As good 1 – 1.5 meter waves peeled between the piers of Durban’s Golden Mile, it was the phenomenal surfing from Argentina’s Ornella Pellizzari that turned heads.
Performing a series of critical floaters and tight in the pocket snaps, Pellizzari’s deadly backhand attack earned her a near perfect 9.00 point ride (out of a possible 10.00), which combined with a 6.77 back- up score, formed the highest two wave heat total of the event so far, a 15.77 (out of a possible 20.00).
“This is only the second event I have surfed this year. I surfed a 1- Star in California, and I was very stoked to win that because I am doing the tour without any sponsors,” Italian-Argentinian Pellizzari said. “This is the biggest event I have surfed, and it was great to get such high scores because I feel more comfortable now.”
Pellizzari defeated Australian Sally Fitzgibbons who, despite posting a good 7.83 ride, remained in second place for most of the heat.
ASP WQS World No. 46 Erina Taniguchi (Japan) produced the perfect combination of speed and flow, posting an excellent 8.00 point ride (out of a possible 10.00) for a series of radical off the tops, followed by a controlled floater, to defeat Penny Robarts (Somerset West) and Bronwyn Coote (Durban).
Sarah Baum (Warner Beach) and National Junior Team member Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand) were the only two South African heat winners, Baum defeating Danielle le Roux (Durban) and Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) to advance in to the Round of 48; while Rautenbach advanced ahead of Charlotte Caton (France) and Lynne Mackey (Westville).
Other surfers to advance where Hawaii’s Paige Alms and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton (Hawaii), Mizuki Hagiwara (Japan) and Nicole Annells (Warner Beach).
The Women’s event continues tomorrow (Thursday) with the top seeds taking to the water in the Round of 48 at approximately13h50.
The Mr Price Pro Women’s event holds a prize money purse of R175 000 and includes nearly 70 Women from the world’s leading surfing nations.
The Mr Price Pro forms part of the Durban Beach Festival and is being broadcast live on the webcast at www.mrpricepro.com.
Heat 1 Erina Taniguchi, JPN 15.27; Penny Robarts, ZAF 11.17; Bronwyn Coote, ZAF 9.37
Heat 2 Sarah Baum, ZAF 10.66; Danielle Le Roux, ZAF 7.47; Tarryn Chudleigh, ZAF 6.54
Heat 3 Ornella Pellizzari, ARG 15.77; Sally Fitzgibbons, AUS 14.70; Tammy Robarts, ZAF 9.24
Heat 4 Paige Alms, HAW 12.10; Bethany Hamilton, HAW 10.57; Bianca Buitendag, 8.67; Holly Armstrong, ZAF 6.13
Heat 5 Chantelle Rautenbach, ZAF 10.84; Charlotte Caton, FRA 9.33; Lynne Mackey, ZAF 5.70
Heat 6 Mizuki Hagiwara, JPN 9.43; Nicolle Annelles, ZAF 6.07; Heidi Palmboom, ZAF 6.00
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