DURBAN, South Africa (Sunday, June 6, 2008) – Australian surfer Chris Davidson (AUS) crushed South Africa’s hopes of a second ever South African winner at the Mr. Price Pro, defeating ASP World No. 41 Travis Logie (Durban) before a patriotic crowd on New Pier beach in Durban today.
Competing in crumbling one-to-two foot (0.5 metre) onshore surf, arguably more suited to the Australian’s natural-footed stance, Davidson’s powerful front-side surfing saw him out-position his local rival to win the heat with a 16.10 heat total to Logie’s 12.90, jumping to 7th on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings.
“I’m stoked I made the final and beat the local boy,” Davidson said. “It was tough for Travis surfing little right-handers on his backside (right foot forward stance) so it definitely favoured me. I’ve got tens here in the past, but I was the underdog out there today, so it felt good to come home with the win.”
A former competitor on the prestigious ASP World Tour, Davidson drew first blood opening with a respectable 6.67 (out of a possible 10) ride and followed up with a near perfect 9.43 putting his South African rival in a combination situation.
At the five minute mark, so confident of his win was Davidson that he began surfing with his board upside down and exited the water with three minutes still remaining on the clock.
“That was just a bit of fun and no disrespect to Travis,” Davidson said. “He’s an incredible competitor but I knew I had the heat won.”
The Australian took home 2500 ratings points towards his 2009 qualification campaign for the ASP World Tour.
Despite finishing as the highest placed South African in the event, Logie was visibly disappointed that first place had eluded him for the second time in his career, after reaching the final here in 2000.
“I’ve always wanted to win this event because I grew up surfing here and I live five minutes up the road,” Logie said. “The final was very tough and Chris definitely got the two best waves, I just couldn’t get the right ones today.”
One of just three South African surfers to advance into the final day of competition today, Logie disposed of fellow countryman Greg Emslie (East London) in the Round of 16 before dismissing ASP World No. 19 Jordy Smith (Durban) in the Quarterfinals, eventually defeating Patrick Gudauskas (USA) in the Semifinals.
“I was stoked with second, it’s better than third and I will be back again next year, though, trying to win it,” Logie said.
While the runner-up finish will have no impact on Logie’s ASP World Tour ratings points, Greg Emslie’s 9th has seen him jump to No. 19 on the ASP WQS ratings while David Weare (Durban) who was eliminated on Saturday with an equal 25th, has jumped to an incredible No. 2 on the ASP WQS ratings.
Finishing equal third at the Mr. Price Pro today were Patrick Gudauskas (USA) and 2003 Mr. Price Pro Champion Neco Padaratz (Bra) who were defeated by Logie and Davidson respectively.
Gudauskas’ result saw him jump back into the lead on the ASP WQS ratings ahead of Weare, while the ratings leader coming into the event, Hizunome Bettero (BRA), has ped down to third.
“I’ve never done well in Durban so to get a third today is a great result for me,” Gudauskas said. “I’m really excited to be back at No. 1, it’s a very long season so I just want to continue bettering my results.”