- WSL / Pierre Tostee
Highlights: Day 2 Ballito Pro pres. by O'Neill
The Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill Day 2 gets underway in three-to-four foot surf for men's and women's opening rounds.

The women finally hit the water at the Ballito Pro after the men's opening round of competition wrapped on Day 2 of the Challenger Series event. It was the experience and local knowledge from South African stars and former Ballito Pro winners Sarah Baum and Zoë Steyn that stood out in the tricky conditions.

Strong onshores made for a bumpy arena and it certainly wasn't easy out there, especially when you're up agaisnt the top female surfers like current world nr.2 Johanne Defay, but Sarah knew two good turns is all she needed.

"I knew the tide was coming in and it was going to fill in pretty quickly, so I just wanted to make the most of what I got out there," said Baum. "Johanne's a really good surfer, but with these tricky conditions, you don't know who's going to take the win so I'm stoked I got the win over her. I'm feeling really confident, hopefully I can get the ball rolling and get a few more good results and be right up there with Johanne."

Johanne Defay Johanne Defay - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Coming off an exceptional run on the Championship Tour with a win in G-Land, third in El Salvador and a runner-up finish in Rio, Johanne decided to stop over in Ballito before heading to J-Bay. Unfortunately, she was dealt a big blow when none of her luggage or boards arrived in South Africa. With unfamilar equipment, she struggled in the windswept waves to find a big scoring opportunity and will leave Ballito much earlier than everyone hoped.

Regional champion Zoë Steyn has tasted victory in Ballito numerous times before in the junior and QS divisions and she'll join Sarah in the Round of 32. Growing up on the powerful right hand point breaks of Nahoon Reef, Zoë's lethal backhand attack couldn't be matched and she comfortably won her opening round heat.

Zoë Steyn Zoë Steyn - WSL / Alan van Gysen

"It's so nice to have the home-ground advantage. I've had good heats out here before so that experience always helps. It hasn't gone very well for me on the Challenger Series yet, so to get a good result here will mean a lot."

Sitting at nr.4 on the Challenger Series rankings, former CT rookie Molly Picklum saw the difficult conditions as an exciting opportunity and she won the second last heat of the day.

"It's exciting when it's tricky, because everyone is in the same boat," said Picklum. "It's tough, so you got to be a little bit excited to take on that challenge. I'm not really thinking about the rankings, it's so early in the year, anything can happen. I'm just going to try win every heat, win every final and take it as it comes."

Bronte Macaulay Bronte Macaulay - WSL / Alan van Gysen

The experience gained competing against the elite on the CT was clear in the performances of Bronte Macaulay, Keely Andrew, Pauline Ado and Paige Hareb who all won their opening round heats.

Adin Masencamp Adin Masencamp - WSL / Alan van Gysen

In the men's competition, Liam O'Brien scored the highest heat total of the day and is looking in fine form since he broke his leg at Pipeline earlier this year. Notable performances included Frederico Morais who advanced despite an interference call, and the defending Ballito Pro winner Adin Masencamp.

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.