South African surfer, Sarah Baum, in ISA China Cup finals

Sarah Baum is the only SA Team surfer who will compete in the final day ISA China Cup

Baum from AthlonePark, KZN, made full use of the long left-breaking one metre waves at the Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver in China.. Competing in Qualifying Round 2, Baum executed a combination of powerful manoeuvres to post an excellent 9.0 (out of a possible 10) on her opening ride.

The powerfully built 17 year-old followed that up with a 4.0 and was never headed, advancing to the last four in the Qualifying stream and now just one heat away from a place in Tuesday’s final a medal.

She  was one of only two South African competitors (both women) to go into the second day of the competition after all the men in the SA team were wiped out yesterday on Day 1.  ASP World Tour campaigner Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) grabbed second spot from Anali Gomes (PER), who was marked for an interference penalty, while SA’s Nikita Robb (Cape Town) placed fourth and dropped into the Repercharge round.

There Robb came up against the French pair of Justine Dupont and Pauline Ado whose double-digit heat tallies left the South African needing a near-perfect 9.77 point ride to advance to Repercharge Round 3. Robb finished equal ninth overall in the event, contributing 1 000 points to SA’s team total.

Determined to make amends for their uncharacteristically poor results on the opening day, Team SA clinched the bronze medal in the Aloha Cup event at the ISA China Cup today. The SA Team got their campaign in the Aloha Cup event underway with a high-scoring semi-final victory over runners-up Brazil with France and Venezuela placing third and fourth respectively.

In the final Brandon Jackson (Durban North) put SA into an early lead with a great 6.83 point opening ride but used up nearly 15 minutes before posting a low-scoring second ride and paddling in to tag team mate Royden Bryson (Cape Town). Bryson started his contribution with a ride of over seven points but also could only back that up with a three pointer and by the time Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) took to the waves SA had been overtaken byAustralia and Peru.

Staples produced a fair ride and with less than 25 minutes left in the heat was forced into riding a wave that only yielded 2.5 points before heading for the beach to tag Sarah Baum. Baum needed to get her two rides completed as quickly as possible to allow team captain Greg Emslie (East London) enough time to post a pair of great rides and get back to the team box before the 60 minutes so the team did not incur the 5 point penalty for not completing their quota of 10 rides in time.

This the future star achieved with aplomb, racking up a pair of three point rides within seven minutes and Emslie headed for the waves with 16 minutes available. The former ASP World Tour stalwart lived up to his reputation as one of the world’s best four-man heat exponents, immediately finding an excellent long wave and riding it carefully to score 6.0 which put Team SA right back into contention for the gold medal.

Emslie followed that up with an outstanding 6.87 which rocketed SA into a narrow lead and he was back in the team box with three minutes remaining as the competitors from Australia and Peru and waited for their final rides. Unfortunately for SA the waves came pouring through and Australia took the lead before Peru ended their quota with a great ride by Miguel Tudela. The South Americans thus clinched their first Aloha Cup gold medal while SA was relegated to third place and the bronze medal.

With just one day of competition remaining, Team SA holds sixth spot in the provisional team rankings.  Australia, with five competitors still in contention, are the favourites to take the team gold followed by France, Peru, US and Brazil.

Team Rankings after Day 2

1. Australia– 15,780
2.France – 15,060

3. Peru– 12,580
4.USA – 12,250

5. Brazil– 10,300
6. South Africa – 9,160

7. Argentina– 7,690
8.Venezuela – 7,460

ISA Aloha Cup Results
1.Peru – 47.80

2. Australia– 46.93
3. South Africa – 44.09

4.Brazil– 26.03

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