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Thumping Surf Takes The O’Neill Deep Blue Open Through To The Quarterfinals

News provided by ASP World Qualifying Tour on 11 June 2005

Contest Shaping Up For A Huge Finish Tomorrow

11th June 2005 - The penultimate day of the 5th O’Neill Deep Blue Open saw the event cruise through to the quarterfinals with a solid 4 - 6ft swell pounding the righthand break of Jails. The epic conditions combined with man-on-man heats added a new dimension to the mobile boat drop event, and as result saw the performance levels continue to rocket. 3 South Africans’, 3 Australians’, 1 American and 1 Brazilian have now maneuvered into contention for the 2005 title.

After yesterday’s classic run of surf delivered some of the highest scores ever witnessed at the event, expectations were again high and the final 24 surfers didn’t disappoint. South Africa’s Daniel Redman was the first to book his spot in the 1st quarterfinal. Surfing in his first ever man-on-man heat, Redman found his stride quickly to relegate Brazil’s Marcelo Nunes from the contest. Redman will duel Timmy Reyes (USA) tomorrow for a spot in the semis.

“I got off to quite a slow start out there, then I managed to get one good one and back it up with an even better one.” Began Redman. “That second wave stood up so perfect and then I charged into the sickest bowl section I’ve ever seen in a WQS contest. I managed to crack the lip a few times there to get the good score. It’s my first man-on-man heat ever so you have to change your tactics slightly. Greg (Emslie) was giving me some pointers so that helped a lot. I look forward to going out again tomorrow.” he added

In heat 2 of the round of 16, the swell really started to pump with solid 6-foot walls pounding the reef. Timmy Reyes (USA) hunted down the barrels on the inside bowl to lock in the big scores and put an end to Mikey Picon’s (FRA) excellent run at the event.

“ I got lucky out there” began Reyes. “I started off on a few of the smaller waves, then I managed to get a few of the larger sets and those are the waves that got me the scores. I got barreled on both the waves on the inside bowl section and managed to link a few good top turns and cut backs. The man-on-man heats and the priority system doesn’t really change the way I surf, there’s a lot less hassling for sure so you can really concentrate on your surfing.” He added.

Darren O’Refferty was the first Australian to ensure his place in quarter final number 2. O’Rafferty trailed Brazilian Yuri Sodre by the smallest of margins for the majority of the 30 minute bout, and as time sped away he was staring relegation in the face. However, on the final set of the bout he cashed in on a medium size wave and the judges awarded him the top spot. O’Rafferty will now go head to head with Greg Emslie from South Africa.

“Yeah, that was a bit of a close call, it came right down to the wire but I got the score I needed.” Began O’Rafferty. “ I needed a high scoring 5 point ride on my last wave and I got a 6 and that got me through to the quarterfinals. After the last heat, when they got all those good waves, there was a big lull in my heat. I could really feel the pressure because I only needed a medium score to get through. In a situation like that it’s pretty nerve-racking, as you don’t want to make stupid mistakes. Luckily for me I held it all together.” He added.

In his match-up with Brazilian Bernardo Pigmeu, Greg Emslie (ZAF) strode his way into the final 8 with a succession of big off the tops turns, before sealing his fate with a floater on the inside. While Pigmeu remained a threat throughout the 30-minute, he struggled to find the high scoring waves to knock Emslie from the top spot.

“It was a pretty tough heat” Began Emslie. “The waves have changed quite a bit from the low to the high tide and there are a lot of different sets coming through so I was just trying to stay in position for the good ones further up the point. The waves breaking from the point are pretty amazing, they’ve got nice big walls and you can do some big turns on the open face so I made sure I tried to get those and it was a tactic that worked. Bernardo is a new school, high performance surfer so I didn’t give him an inch out there, because I knew that if he got a good wave he’d be lethal.” He added.

In heat 5 of the day Royden Bryson took the number of South Africans in the quarterfinals to 3 when he eliminated current world number 2 Trent Munro from the contest. Bryson and Munro had picked the short straw of today’s heats as a heavy rain squall and a huge lull interrupted the days near perfect run of surf. Faced with these conditions Munro failed to catch a single wave while Bryson cruised through with 2 low scoring rides.

“I was lucky that Trent didn’t manage to catch any waves in that heat.’ Began Bryson. “It’s raining now but I guess the sun was shining on me out there. I was very lucky because I’m sure if Trent had managed to catch a wave he’d have managed to smash it to pieces. There just weren’t any wave to ride out there, it was quite frustrating after seeing all those perfect sets steam through earlier.” He added.

Bryson will now meet Luke Hitchings in tomorrows 3rd quarterfinal. In heat 8 of the round the Glen Hall (AUS) was the 3rd australian to make the cut and in doing so ended Germany’s Marlon Lipke’s Deep Blue Open dream when he threw down a 9.7 ride, the highest individual wave score of the day. Hall now meets the winner of the final heat of the day, Brazilian wonder kid Adriano de Souza in quarterfinal number 4.

The O’Neill Deep Blue Open is now set for an epic climax tomorrow.

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