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Buitendag leads from the front in Japan

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Bianca Buitendag produced an inspiring captain’s performance on Tuesday’s second day of the Urban Research ISA World Surfing Games in Tahara, Japan which was held in decreasing swell and clean waves that enabled high scoring manoeuvres.

Setting an example for her compatriots in the Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African surfing team, Buitendag blasted her way to a Round 2 heat victory with the second highest heat total of the day to move into the last 16 in the women’s main event.

In the first ISA event to embrace gender equality with equal numbers of men and women in the 42 national teams in attendance, Nicole Pallet of La Lucia finished runner-up in her encounter and also progressed to Round 3.

There she will be up against her captain plus Justine Dupont (France) and Coral Wiggins (Costa Rica) with the top two in the heat advancing to the last eight in the Main event and the other two dropping into the Repecharge rounds.

Zoe Steyn of East London, the third of the three South African women, successfully negotiated her first heat in the Repos, finishing second and moving through to the next round.

South Africa’s opening day standout, Beyrick de Vries of uMhlanga, fell just short of advancing on Tuesday, ending third behind Jhony Corzo (Mexico) and John Mark Tokong (Philippines).But the experienced international campaigner redeemed himself with a convincing heat win in Round 2 of the Repos and remains in contention for higher honours in Japan.

David van Zyl of Glenashley posted his second straight heat win and was joined in Round 3 of the Main event by Adin Masencamp of the Strand, whose 7.40 point heat total was enough to hold onto the runner up spot in his clash.

After two days of action in the powerful typhoon-generated surf, South Africa are one of 11 teams who still have all six team members in contention. The completion of the first rounds of Repecharge action sees nine of the 42 teams eliminated from the event.

PHOTO: Buitendag in Japanese action, by ISA/EVANS


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