Bryson runner-up in Hainan Classic
16 January 2012
South African Royden Bryson started his 2012 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) season with a morale boosting runner-up finish in the historic four-star rated Hainan Classic, the first ASP event to be staged in China, on Saturday.
Competing in excellent one-metre waves at Riyue Bay on the island of Hainan, Bryson first overcame Marc Lacomare of France by posting the highest heat total of the day – 16.87 out of 20 – in their man-on-man semi-final encounter, before falling just short of the total posted by Irishman Glen Hall in the final.
It was Hall, the first Irish surfer to win an ASP event, who took control of the final after finding a well lined up wave that enabled him to perform multiple manoeuvres and earn an excellent 8.83 out of 10 from the judges.
Back into contention
Bryson forced his way back into contention on his fourth ride, landing a perfectly executed double-grab air-reverse to post an 8.43.
The finalists continued to trade long rides and Hall racked up a 7.50, leaving Bryson needing 7.91 for the victory.
The 29-year-old from Hout Bay in Cape Town came agonisingly close, producing a 7.73, but ultimately it was the Irishman who pocketed the $15 000 winner's cheque, 1 000 ASP World rankings points and an ornate jade dragon trophy.
"I'm stoked for Hally, he's a good friend of mine, so I couldn't have picked a better person to win the final, besides myself," said Bryson, who earned $7 500 and 750 points, with a laugh.
"All in all, I am just stoked to have come here. It's an amazing place and I cannot believe the quality of the waves. It's a place I'll definitely visit again in the future."
Durbanite Brandon Jackson was the next best placed ASP Africa member in the Hainan Classic, finishing 13th overall. Dale Staples ended 25th while Greg Emslie and Nikita Robb were equal 33rd, and Sarah Baum 49th.
The Hainan Classic was the second of two events in the Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver which ran from 7 to 14 January and was organised by the International Surfing association (ISA).
All the action from the event can be watched in the video section of the ASP Hainan Classic website.
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