9 July 2012
Australian-born Irish surfer Glenn Hall secured the biggest win of his career on Sunday, beating American Nathaniel Curran in the final to lift the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro Ballito title at Willards Beach in Ballito on South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Sunday.
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 to secure victory. He opened with an excellent 8.33 (out of ten) before waiting until the final minute to regain his priority, which earned him more than the required score to snatch the win from Curran with a 6.67 back-up ride.
Ultimately, he won the heat by 15.00 to 13.67 (both out of 20.00).
‘I was just praying for a wave’
“It’s the biggest win of my career by far. I kind of 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 for the Irishman, which has seen him winning a four-star event in China, followed by a runner-up finish at the ASP Prime Lowers Pro at Trestles, California. His consistency has seen him rocket 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 added.
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 after losing priority and gifting the Hall 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.”
After taking down some big names, including South African hopeful Travis Logie in the quarterfinals, followed by ASP world number four Adriano De Souza of Brazil in the semi-finals, Curran’s runner-up finish sees him jump from 96th to 42nd in the world rankings.
Adriano De Souza showed exactly why he is the world number four, posting convincing heat wins all week, as well as the highest individual wave score of the event, a 9.50 against Brian Toth in the quarterfinals. In the end, he finished equal third.
American Nat Young posted his best result of the year, sharing third after reaching the semi-finals, 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 and world number eight Jordy Smith in the quarterfinals.
South Africa’s Smith and Travis Logie placed equal fifth after the pair was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Brian Toth and Jack Freestone joined the South African duo with equal fifth place results, with Toth being defeated by De Souza, and Freestone falling to the eventual winner Hall.
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