Nicholson Knocks Out Top Seed in Drama-Filled Day 2 Lizzard Nando's Pro

DURBAN, South Africa - While Day 1 of the Lizzard Nando’s Surf Pro saw all the big names in South African surfing cruise through the first two rounds with relative ease, the early heats on the second day saw many of the same big names fall by the wayside.

The Lizzard event celebrates the 7th edition of its premier contest this year, which is being held at Durban’s North Beach this weekend, May 15 - 17. With over US$10 000 in prize money available in the ASP WQS 1-Star event, and an exciting man-on-man heat structure, high performance and crowd-pleasing surfing was almost guaranteed.

Simon Nicholson, a Durban local and past ASP WQS campaigner, made the most of his extensive contest experience and local knowledge in knocking out the contest’s top seed, Brandon Jackson (Durban). Nicholson took a gamble and surfed the entire heat on the lefthand side of Durban’s North beach, taking advantage of the bowl wave in that area. Both of his scoring waves in the heat featured quality barrel rides, something which no other competitor has managed in the contest thus far.

Nicholson was surprised with his dominating performance, saying he, “didn’t expect too much success in the contest since I have been battling to find top form recently”.

He knew he took a risk by surfing the bowl section as, “it’s a tricky wave to surf because you have to know what you are looking for when you are choosing waves. I was able to dial into a few nice waves with barrel section."

In other big upsets, ASP WQS surfer Dave Richards (Kommetjie) was knocked out by young Kyle Beach (Durban). Daniel Redman (Umdloti), a Semifinalist in last year’s Lizzard Nando’s Surf Pro, was taken down by an in-form Dylan Stewart (Umdloti). Junior surfer Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga), who was one of the standout surfers on Day 1, had his title hopes ended by a determined looking Manfred Adrio (Durban).

In the 6th heat of the second round, another junior surfer, Nick Godfrey (St Francis), made his intentions clear by posting the highest wave score of the contest so far, an 8.50. He backed this up with a solid 6.25, and in the process knocked out Umhlanga’s Chris Leppan in a high-scoring heat.

Mike Frew, Lizzard’s Marketing Manager, commented on “the really great atmosphere at the beach. We are stoked with the crowds and the support that we had today. The man-on-man format forces the guys to come out firing, the surfing has been competitive and of a high standard, so we really couldn’t ask for much more."

Looking ahead to tomorrow (Sunday), the contest gets into the business end of things, kicking off at 7.30am with the Round of 16. Following that, the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Final will be surfed. With awesome weather predicted to continue into tomorrow, there really are no excuses not to get down to North Beach tomorrow to witness some of this incredible action first hand.