Team SA surfers produce great results on Day 2 of World Masters

South African surfers, Chris Knutsen and Gary van Wieringen, produced outstanding performances for Team South Africa at the 2011 El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championships.

South African surfer, Chris Knutsen, on Day 2 of the World Masters Surfing event in El Savador.

Yesterday was Day 2of the event that ran 24 heats of top notch surfing in heavy rain in1.0 to 1.5 metre waves at Punta Roca surf break .

All 124 of the competitors in the event have now completed at least one heat but only 40 remain in the qualifying stream of the five divisions. Each of the 21 nations have team members in the sudden-death repecharge rounds of the double elimination format.

Knutsen, a three-time ISA World Masters gold medallist, started to defend his  Grand Kahuna (over 50) title by selecting the best waves in the 20 minute heat. This former four-time SA champion fromDurbanracked up rides of 7.50 and 6.67 (both out of 10 points) for a heat total of 14.17, which was more than three points better than the next highest result in the division.

“I felt pretty good out there this morning, so I was quite excited to head out into the water and start the heat with a good wave,” said Knutsen.

South African surfer, Gary van Wieringen, on Day 2 of the World Masters Surfing event in El Savador.

Van Wieringen, who placed second in his Round 1 heat yesterday, upped his performance in Round 2 of the Men’s Masters (O/35) division. The surfer from Warner Beach posted a heat tally of 11.83, the seventh best of the division to date. He defeated Day 1 standout MagnumMartinez(VEN) as the pair advanced to the last eight in the qualifying stream.

Graeme Field (Kommetjie), SA’s other Masters division surfer, could not find the waves with high scoring potential and finished fourth in his second heat. Field will continue his challenge for a medal through the repecharge rounds.

South African surfer, Kevin Obrien, on Day 2 of the World Masters Surfing event in El Savador.

The first two rounds of the Grand Masters (O/40) were run with Kevin O’Brien securing second place in both his heats to progress directly to the last eight. Fellow East Londoner Andre Malherbe, a Bronze medallist in Panama last year, won his opener but finished third behind former World Tour stalwart Fabio Gouveia (BRA) and reigning ISA champion Juan Ashton (Puerto Rico) in Round 2 and was relegated to the repecharge rounds.

Round 2 of the Kahunas (O/45) saw David Malherbe (CoffeeBay) clinch second place behind legendary three-time ASP World Champion Tom Curren (USA). Curren produced the highest heat total of the day’s action – 14.40 out of 20 – as the pair moved into the last eight and just two heats away from the Grand Final and a medal.

Rookie ISA World Masters competitor Colin Buitendag (George) joined David, the elder of the Malherbe brothers, in the last eight of the Kahunas with a solid runner-up finish behind Jim Hogan (USA) yesterday. The SA duo face Hawaiians Guy Chang and Mike Latronic in the next round with the top two progressing to the division’s qualifying final.

Knutsen will be the first SA surfer in action when the Grand Kahunas qualifying Round 2 kicks off the Day 3 schedule at 4pm (SA time) this afternoon. He will be followed by two-time and defending ISA Women’s World Masters champion Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) before Field and Andre Malherbe start the long road through the repecharge rounds in the Men’s Masters and the Grand Masters respectively.

The full schedule for today:

-Qualify Round 2 Grand Kahunas           (SA’s Chris Knutsen)
-Qualify Round 2 Women Masters           (SA’s Heather Clark)
-Repecharge Round 1 Masters                 (SA’s Graeme Field)
-Repecharge Round 1 Kahunas
-Repecharge Round 1 Grand Masters     (SA’s Andre Malherbe)
-Repecharge Round 1 Masters
-Repecharge Round 1Grand Kahunas
-Repecharge Round 2 Women Masters

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