Sykes & McGillivray advance, Maree & Lightfoot into Repecharge Rounds
The South African challenge for honours at the INS ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica got off to a mixed start yesterday when two members of the team advanced directly to the next round of the Main Event and the other two were relegated to the grueling Repecharge rounds.
Organisers completed all 24 heats of Men’s Round 1 in rippable one metre waves at Jaco Beach with South Africa getting off to a good start when Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) posted one of the top 10 heat totals of the day’s action – 13.34 out of 20 – to win his opening encounter.
Including an excellent 8.27 (the day’s seventh highest score for a single ride) in his tally, Sykes finished just ahead of Francisco Bellorin (VEN) as the pair banished third and fourth placed Jeames Young from perennial contenders Australia and WSG veteran Matt-Lewis Hewitt (NZL) to the Repecharge stream.
Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) was next up but, despite looking in good form, the replacement in the team for an injured Michael February was unable to find the waves that offered high scoring potential and finished fourth in a heat won by 2014 ISA champion Leandro Usuna (ARG).
Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) joined Maree in the Repecharge stream when he was narrowly pipped for second place in a closely contested, high scoring heat where all four competitors were separated by less than two points.
Fellow Jeffreys Bay resident Matt McGillivray ensured that the team finished the day in good spirits. Using his trademark aerial skills, McGillivray completed a high flying air-reverse that earned an excellent 8.60 from the judges, the third highest score of the day, to grab second place and advance to Round 2 of the Main event.
While competitors in the Repecharge stream can still make their way to the final of their division, they need to compete in almost twice as many heats as those in the Main event stream and cannot afford to finish outside of the top two in any subsequent heat.
Costa Rica, the defending team champions and event hosts, along with USA and the powerful French team saw all four of their men advance directly into Round 2 of the Main event on Day 1. All of the other 23 teams in the event have at least one team member facing the cutthroat Repecharge rounds.
All the action from the INS ISA World Surfing Games, including news, results, video footage, images and LIVE webcasts, can be found athttp://isaworlds.com/wsg/2016/en/ with results and news on http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za/ins-isa-world-surfing-games-2016/