Day 6 has ended an finalists for most rounds are now known (see below). Still to be decided is the Juniors and New Age divisions. Weather and surf-wise it has been same-again with the paddle out getting tough on the on-shores with the outgoing tide. Tomorrow will be the Open Round 7 (the first of the man on man heats), Junior and New-Age semi-finals, Open top 8 rounds and the Tag-Team event.
Day 6 has begun with similar conditions to the last few, starting out with 3ft, low tide, light-glassy conditions getting bigger (5ft) and loosing some shape with the incoming tide. The bigger waves have a tendancy to close out so wave selection is becoming critical.
Non-open rounds are being held today with some good personal performances coming from the likes of Jackie Dillon, Steve Gibbs, Mel Hardy, Heather Seaton, Col Sugars and Eric Tocock along with others - seeing them through to later rounds in their various divisions (Veterans, Grand Masters, Womens).
Stay tuned for further updates later in the day.
Conditions have worsened this afternoon with onshore winds breaking the surf up and making the arena more challenging. Surprising some the organizers have continued with the Open rounds. Dramas in the water include Rees Duncan dislocating a shoulder, getting it reset and continuing on surfing with the shoulder taped up (and still making it through to the top 16). In another heat, Blair Moore and Tyler Lausten were in a dead heat for first with only seconds to go when Lionel Angibaud caught a wave and came through to take the heat out. Tyler and Blair were forced into a countback with Blair conceding to Tyler.
Scores have been low, anything above 5.5 has been tough to achieve in the later rounds.
DAY 4 Conclusion
Yesterday saw the Veterans, Grand Masters and Junior Rounds finish off the day in wind affected conditions with a strong pulse occurring in the swell.
The day came to an early close as conditions were not improving with an uneven swell and onshore winds.
Steve Gibbs of NZ asserted his presence in the Grand Masters as defending world champ to comfortably win his heat from seasoned Australians Bill Campbell and Mal Settree (both from Sunshine Coast in Queensland). The remaining Grand Masters fought it out in tough conditions which saw wave selection as the most critical choice in their advancement. Jackie Dillon was leading her heat against three guys until the final seconds when both Steve Cleary of Australia and Kirk Taylor of the USA outscored her by the narrowest of margins.
The Masters opened the day on a single bank this morning. Clean mid tide conditions prevailed with set ranging from 3-4 foot again. Duals banks could not be run with the Seniors division due to the ever changing wave conditions due to the ever moving tide.
The Master Semi finalists saw 2007 Masters division finalist Brett Cronin convincingly win his heat. Lance Milnes finished a close second and both surfers head to the semi final. Other Semi finalists are the evergreen Graham Lancaster joined by fellow Australian, Eric Massey and Brian Howard from NZ.
The hottest heats of the contest so far were witnessed in the Seniors division this morning too...
Smaller conditions greeted competitors today with set waves reaching only 3ft.
Wave selection has been critical. The day started with sunny weather and clean surf conditions for most of the contest until the mid afternoon.
The top 16 Open Qualifiers have been determined with most of the fancied surfers progressing as expected to meet the Main Round seeds.
A notable exception from this group was young South African gun Andre Burger (2006 Open finalist) who managed only a 3rd place in his heat. Burger was unable to surpass the score achieved by the 2nd placed surfer Virgil Humbert despite an interference call going against Humbert. The heat was won by seasoned Australian Master, Mark Spencer.