Miyazaki, Japan, September 12, 2019 – The three men in the Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African Surfing team suffered mixed fortunes on Day 6 of the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans in Japan today (Thursday).
Jordy Smith (Durban), Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) and Michael February (Kommetjie) were all surprisingly relegated to the cutthroat Repercharge Rounds when they finished outside the top two in their respective Main Event Round 2 heats early in the day.
The trio then confidently progressed from their next heats to keep their medal hopes and potential qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games alive.
Smith slipped to third place behind heat winner Peter Devries (Canada) and current world No. 2 Filipe Toledo (Brazil) in his opening match-up, but redeemed himself with a solid second place result behind defending ISA Men’s champion Santiago Muniz (Argentina). The pair finished ahead of Julian Wilson (Australia) who was eliminated from the event in a major upset.
After finishing third in his morning heat, de Vries bounced back with vengeance in his Repercharge clash by delivering three great rides, the best two of which totaled 15.94 out of 20, one of the top 5 heat totals of the day’s action.
February also opened his account with a third place finish, behind Gabriel Medina (Brazil) and Israel Barona (Ecuador), but an excellent 8.03 and a backup score of 6.93 gave the lanky Capetonian a solid heat win over 2017 ISA champion Jhony Corzo (Mexico) and a berth in the next round.
Upsets continued throughout the day with Australia dealt a major blow in the chase for the team title when Owen Wright joined Julian Wilson on the sidelines after suffering two defeats on the day. Other favourites who find themselves in the Repercharge rounds include Jeremy Flores and Michel Bourez (both France), the USA’s Conner Coffin and New Zealander Ricardo Christie.
The provisional standings after six days see Brazil out front followed by Peru and the USA, with South Africa currently in fourth position, Spain fifth and host nation Japan, last year’s team Gold Medallists, back in sixth place.
The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans is streamed live from September 7-15 on www.isasurf.org starting at approximately 1 am SA Time daily.
The tentative schedule for the remainder of the competition is as follows:
Friday and Saturday, Sep 13-14
- Open Men competition continues
- Finals Open Men
- Closing Ceremony