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Greg Emslie posts highest scores on Day 4 of Billabong ISA World Surfing Games

October 24th, 2010

Pictured: SA’s Warwick Wright hits the lip at Senoritas on Day 1 of the 2010 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Peru last Wednesday. Wright will be back in action in Repecharge Round 4 today. Photo: ISA / La Torre

Team South Africa captain Greg Emslie posted the highest scores of Day 4 of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games presented by Amarok of Volkswagen as he charged through two rounds of Repecharge heats at Caballeros in Peru yesterday.

A nine-year veteran of the World Tour, the inform Emslie was surprisingly relegated to the Repecharge rounds when he placed third in his Round 2 Qualifying stream heat held in the massive unruly waves on Thursday.

An acknowledged expert in the four-man heat format used at the event, the East Londoner  kick-started his challenge for a medal at the event with an outstanding 8.77 point ride and backed that up with 6.87 on his next wave to completely dominate the Repecharge Round 2 heat with a total of 15.64 out of 20, the highest heat tally of the day.

Two hours later Emslie was back in the two metre surf, racking up opening rides of 6.83 and 8.67 for a 15.0 point total, the second highest of the day, that left his closest opponent needing a near-perfect 9.93 point ride to overtake him.

“It’s very tough out there,” said legendary South African coach Graham Hynes. “But we South Africans love a good fight. When our backs are against the wall, we thrive!”

Further endorsement of Emslie’s skills came from Adam Replogle, Billabong resident pro and one of the contest announcers. “That was a serious demonstration of high performance surfing,” Replogle said. “It was textbook technique coupled with knowledge and confidence.”

Their captain’s stellar performances has ensured that Team SA has joined defending ISA team champions USA, host nation Peru and surprise package Costa Rica as one of just four nations with all eight team members still in contention for honours at the halfway stage of the event.

Powerhouse surfing nations that have slipped down the rankings include Australia, who suffered a major setback when one of their men was eliminated as early as Repecharge Round 3; Brazil, who had one of their girls ousted yesterday, and France, last year’s team runners-up France, who only have one of their four men remaining in the event.

With 31 nations represented at what is dubbed the ‘United Nations of surfing’, there were a number of fairy-tale stories and surfers from the likes of Israel, Sweden, Venezuela, Great Britain, Tahiti, Chile, Switzerland, Uruguay, Germany, Puerto Rico and Canada are still keeping their dreams alive.

While Emslie was the only South African in action yesterday, he and team mates Chad du Toit and Warwick Wright, both of whom dropped into the men’s Repecharge rounds on Friday, will be competing again today when men’s Repecharge Rounds 4 and 5 are run in the right-handers at Caballeros.

The trio faces seven heats of sudden-death Repecharge heats, where anything other than a first or second place finish will see them eliminated, in order to qualify for the Grand Final and a gold, silver, bronze or copper medal.

Also in action on what will be a crucial day in determining the 2010 team champions will be Casey Grant in the last 16 of the men’s Qualifying stream and Matthew Moir and Brad Weare in Qualifying Round 2 of the Longboard event.

SA’s Chantelle Rautenbach and Stacey Guy are already through to the last 16 of the women’s Qualifying rounds and are likely to be back competing tomorrow.

Surfline, the official surf forecasters for the event, expect the surf to remain in the two metre range with occasional bigger waves today (Sunday) before dropping on Monday and Tuesday with a new swell filling in on Wednesday, the final day, when waves should remain head-high or bigger.

All the action at the 2010 Billabong ISA Word Surfing Games can be followed live on www.billabongisaworldsurfinggames.com starting at 8am daily (3pm in South Africa). Daily updates and images will be posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and further updates will be available on the Facebook page Surfing SA. 

The 2010 South African surfing team is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and Surfing South Africa along with Skullcandy, PowerBalance and Future Life.

Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognized by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) as the governing body for the sport. SSA is a member of the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Ends

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Surfing South Africa
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