The Ballito Pro pres. by O'Neill wrapped up in windy three-to-five foot conditions and the last eight surfers in contention on finals day shared a piece of 38,800 ranking points. Here are the main moves after the first QS10,000 of the 2019 qualifying season.
Movers - UP
Jorgann Couzinet undoubtedly made the best move this week, rocketing up to second place on the rankings, and as the highest non-CT surfer on the QS, he will receive a wildcard for the upcoming Corona Open J-Bay as a bonus. The Frenchman has already built a healthy tally of 13,160 points so far this season, which is what he usually ends up with post-Hawaii. A couple more decent results this season and he should secure his first full-time seat at the Top 34 table.
The other three Semifinalists today are all current Championship Tour surfers and as such, theoretically plan on not needing their QS points for re-qualification.
Rookie Deivid Silva, currently 18th on the CT took a giant hop on the QS up to 4th courtesy of his win in Ballito and is building a safe pillow to fall back on should his main campaign go awry.
The two-time World Junior Champion and finalist today Jack Freestone also put the first coins in the QS machine for the year. In his third season on the Championship Tour, Freestone has yet to find consistency as he hasn't yet managed to stay in the Top 22 in his first two tries.
The 2018 Rookie of the Year, Wade Carmichael adds another stellar performance in Ballito to his resume and looks very strong heading into J-Bay where he reached the Final last year.
Joan Duru was the surfer with most to gain out of the Quarterfinalists as a terrible start in Australia saw him come in 206th position to Ballito. The four heats surfed this week will likely bump up his confidence levels heading into J-Bay where he reached the Final in 2012 as a QS6,000 event.
Movers - Down
The most surprising early exit was that of Jadson Andre who had a near-perfect record in the previous three events he entered with a win and two runner-ups. Jadson bowed out in his second heat (equal 37th) with a below-average heat total which for the king of the grind, was totally unexpected.
Nat Young, Matt Banting, Alex Ribeiro and Jack Robinson all had a pretty terrible week in Ballito and will lose precious ground in the race to the year-end QS Top 10. But with five more QS10,000 and a couple of 6,000 remaining in 2019, nothing's set in stone and we'll see many more moves from the athletes who fight for a Championship Tour spot.
Catch up with all the photos, videos, and news from the Ballito Pro pres. by O'Neill right here on worldsurfleague.com!