Shaun Payne wins wildcard into Billabong Pro
St Francis Bay’s Shaun Payne won the prized wildcard in the Vonzipper Superheat at Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay today, gaining entry to the Billabong Pro JBay .
Payne, 26, waited patiently for the best waves during the hard fought 40 minute heat run in marginal 0.6 to one metre glassy waves at Supertubes. Posting a score of 5.83 out of 10 on his opening ride, it wasn’t until the last 10 minutes that he moved into the lead with 6.60 point ride and a heat tally of 12.43 out of 20.
Payne justified the confidence of his local supporters who wore T-Shirts printed with ‘Team Billy’, Payne’s nickname, and ‘6312’, the postal code for St Francis Bay, which will doubtless become collector’s items.
“I am just so happy to have made it into the Billabong Pro J-Bay – words can’t express how I feel right now,” exclaimed an elated Payne in the post heat interview. “Even when I took the lead I knew the other guys could easily get the score required. It was the longest seven minutes of my life and I was just over the moon when the siren sounded.”
Payne will now compete against 10 times ASP World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), and Alejo Muniz (BRA) in round one. He beat fellow St Francis Bay local, Dale Staples, Shaun Joubert (MosselBay), Jack Freestone (ZAF) and Granger Larson (Haw).
The R3 million Billabong Pro JBay is an ASP World Tour event featuring the world’s top 32 ranked surfers plus three wildcards and has an 11-day waiting period from 14-24th July 2011.
The Billabong Pro J-Bay is proudly presented by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency and supported by Carling Black Label, Monster Energy, Coca Cola, Amarok, Vida e Caffe, Tavcor, VonZipper and Nixon.
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