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February and McDougall Shine on Day Two in Durban

Cape Town’s Michael February and Hawaiian Zoe McDougall produced sparkling performances on Day 2 of the Corona Durban Surf Pro presented by Quiksilver and Roxy held in idyllic half to one metre waves at Dairy Beach.

February effortlessly dropped excellent range scores in both his Round of 24 and Round of 16 heats using his trademark combination of rail carves and aerial manoeuvres on both his forehand and his backhand. The Skullcandy rankings leader recorded the highest heat total of the men’s event, 17.90 out of 20, which included a near perfect 9.23 that matched the day’s highest single ride by Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga).

“There’s a fun A-Frame peak at Dairy with really good lefts and I enjoy surfing on my backhand,” said February. “That 9.23 was a right that stood up and after my first off-the-top it let me do three or four more turns without losing any speed.

“I’m not too worried about the leader’s vest as once I got through my first heat on Friday I couldn’t be overtaken even if my closest rivals win this event. It’s great having these back-to-back QS1,000’s here at home and get a decent seeding for the big events later in the year here and overseas.”

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), who won the last heat of the day to advance to the Men’s  Round of 8, is another of South Africa’s campaigners of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) who is happy about the increase of QS rated events at home.

‘Super fun waves at Dairy today, mostly lefts, and I’ve been getting some good scores which has built some confidence in my backhand surfing,” said McGillivray. “Good to have so many QS events here, it gives everyone more contest experience and points and they‘re great as a warm up for the bigger events.”

McDougall, who flew in after her last event in Barbados to compete in both the Women’s and Junior Women’s Corona Durban Surf Pro presented by Roxy, was the standout performer of the day, racking up a near-perfect 9.77 and a heat total of 18.27.

“We were lucky that the girls were in the water earlier today before the wind got on it,” said McDougall. “It was really fun, the lefts were lined up but I found a couple of rights also.”

Ranked No. 13 on the QS, the 17 year-old is keen to climb into the top six and qualify for the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT), but is not putting any pressure on herself to do so this year.

“It would be awesome to make the top six, but I’m not going to make any calls this early in the year, I’m just going to do my best in every event. I’ll be going to QS6,000 rated events in Mexico and El Salvador after this and then hope to come back and defend my title at the Ballito Pro.”

The competitors in the QS1,000 Men’s and Women’s and the JQS1,000 Junior Men’s and Women’s events were reduced to the last eight. The men will be first up on Sunday morning with the top two in each of the Round of Eight heats qualifying for the man-on-man semifinals while the other events will run four-person heats to the final.

Organisers hope to get the contest underway by 7.30am and the event champions will be crowned at Dairy Beach around 3pm.

An outreach programme will be conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) on Sunday where participants will be involved in beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest, beach relays and an Easter egg hunt with all participants receiving breakfast, lunch and a commemorative medal.

Live scoring, results, images, video footage, news and more for the Corona Durban Surf Pro presented by Quiksilver and Roxy will be available at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Corona Durban Surf Pro is supported by Quiksilver, Roxy, Volkswagen, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador, California Dreaming and Accelerate Sport.

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