Zoe McDougall (HAW) produced a stunning display of competitive surfing on the opening day of the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro pres by G-Force, posting an outstanding heat tally of 18.0 out of 20 that left her junior women rivals needing a combination of two new scores to overtake her.
Competing in classic conditions with contestable one metre waves at North Beach, the Hawaiian teenager opened her account a near excellent 7.75 out of 10 before taking control of the heat with an excellent 8.75. She then went on to add a near-perfect 9.25 to put her opponents in combo land.
Reigning WSL Africa junior women's champ Sophie Bell grabbed the runner-up spot in the heat to progress to the last eight in the event, and the pair were joined in the semis by current rankings leader Kai Woolf, defending event winner Kayla Nogueira and Kirsty McGillivray.
The day's action started with the QS 1,000 men's event where local surfers reveled in their home waves with veteran campaigners Brandon Jackson and Daniel Redmanboth blasting their way through two rounds to reach the last 32.
Rising star Bryce Burness, son of former ASP Top 10 member Michael Burness, bagged a pair of seven point rides to post a heat total of 14.75, the highest men's tally of the day while Capetonians Luke Slijpen, Ford Van Jaarsveldt and Max Elkington all racked up heat wins.
McDougall, last year's women's event winner, and Josefina Ane (ARG), winner of the second stop on the WSL Africa Women's QS in Port Alfred in March, got their campaigns underway with comfortable victories. But it wasNicole Pallet the highest ranked South African in the women's field who delivered the highest heat total of the round with 12.50 out of a possible 20.
Only two junior men's heats were run which saw Mitch Du Preez and Karl Steen top their Round 1 heats and advance to the last 16 alongside their respective heat runners-up in Daniel Orpen and Daniel Emslie.
Organisers will meet at North Beach at 7.00 am local time on Saturday to make a call on when to get the contest underway. The women's and junior women's event champions will be crowned on Saturday afternoon while the men's and junior men's winners will be determined on Sunday.