SA’s Andre Malherbe the top scorer on Day 1 of ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Panama
Andre Malherbe set up South Africa’s bid to defend team title at the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in perfect fashion by posting the highest scores on Day 1 of the event staged in reeling two metre surf at Santa Catalina in Panama on Sunday.
Malherbe led throughout his Round 1 Grand Masters (over 40) heat, finishing with counting scores of 8.50, the highest of the day, and 6.83 (both out of 10) for a heat tally of 15.33 out of 20, also the day’s highest. The East Londoner left his opponents combo’d and needing to improve on both their scores to overtake him at the final siren.
Malherbe advanced to Round 2 of the qualifying stream in the double elimination format being used at the event, along with compatriot Robert Moore-Boyle (Durban), who comfortably won his low-scoring opening encounter.
Team SA’s strength in depth was further demonstrated when Wayne Monk (East London) and Andrew Banks (Port Shepstone) dominated their opening heats in the Masters (o/35) division. Monk tied Dean hall (AUS) in recording the highest single ride score of the division, 7.83, and also claimed the second highest heat total, 14.0, while Banks earned the fifth highest heat total.
After three days of torrential rain and onshore winds that turned the contest site in the rural Pacific coast village into a mud bath, the first day of competition enjoyed great weather and overhead surf for the 120 competitors from 20 countries participating in the world’s biggest contest for surfers aged 35-and-over.
South Africa, Australia, Brazil and Puerto Rico were the only countries to see all four of their competitors remain in the qualifying stream after the completion of Round 1 of the Masters and Grand Masters divisions.
Today’s schedule sees Round 1 action for the Women’s Masters (o/35), Kahunas (o/45) and Grand Kahunas (o/50) where SA’s Heather Clark (Port Shepstone), team captain Marc Wright and Chris Knutsen (both Durban) will start their respective campaigns to defend the ISA World titles they won at the previous edition of the event in Peru in 2008.
All the action from the event, including live webcasts, daily videos, photos and contest news in both English and Spanish can be found at www.panamaisaworldmasters.com. The event is scheduled to start at 6.30am local time daily. (1.30pm SA time).
Event updates are also available through the ISA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
The SA Masters Team preparations and attendance at the 2010 ISA World Masters Championships is made possible thanks to a R150 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).
Photo: ISA / Gatica
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About the International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964 and the Junior World Championships since 1980.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of over 60 countries on six continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre, first elected in 1994 in Rio, and re-elected six times since. The ISA’s four Vice Presidents are Alan Atkins (Australia), Robin de Kock (South Africa), Mike Gerard (USA) and Karín Sierralta (Peru).
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