DURBAN, South Africa (Friday, 6 July, 2007) – East London surfers Roseanne Hodge and Nikita Robb emerged as the last standing South African surfers in the 5-Star Women’s World Qualifying Series Mr Price Pro, after advancing through the Round of 24 at New Pier, today.
Competing in small, messy conditions WQS No. 10 Nikita Robb employed a game of patience, snatching the heat win from World No. 4 Rebecaa Woods in the final minute, for a series of tight backhand snaps and a long floater.
“I'm very stoked to make it through, I'm just trying to do as best as I can and hopefully make a few more heats,” Robb said, advancing ahead of Woods, Tammy Lee Smith (Balitto) and Claudia Goncalves (Brazil).
World No. 12 Rosy Hodge, who was the highest placed South African at this event last year, finishing equal third, brought it home in the last heat of the day, to advance in second place behind heat winner Amee Donohoe (Australia). Hodge’s textbook manoeuvres earned her a 6.67 (out of 10.00) and a 5.05, while Donohoe advanced with a 6.17 and a 6.33.
“I feel really, really good and I think watching Nikita in the heat before inspired me. She's one of my best friends so watching her make it was really cool. It made me really happy and really stoked for my heat,” Hodge said.
World No. 4 Samantha Cornish (Australia) was the day’s undisputed standout, her diminutive form well suited to the small conditions. Cornish posted an excellent 8.50 and 7.50 to sail ahead of WQS No. 1 and top seed Jessi Miley Dyer (Aus), who finished in second.
“My goal here is really to make the final. I'm hoping to be in the top 5 by November, which will give me a lot of confidence going into Hawaii at the end of the year,” Cornish said, who despite nearly falling off the ASP World Tour at the end of last year, has performed remarkably well in 2007.
Reigning ISA World Champion Julia Christian (USA) stamped her dominance over former two time Mr Price Pro champion Serena Brooke (Aus) in Heat 4, the natural footer posting the second highest wave score of the day, a 15.00 (out of a possible 20.00) to win the heat.
Former Mr Price Pro Junior Champion Karina Petroni (USA) held the top spot for most of her Round of 48 heat, impressing the judges with vertical re-entries and a fins-free closeout manoeuvres, to earn a 6.33 and 7.33 defeating Sheridan Shields (Aus), Stacey Guy (Melkbosstrand) and Kaori Mayaguchi (Japan).
Former Mr Price Pro Champion Jacqueline Silva (Brazil) did well to emerge in 1st place ahead of World No. 8 Melanie Redman-Carr (Aus), former ASP World Tour campaigner Laurina McGrath (Aus) and World No. 12 Caroline Sarran (France).
The 5-Star WQS Women’s event culminates tomorrow with the Quarterfinals at 13h00, the Semifinals at 14h40 and the Finals 15h35.
Prize giving takes place at approximately 16h15 and will be broadcast live on SABC.
The Mr Price Pro forms part of the Durban Beach Festival and is being broadcast live on the webcast at www.mrpricepro.com.
WOMENS ROUND OF 48
Heat 1 Jacqueline Silva, BRA 13.50; Melanie Redman-Carr, AUS 10.00; Laurina McGrath, UAS 9.90; Caroline Sarran, FRA 8.80
Heat 2 Karina Petroni, USA 13.66; Sheridan Shields, AUS 9.60; Stacy Guy, ZAF 9.43; Kaori Mayaguchi, JPN 9.34
Heat 3 Samantha Cornish, AUS 16.00; Jessi Miley-Dyer, AUS 9.60; Sally Fitzgibbons, AUS 8.50; Kyla Langen, USA 5.40
Heat 4 Julia Christian, USA 15.00; Serena Brooke, AUS 12.33; Kim Mayer, USA 10.87; Nicola Atherton, AUS 7.50
Heat 5 Nikita Robb, ZAF 12.10; Rebecca Woods, AUS 11.66; Tammy-Lee Smith, ZAF 10.54; Claudia Goncalves, BRA 9.64
Heat 6 Amee Donohoe, AUS 12.50; Roseanne Hodge, ZAF 11.70; Charlotte Caton, FRA 8.53; Suelen Naraisa, BRA 6.33
– but the sailors praise the new boats