Royden Bryson wins the Lizzard Nando's Surf Pro in South Africa

May 19, 2009 | Surfing

Royden Bryson

Royden Bryson (East London) made the most of the great conditions at Durban’s North Beach as he outsurfed Durban local Antonio Bortoletto in the Final of the ASP WQS 1-Star Lizzard Nando’s Surf Pro.

Bryson led from the start, and despite his best efforts, Bortoletto was unable to chase down Bryson’s eventual heat total of 12.25, coming close with a score of 11.90. Bryson and Bortoletto traded waves in a very closely contested Final, with Bryson adopting a high-risk approach by boosting a big and clean frontside 360 air.

The seventh edition of the contest, which was held between May 15 - 17, offered over US$10 000 in prize money available and featured an exciting man-on-man heat structure.

Bryson was understandably elated with his victory, saying that, “it is not often that you get to win an ASP WQS event, so this is something I will remember for a long time. It is not easy coming here and winning an event, but the win will give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year, as I have got many big ASP WQS events ahead of me. This win is definitely a push in the right direction. I don’t normally do well in the smaller surf, so I am stoked to get a result here”.

The third and final day of the contest was one in which the remaining top seeds stamped their authority on the event, with juniors such as Casey Grant (Scottburgh) and Nic Godfrey (St. Francis) only getting as far as the Quarterfinals thanks to Royden Bryson and Simon Nicholson (Durban). Bryson had set the tempo early in the day, posting a heat score of 16.50 out of a possible 20 in Round 4, bettering his score of 16.25 set yesterday.

Finalists Bortoletto and Bryson were up against Nicholson and Ricky Basnett (Bluff) in the their respective Semifinals. Nicolson’s massive experience surfing all of the breaks along Durban’s Golden Mile had made him a serious title contender, although he was up against Bortoletto, who is arguably the surfer most familiar with the waves at North Beach. Bortoletto made his experience count and eventually edged Nicolson by a mere 1.1 points.

The other Semifinal, between Bryson and Basnett, saw Bryson continue his trend of setting big scores in every heat he surfs. In the three rounds before the Semifinal, Bryson posted victorious scores of 16.25, 16.50 and 15.15, and sealed his spot in the Final by virtue of another big score, a 14.75. Basnett had no response to Bryson’s stellar performance, managing only to post a heat score of 9.75.

Eventual winner Royden Bryson and Shane Thorne (Durban) were involved in one of the most entertaining early heats of the morning, with Thorne’s late charge and competitive score of 15.10 not good enough to chase down Bryson’s 16.50, or to advance through to the next round.

Mike Frew, Lizzard’s Marketing Manager, said that, “the whole weekend was great, and Antonio Bortoletto, who is our top team rider, making the Final made it even better. The more experienced guys were more comfortable surfing man-on-man heats, and it showed. The younger guys were threatening, but it was the older, experienced crew who really dominated."