the initial 96.
Two times ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (AUS) put on another progressive performance, his aerial prowess earning him a pair of excellent 8.67 and 8.17 (both out of ten) scores for the highest heat total of the day a 16.84 (out of a possible 20.00).
“The waves are similar to yesterday so I went out there with the same game plan,” Freestone said. “This event is super important for my quest to qualify and I’m riding a magic board which I’m hoping will take me all the way.”
Dillon Perillo (USA) currently rated 81st on the Qualification Series, caused a massive upset by eliminating the number two surfer on the Qualification Series, Matt Banting (AUS) .
After a slow start to the season, Perillo advanced into the Round of 16 as the day’s standout performer.
“It’s definitely my best result of the season,” Perillo said. “I’ve never made a heat in a Prime, so it feels good to make three of them.”
“Everyone has been doing big airs and I’ve just been doing snaps, floaters and cut backs and I’m not sure if it’s perseverance, luck or if I’ve just been on the better side of the draw.”
ASP World No. 25 Tiago Pires (PRT) looked sharper than ever in one of the day’s biggest match up’s, taking on former WCT campaigner Heitor Alves (BRA).
Pires showed power and control through his maneuvers, turning average looking waves into solid scoring 7.17 and 7.33 rides, edging out his opponent by the narrowest of margins to advance into the Round of 16.
“Alves is a dangerous competitor,” Pires said. “He’s very fast and very precise and I was scared at the end there but luckily the waves were on my side.”
Former World Junior Champion Caio Ibelli (BRA), proved the events ultimate journeyman, after surfing the first heat of almost every round Ibelli’s last minute aerial heroics against Tomas Hermes (BRA), secured his place into the next round.
“I was really struggling out there and then I got that six,” Ibelli said. “This is the second time I’ve tried this board and it feels good and weird at the same time. I’m happy I got the last wave and got the score."
Former WCT campaigner Timmy Reyes (USA) took yet another magnificent heat win, this time over Portugal’s Frederico Morais who was narrowly eliminated from this year’s event.
Also advancing out of the No-Losers Round of 24 this morning were Jadson Andre (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS) and Jeremy Flores (FRA).
The Mr Price Pro Ballito will continue tomorrow with the possibility of running the remaining four heats of the Round of 24, followed by the Round of 16. The call will be made at 07:00 am.
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.50 def Heitor Alves (BRA) 13.16
Heat 2:Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.17 def 13.10 Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.10
Heat 3: Dillon Perillo (USA) 16:00 def Matt Banting (AUS) 15.00
Heat 4: Tim Reyes (USA) 11.43 def Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.56
Mr Price Pro Ballito No- Loser Round of 24 Results
Heat 5: Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.26; Marlon Lipke (PRT) 10.94; Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.83
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.67; Adam Melling (AUS) 11.53; Tom Whittaker (AUS) 4.36
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.50; Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 11.83; David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 8: Jack Freestone (AUS) 16.84; Michael Dunphy (USA) 11.24; Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.60
Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal (Tuesday, July 1 2014) – ASP World No. 16 Filipe Toledo (BRA) brought the best of elite, new-school surfing to the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Prime rated Mr Price Pro Ballito, putting on one of the best aerial performances of the year, during the Round of 48 on Tuesday July 1, 2014.
An increase in swell size to 1.5 meters, combined with a light onshore breeze at Willard’s Beach, provided the ideal canvas for the Brazilian talent to post the event’s first Perfect 10-point ride. Toledo landed a huge, full- rotation aerial reverse, leaving both the crowd and his fellow competitors, speechless.
With an appetite for perfection, Toledo discarded an array of excellent scores, completing his performance with a 9.83 nose-pick aerial to advance into the Round of 24 with the highest heat total of this year’s competition, a near perfect 19.83 (out of a possible 10.00).
“The conditions were pretty challenging with a lot of bump but these are the perfect conditions for airs,” Toledo said. “I saw Yadin Nicol’s huge 9.5 aerial this morning and I thought, if I can land a big one like that, I can get a ten.”
Yadin Nicol set the ball rolling for a day of aerial surfing, landing a slob grab aerial maneuver, to score a 9.5 during the Round of 96.
Threading through a throaty barrel with a smooth transition into two vertical hacks, Nicol was also rewarded with a further 9.6 and with the day’s second highest heat total, a 19.10 (out of a possible 20.00).
“I was just lucky on the 9.5, it had a big dumpy section at the end and the wind held me up for a bit longer than expected,” Nicol said. “It was definitely tricky out there and it’s easy to get out of rhythm, the other guys were just unlucky.”
Former WCT surfer Heitor Alves (BRA) kept his dream of qualifying for the elite World Championship Tour alive, with a last minute victory with his near perfect 9.5 ride.
Alves, currently rated 14 on the QS, advanced into the Round of 24 ahead of fellow advancing surfer Tiago Pires (PRT), the pair eliminating South African’s Travis Logie and David Van Zyl from the event.
“Thanks God for that wave,” Alves said. “I made that heat off my last wave and I’m so happy because I’m looking for a result to qualify for next year.”
Monday’s standouts Brazilians Caio Ibelli and Tomas Hermes continued their great form to advance into the Round of 24. Ibelli secured an early lead with his 9.00 and 7.33 scores, while Hermes came from behind landing an aggressive air reverse to bump Aritz Aranburu (ESP) from second down to third, despite the Spaniard’s near perfect 9.43 score.
“It was really fun and it feels good to make it through another round,” Ibelli said. “I have been watching the waves all day and when I saw who I was up against, I knew it would be a high scoring heat.”
The Australians also looked razor sharp during the Round of 96. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) produced a critical combination of backhand turns to take the win with excellent 7.60 and 8.10 scores ahead of fellow advancing surfer Former ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone. Freestone jumped from third into second in the dying seconds, landing a controlled aerial reverse for an 8.87 score, knocking Kiron Jabour (HAW) down into third.
“It’s been a slow start to the year for me, so a big result here is good for points and it would be a confidence booster going into the World Championship Tour event in J-Bay,” Wilkinson said. “I hope I can keep going and find myself in a final.'
Ryan Callinan proved the form surfer of his Round of 48 nail-biter, his patience paying off when he stroked into two of the best waves of the heat, advancing alongside a hungry Mitch Coleborn (AUS), while Conner Coffin (USA) was eliminated in third.
Surfing with the precision of a sage WCT performer Adrian Buchan combo’d the field, with his flawless backhand attack to take the win with a 15.00 heat total over Moroccan Surfer Ramzi Boukhiam. The pair eliminated former Mr Price Pro Champion Glen Hall (IRL).
The day’s biggest upset saw top seed and former Mr Price Pro Champion Jordy Smith (ZAF) eliminated from the competition in the Round of 24.
Smith suffered an uncharacteristically slow start, failing to post more than a 3.7 until the final minute. Smith came back with a full-rotation aerial reverse, scoring a remarkable 9.20, just not enough to take him out of the combination situation set by Timmy Reyes (USA) and Torrey Meister (HAW) who, advanced in first and second respectively.
It was a sad day for the South African contingent with the remaining fives surfers eliminated. Dylan Lightfoot and Slade Prestwich were eliminated in the Round of 96, while Logie, Van Zyl and Smith faltered in the Round of 48.
The remaining eight heats of the Round of 96 were completed followed by Heats 1-7 of the Round of 48 before competition was called off due to adverse conditions.
The next call will be at 07:00 for a possible 07:30 start with Heat 9 of the Round of 48 onWednesday July 2, 2014.
The Mr Price Pro Ballito will be held from Monday June 30 to Sunday July 6 2014 and will be webcast LIVE via www.mrpricepro.com.
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 96 Results:
Heat 17: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.50; Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 9.40; Nathan Hedge (AUS) 9.20; Brian Toth (PRI) 7.60
Heat 18: Dion Atkinson (AUS);Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.87; Cooper Chapman (AUS); Michael Dunphy (USA)
Heat 19: Marco Fernandez (BRA) 14.16; Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.76; Brett Simpson (USA); 13.20; Gillette Gavin (HAW) 13.07
Heat 20: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.00; Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 8.64; Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 8.30; Glenn Hall (AUS) 7.10
Heat 21: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.70; Jack Freestone (AUS) 14.00; Kiron Jabour (HAW) 14.00; Hodeo Collazo (EUK) 6.84
Heat 22: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 19.10; Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 16.40; Vincente Romero (ESP) 12.33; Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.43
Heat 23: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.24; Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 14.37; Conner Coffin (USA) 13.87; Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 10.66
Heat 24: David do Carmo (BRA) 13.27; Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.80; Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 12.00; CJ Hobgood (USA);
Mr Price Pro Ballito Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 16.33; Tomas Hermes (BRA) 15.27; Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 14.26; Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 9.60
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.83; Tiago Pires (PRT) 15.23; Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.74; Nic Von Rupp (PRT) 9.44
Heat 3: Heitor Alves (BRA) 16.67; Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.37; David Van Zyl (ZAF) 11.23; Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.50
Heat 4: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.33; Dillon Perillo (USA) 10.66; Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.16; Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 7.94
Heat 5: Matt Banting (AUS) 13.63; Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 13.07; Billy Stairmand (NZ) 12.30; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.33
Heat 6: Tim Reyes (USA) 14.27; Torrey Meister (HAW) 13.94; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.97; Thomas Woods (AUS) 12.43
Heat 7: Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.76; Tom Whittaker (AUS)12.24; Stu Kennedy (AUS) 12.10; Joan Duru (FRA) 11.87
Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.53; Marlon Lipke (PRT) 13.20; Kai Otton (AUS) 13.13; Granger Larsen (HAW) 11.43