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February to the fore for SA in Peru

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SA Surfing Team captain Michael February led from the front on day two of the Claro ISA 50th Anniversary World Surfing Games in Peru on Sunday when he posted 16.13 points out of 20, the highest two-wave heat total of the day, in winning his Round 2 match-up.
February opened his account by earning a solid 7.0 points in the slightly smaller but still overhead glassy waves and then added an excellent 9.13 for a long ride that he punctuated with high-risk vertical manoeuvres and ended with an aerial punt.
‘I’m really happy, I had a very good heat. Yesterday was a bit slow, but I could put a good heat together today,’ said a relieved Michael February. ‘The waves are really fun, I just want to surf as best as I can and aim to get some good scores. My highest wave was a very good and long wall. There are not many like that, so I’m happy to get that one and get a good score. Tomorrow I want to be on the beach supporting everyone on my team and I hope that everyone goes well.’
February advanced to Round Three of the Men’s Qualifying stream where he was later joined by teammate Casey Grant. Grant racked up an impressive 14.50 heat tally with an 8.0 and a 6.50 while relegating 2011 ISA Gold medalist Santiago Muniz (ARG) to a distant runner-up spot.
However, the challenge of defending the team title won at the ISA Games in Panama last year was not all plain sailing for South Africa as David Brand and David van Zyl both placed third in their respective Round Two heats and dropped into the tightly contested Repercharge rounds.
Brand needed a ride of just 4.81 to claim second place and remain the Qualifying stream when the siren sounded to end his Round 2 clash, while Van Zyl needed a more substantial 6.88 after having the points on one of his rides halved by an interference penalty.
While the pair remain in contention to reach the final, they will have to battle through an additional four rounds and will be eliminated from the event if they finish outside the top two in any of their future heats.
Hosts Peru have revelled in the epic conditions for the opening two days of competition and have all four of their men’s team still in the Qualifying stream while all the other 21 national teams at the event have had at least one of their team in the Repercharge Rounds.
South Africa’s Tanika Hoffman (Hout Bay) and Faye Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth) will start their campaigns for team and individual honours at the event when Round 1 of the Women’s event takes to the surf on day three.

Picture: ISA/Tweddle


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