South African Bianca Buitendag charged her way through three gruelling 30-minute heats in double overhead waves at Main Break to reach the quarterfinals of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia on Sunday.
After the men’s semi-finalists in the third Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) event of the year had been decided in giant surf at the Box and Main Break on Saturday, organisers opted to run three rounds of women’s competition earlier on Sunday, reducing the field of the world’s best female surfers from 18 to just eight.
Buitendag started her campaign in the first heat of the day where she posted a pair of seven-point rides to edge Nikki van Dijk (AUS) and progress to a three-woman, Round Three clash with Tyler Wright (AUS) and Courtney Conlogue (USA). Despite recording the highest single ride of that encounter – 8.83 out of 10 – Buitendag’s second ride was a mid-range 4.37 which saw her finish third in that heat and facing a Round Four duel with Silvana Lima (BRA) for a place in the Quarters.
The 21 year-old from Victoria Bay on the Cape South coast started gly against Lima, racking up successive eight-point rides through the middle of the duel. This put her opponent into a combination situation where the Brazilian needed to improve on both her scores, which she only managed to do in the last minute and was left needing another excellent 8.72 for the victory.
Following 13th and ninth place finishes in the opening two events of the 2015 WSL CT, Buitendag has reached the last eight in an event for the first time this season. When competition resumes she will take on Malia Manuel of Hawaii with the winner aancing to the semis.
Source : South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee