The first day of competition at the Longbeach Open presented by the Western Cape Department of Culture, Art & Sport (DCAS) and Sea Harvest QS1,000 saw the Men's opening round completed in 1-2 foot surf at Longbeach, Kommetjie.
Despite the clean start to the day, a lack of swell and increasing onshore conditions required some small wave wizardry from the surfers.
Bryce Du Preez showed that there are decent scoring potential out there when he whacked a one, two, three-turn combo for a cool 7-point ride in Heat 2. With a mid-range backup score Bryce was into the next round alongside Tide-Lee Ireland.
Local knowledge paid off for York Van Jaarsveldt who stayed smooth and fast, building on his scores to take a comfortable heat win alongside another small-wave wizard Ntando Nqdala.
With the tide pushing in and the onshore picking up, the last two heats of the day saw some exciting battles go down. J-Bay local Dillon Hendricks showed what it takes to survive the QS grind. Staying busy and building on his scores, he opened up with a 6-pointer which was a good score considering the size of the waves. With time winding down, there was a flurry of waves and Nate Colby banked two quick waves, with strong turns and squeezed out the only successful air maneuver of the day. But Hendricks didn't back down and surfed his way to a 6.25 to take the win with just a few seconds left on the clock.
With misty conditions rolling in, a sign of swell on the way, Daniel Emslie scored the highest total of the day in Heat 8 with a 7.50 and 6.00 for a combined score of 13.50. Not giving up a fight, Avuyile Ndamase worked hard in the testing conditions to earn his spot in the next round after finishing in second place.
Contest organisers are expecting a big increase in swell to finish the Men's and Women's competition. The next call is on Sunday, 13 March for a possible 8:00 AM (SAST) start.
The Longbeach Open is supported by the Western Cape Department of Culture, Art and Sport, Sea Harvest, SMTH Shapes, Boardtalk, WP Surfing and Advanced Harbour Bay Surgical Centre.