PICTURE: PIERRE TOSTEE / MR PRICE
American Nathaniel Curran finished runner-up in the 35 minute final which enjoyed sunny weather and excellent 1 – 2 metre waves on the final day of action at Willard Beach.
Australian born, Irish surfer Glenn Hall, 30, secured the biggest win of his career taking out the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro Ballito defeating Nathaniel Curran, 27, (USA) in the Final at Willards Beach, in South Africa on Sunday, July 8, 2012.
The final day of competition culminated with the best swell of the waiting period as solid 1.5 metre, offshore conditions provided the idyllic arena for an action-packed day of world-class surfing.
Hall held his composure throughout the 35- minute Final, opening with an excellent 8.33 (out of ten) waiting until the final minute to regain his priority, earning more than the required score to snatch the win from Curran with his 6.67 back-up ride, winning the heat by 15.00 to 13.67 (both out of 20.00).
“It’s the biggest win of my career by far, I kinda felt like if you got the wave out there you could get the score and I was just praying for a wave at the end,” Hall said. “Nathaniel is an amazing surfer and I was pumped to have a Final against him. It was always going to be a tough heat but I’ve learnt never to be content with second and to always push for more until you’ve won.”
Hall’s victory comes off the back of a stellar competition season winning a 4 Star in China followed by a runner-up finish at the ASP Prime Lowers Pro at Trestles, California, his consistency rocketing him from 27th to 16th on the World Rankings.
“It’s still a long road ahead and I’m just going to keep trying and see where I end up,” Hall explained. “I’m not doing JBay (6 Star) and I’m proud of my choice. I came here and put all eggs into one basket because if you are here to qualify its about the Primes. That’s my focus so I’m taking it to the next event in America.”
Curran proved a standout throughout the week revealing the depth of his surfing repertoire with a combination of airs, barrels and carves but suffered a disappointing defeat in the Final losing priority and ultimately gifting the Australian the win.
“It still feels great to get a result,” Curran said. “I’ve been struggling for a year and a half so I’m stoked to make the Final. It was an awesome contest, I’ve been coming here since I was 18 and the waves are always insane. I love coming here and I can’t wait for next year.”
Taking down some big names including South African hopeful Travis Logie (ZAF) in the Quarterfinals, followed by ASP Word No. 4 Adriano De Souza (BRA) in the Semifinals, Curran’s runner-up finish sees him jump from 96th to 42nd on the World Rankings.
Adriano De Souza showed exactly why he is the World No. 4, posting convincing heat wins all week as well as the highest individual wave score of the event a 9.50 against Brian Toth (PIR) in the Quarterfinals. De Souza finished equal third falling just short of the mark against Curran in the Semis.
“I’m disappointed not to be in the Final but it’s still a good result,” De Souza said. “I came here without any pressure and Nathaniel was surfing better than me so he deserves to be in the Final. I’ll be here watching the best two guys in the event battle it out in the Final and may the best man win.”
Nat Young (USA) posted his best result of the year placing equal third, reaching the Semifinals where he was narrowly defeated by Hall with 14.50 to 14.67. Young proved on-point throughout the week, taking down top names including former Mr Price Pro Champion World No. 8 Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Quarterfinals.
South African’s Jordy Smith and Travis Logie placed equal fifth, the pair reaching the Quarterfinals where they were eliminated, Logie by Curran and Smith by Young.
Brian Toth (PRI) and Jack Freestone (AUS) joined the South African duo with equal fifth place results, Toth defeated by De Souza while Freestone fell to fellow Australian Hall.
The 13th edition of the Mr Price Pro Ballito proved a resounding success with record crowds and world –class surfing from 96 of the world’s finest surfers.
For more information log on to www.mrpricepro.com.