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Archive for March, 2015

Kommetjie’s Benji Brand finishes runner-up at Pipe Pro Junior in Hawaii

March 22nd, 2015 No comments
Benji Brand (Kommetjie) shows the form that earned him the runner-up berth in the Pipe Pro Junior event in Hawaii on Saturday  Image: © Reilly/Freesurf

Benji Brand (Kommetjie) shows the form that earned him the runner-up berth in the Pipe Pro Junior event in Hawaii on Saturday  Image: © Reilly/Freesurf

South African Benji Brand came within five seconds of clinching his first World Surf League (WSL) title at the Pipe Pro Junior in Hawaii yesterday before local Josh Moniz successfully landed a ‘Hail Mary’ 360 degree backhand aerial that earned the Hawaiian the points required to snatch the crown.

Competing in difficult two metre surf that made wave selection critical in the WSL Junior 1000 event, Brand held the lead for the majority of the final by posting a pair of seven-point rides after Moniz had been awarded a near perfect 9.8 out 10 score for his opening ride, a deep tube in the Backdoor section at Pipeline.

“After my nine I knew my chances of winning were pretty good, because people were winning all day with about 13 points,” said Josh. “But once I got it, I had a weird feeling… I just couldn’t find a wave the whole heat. I know Benji so good. He’s so good at finding little waves when it’s like this, and he got his two sevens and I got pretty freaked out.”

But Moniz’s never-say-die attitude saw the 18 year-old from Honolulu add the Pipe Pro Junior title to the Sunset Beach Pro Junior crown he won last month. He, Brand and his younger brother Seth Moniz are now amongst the favourites to secure the two berths for Hawaii’s top Juniors in the yearend Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the most prestigious title in surfing after the WSL World Title.

Brand, who turned 19 last month, has represented South Africa on numerous occasions as a junior but is also regarded as a Hawaiian as his family have homes in Kommetjie and Haleiwa, Hawaii. He defeated a host of the world’s best surfers aged 20-and-under while advancing through four rounds of competition to reach the final of the Pipe Pro Junior.

PIPE PRO JUNIOR

Final
1st – Josh Moniz (HAW) – 16.8 points (9.8, 7.0); $2,000; 1000 ratings points
2nd – Benji Brand (HAW) – 14.4 (7.15, 7.25); $900; 750 ratings points
3rd – Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) – 8.6 (5.5, 3.1); $600; 560 ratings points
4th – Seth Moniz (HAW) – 6.05 (3.25, 2.8); $300; 525 ratings points

Semi-Finals: (Top 2 advance, 3rd & 4th eliminated)
H1: Benji Brand; Seth Moniz; Kanoa Igarashi (USA); John Mel (USA)
H2: Josh Moniz; Natxo Gonzalez (EUK); Joshua Burke (BRB); Derek Gomes (VEN)

Quarter Finals: (Top 2 advance, 3rd & 4th eliminated)
H1: Seth Moniz; John Mel (USA); Makai McNamara; Luke Shepardson
H2: Kanoa Igarashi (USA); Benji Brand; Tomas Tudela (PER); Nic Hdez (USA)
H3: Joshua Burke (BRB); Derek Gomes (VEN); James Hogan (USA); Griffin Colapinto (USA)
H4: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK); Josh Moniz; Jake Kelley (USA); Jordy Collins (USA)

Round of 32: (Top 2 advance, 3rd & 4th eliminated)
H1: John Mel (USA); Tomas Tudela (PER); Eala Stewart; Ryland Rubens (USA)
H2: Luke Shepardson; Nic Hdez (USA); Kalani David; Skip McCullough (USA)
H3: Benji Brand; Seth Moniz; Cody Young; Jake Marshall (USA)
H4: Kanoa Igarashi (USA); Makai McNamara; Daniel Glenn (USA); Colt Ward (USA)
H5: Griffin Colapinto (USA); Jake Kelley (USA); Kona Oliveira; Kaulana Apo
H6: James Hogan (USA); Jordy Collins (USA); Koa Smith; Landon McNamara
H7: Josh Moniz; Derek Gomes (VEN); Jake Davis (USA); Finn McGill
H8: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK); Joshua Burke (BRB); Barron Mamiya; Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI)

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL) organizes the annual tour of professional surf competitions and broadcasts each event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing — anywhere and anytime it’s on. The WSL sanctions and operates the following tours: the Junior Tour, Longboard Tour, the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour and the crown jewel of the sport, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) which determines the sport’s undisputed world champions. The organization is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with Commercial Offices in New York. The offices are supported by regional centers in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Jordy Smith finishes 9th as quarterfinalists decided at Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

March 12th, 2015 No comments
Jordy Smith (ZAF) finished 9th in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia today   Image: © WSL / Swilly

Jordy Smith (ZAF) finished 9th in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia today   Image: © WSL / Swilly

South African Jordy Smith finished equal ninth in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ on a day of major upsets at the first event on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour being run at Snapper Rocks in Queensland, Australia.

After 11 days of tiny waves, the contest resumed yesterday and the quarterfinalists were decided today on the penultimate day of the extended 13 day waiting period.

Competing in inconsistent but well shaped one metre waves that got better as the day progressed, Smith used his trademark powerful rail turns and progressive fins-free manoeuvres to defeat dangerous rookie Matt Banting (AUS) in Round 3.

However, he could not match the high flying repertoire of Brazilian teenager Felipe Toledo in Round 4, placing second in the three-man encounter. Smith was eliminated in the last heat of the day by Gold Coast stalwart Bede Durbidge (AUS) who found the best wave of their 30 minute, man-on-man Round 5 heat and posted a near perfect 9.50 points out of a possible 10 to clinch victory and advance to the quarters.

The day’s action produced a slew of upsets with reigning WSL World Champion and defending event champ Gabriel Medina (BRA), 11-time world champ Kelly Slater (USA), 2014 rankings runner-up John John Florence (HAW) and 2012 world champ and local star Joel Parkinson (AUS) all being eliminated from competition in Round 3 at the hands of lower-seeded opponents.

Three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) looked strong throughout the day, first facing Dusty Payne (HAW) in Round 3 where he used his patented carves to claim a nine-point ride and the top spot. Next he won his stacked Round 4 heat against Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Durbidge for a place in the Quarterfinals.

“Once you get to these final rounds everyone is ripping,“ said Fanning. “I had a look at the draw last night and thought there was a lot of heats that I didn’t know which way they would go. Everyone on this Tour has the ability to win this event, it’s whoever gets the waves.”

Toledo, at 18 the youngest surfer on Tour, was another of the day’s standout performers. He started strong in his highly anticipated Round 3 bout against Kolohe Andino (USA), opening his account with a near-perfect 9.57 and holding the American off with an 8.93 and the day’s highest heat total, 18.50 out of 20. The progressive Brazilian continued to shine in Round 4 where another nine-point ride helped him dispatch Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS) to move through to the Quarterfinals where he will face Durbidge.

“I love to surf rights and I’ve been really confident and comfortable,” Toledo said. “The long wait was good for my mind and to figure out my boards. I’ll just keep going and having fun, doing what I loved to do, I’m super stoked. I think this year is going to be a great year for Brazil and for the younger guys on tour.”

Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) is out of the competition after being defeated by Glenn Hall (IRL) while Brazilian rookies Italo Ferreira and Wiggolly Dantas, both competing in their first WSL Championship Tour event, also dealt out big upsets in Round 3 today with Ferreira eliminating Slater and Dantas taking down Parkinson.

The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast events will wrap up tomorrow (starting at approximately 12 midnight tonight SA Time) and will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), the only South African amongst the world’s top 18 on the Samsung Galaxy WSL Women’s Championship Tour, was eliminated in Round 2 of the Roxy Pro last weekend, finishing in equal 13th place overall.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results (1st to R4, 2nd = 13th):
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.00 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.77
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.20
Heat 3: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.77 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 9.93
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.60 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.90
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.43 def. Nat Young (USA) 8.94
Heat 6: Glenn Hall (IRL) 14.23 vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 7.50
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.56 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.00
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.90 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 14.44
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.76 def. Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 1.13
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 13.90
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.50 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.74
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.83 def. John John Florence (HAW) 16.13

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 4 Results (1st to QF, 2nd & 3rd to R5):
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 17.23, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.47, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.37
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.37, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.13, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.50
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.50, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.50, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.50
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.83, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.57, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.23

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 5 Results (1st to QF, 2nd=9th):
Heat 1: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 17.34 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.33
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.73 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.50
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.94 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.07
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.83 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.83

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st to SF, 2nd=5th):
QF 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
QF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
QF 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)

The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast runs in conjunction with the Roxy Pro.

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st to SF, 2nd=5th):
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL) organizes the annual tour of professional surf competitions and broadcasts each event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing — anywhere and anytime it’s on. The WSL sanctions and operates the following tours: the Junior Tour, Longboard Tour, the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour and the crown jewel of the sport, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) which determines the sport’s undisputed world champions. The organization is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with Commercial Offices in New York. The offices are supported by regional centers in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za