With a packed schedule Tuesday was always going to be an interesting day in the water but with Monday night holding a special place in USSA surfing lore, USSA Tuesdays are always eagerly anticipated. The traditional initiation ceremony for first time USSA competitors historically takes place on Monday night. So it was no surprise then that the crowd who filtered down to the pier for the nine am meeting was looking a little worse for wear. For the senior team members the cure was simple a surf and a rehydration drink. But for the newbies, they would have to survive the remainder of the event sporting a motley assortment of hairstyles, designed to maximise the humiliation for the wearer.
Young Logan Eales and Kurt Dreyer in particular suffered under the barber’s blades, with both sporting styles of questionable aesthetic appeal. Though to his credit Logan didn’t let the look stop him, as he still put in some spade work with Maties surfer and Miss Zag competitor, Sarah Havard.
In the water the day kicked off with the men’s round three heats and once again Clinton Gravett, Josh Salie, Shawn Dennis and Philip Visagie were impressive. As with the previous day the conditions improved as the tide pushed. Though the swell was smaller the waves were wraping into the bay and producing some ripable sections and a punchy bowl at the feet of the judges on the pier.
Following the men’s round three the ladies event got under-way with Stellenbosch’s Sarah Havard winning the first heat. Kerry Hodkinson and defending champion Sarah Nicholson, both from UCT won their heats too but the talking point of the round was Lisa Mace’s cunning gamesmanship. With the formidable Tammy Lee Smith earning a walk-through in round one due to a no show by a Rhodes surfer, the round three schedule had Tammy and Sarah Nicholson in the same heat. Lisa surfed well within herself to avoid winning her heat ending up in the heat of death with Lee Smith and Nicholson.
Following the ladies first round the men were back in the water for round four. This time though Clinton Gravett’s unbeaten march to the final was put to an end. UCT’s Philip Visagie took Gravett down a peg forcing him into second in heat one of round four. Visagie produced arguably the wave of the day, as he landed a critical floater before cracking a succession of massive turns to surf his way into the quarter finals.
Joining Visagie in the quarters are: Simon Koen (NMMU), Logan Eales (UCT), Josh Salie (UCT), Josh Brodie (CPUT), Dane Cox (NMMU), Cyle Myers (UCT), Shawn Dennis (VC), Scott Lafevre (VC), Brad Beck (NMMU) and Clinton Gravett (NMMU).
As Wednesday is the final day of the event the remaining rounds must be surfed and the day is scheduled for an eight thirty start with the ladies third round to be followed by the men’s quarterfinals. The speculation is still rife amongst the supporters on the point as to who is the clear favourite to lift the men’s title in 2011.