Beyrick de Vries in Round 3 of Billabong World Junior Surf Champs

Beyrick De Vries (Umhlanga) did South African proud today at the Billabong World Junior Surfing Championships on Australia’s Gold Coast by winning his opening heat.

Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) shows the form that saw him win his Round 1 heat in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships and advance directly to Round 3 at Burleigh heads, Queensland, Australia on Saturday. Credit: ASP / Kirstin

De Vries then advanced directly to Round 3 of the third and final event on the 2011 ASP World Junior Tour. The three other South Africans in the men’s draw were all relegated to cut-throat, man-on-man Round 2 encounters. In this round  the winner advances to join the Round 1 winners in Round 3 and the loser is eliminated from the event in equal 33rd place overall.

Fifth seed Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) was winning his match-up with 45 seconds remaining when Jack Robinson (AUS), at 14 the youngest and arguably the smallest competitor in the event, produced an incredible full-rotation ‘alley-oop’ aerial manoeuvre to lock in an excellent score and snatch victory.

David van Zyl (Glenashley), the replacement for Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), who has moved to California, in the ASP Africa men’s squad, was placed third in his heat. Michael February (Kommetjie) waged a heat-long battle against former neighbor and now Australian citizen Thomas Woods with the Aussie prevailing when the siren sounded to end the heat.

De Vries, 19, found some decent scoring rides in the tricky, windy afternoon at Burleigh Heads. He defeated Brazilian Lucas Silveira and fellow South African Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF), who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

De Vries found some decent scoring rides in the tricky, windy afternoon at Burleigh Heads point to win his opening heat.

“It’s so important to win that first round heat because you get to skip Round 2,” De Vries said. “This point-break is quite different to others so I’m stoked that my board was feeling good in that heat. Now I’ll have even more time to figure out what boards and fins work best out here. It also gives me more time to get over the jet lag, I’m still waking up at 3am every morning.”

The event got underway in pristine one metre (hip to head high) waves on the first day of the nine day waiting period with contest director Luke Egan having no hesitation in putting Round 1 of the men into action.

Brazilian Peterson Crisanto delivered the highest heat total of the day – 16.33 points out of a possible 20 – and compatriot Felipe Toledo posted 15.84 as they took advantage of the ideal early morning high-tide conditions. Reigning ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (AUS) was another of the standouts while top seed Caio Ibelli (BRA) was upset by Matt Lewis-Hewitt, the only New Zealander in the event, who replaced injured joint top ranked Davey Cathels (AUS).

The wave and weather conditions are expected to be similar over the next couple of days and there is a good chance that the Round 1 of the women’s event, featuring defending event champion Bianca Buitendag (George) and Sarah Baum (Athlone Park), will get underway at 8am local time on Sunday (Saturday midnight SA time)

Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.00, Chase Wilson (USA) 9.34, Deivid Silva (BRA) 8.66

Heat 2: Soli Bailey (AUS) 12.67, Arashi Kato (JPN) 8.93, Ryan Callinan (AUS) N/S

Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.84, Evan Thompson (USA) 7.97, William Aliotti (FRA) 7.60

Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.90, Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 11.64, David Van Zyl (ZAF) 7.17

Heat 5: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 16.33, Mitchell Parkinson (AUS) 14.43, Kalani David (HAW) N/S

Heat 6: Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.33, Dale Staples (ZAF) 11.97, Caue Wood (BRA) 8.73

Heat 7: Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.57, Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 11.93, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 8.90

Heat 8: Matt-Lewis Hewitt (NZ) 13.24, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.16, Eli Steele (AUS) 9.94

Heat 9: Garrett Parkes (AUS) 15.27, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.83, Creed McTaggart (AUS) 8.74

Heat 10: Marco Fernandez (BRA) 12.83, Tim Macdonald (AUS) 8.27, Kaito Ohashi (JPN) 8.20

Heat 11: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 9.56, Kan Watanabe (JPN) 9.50, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 6.63

Heat 12: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 13.77, Lucas Silveira (BRA) 9.57, Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 8.16

Heat 13: Jake Halstead (HAW) 16.17, Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.84, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 9.77

Heat 14: Matt Banting (AUS) 15.50, Andrew Doheny (USA) 10.30, Dean Bowen (AUS) 9.63

Heat 15: Medi Veminardi (REU) 11.33, Keala Naihe (HAW) 8.87, Kaishu Tanaka (JPN) 7.74

Heat 16: Thomas Woods (AUS) 14.10, Michael February (ZAF) 13.43, Pierre-Valentin Lab (FRA) 12.83

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