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Benji Brand Takes 5th and Sebastian Williams 9th in Sunset Open in Hawaii

January 29th, 2017 No comments
Sebastian Williams (Durban, ZAF) impressed the judges on his way to 9th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii Image: WSL / Keoki

Sebastian Williams (Durban, ZAF) impressed the judges on his way to 9th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii Image: WSL / Keoki

Williams Also Places 7th in Sunset Open Pro Junior

South Africans Benji Brand and Sebastian Williams posted impressive performances in the Sunset Open, a WSL Qualifying Series (QS) event that was completed in booming 3-4 metre waves at Sunset Beach in Hawaii on Saturday.

Competing against a top class 112 man field consisting mainly of experienced local professionals, Brand reached the semi-finals before bowing out in fifth place overall while Williams was ousted in the quarterfinals and placed ninth.

Brand, who turns 21 next week, hails from Cape Town but his family have a house in Hawaii and has accumulated an excellent track record at Sunset Beach where he has reached the finals of several junior and open events over the past five years.

Seeded to Round 3, Brand won his opening heat, finished runner-up to based extreme waterman Kai Lenny (HAW) in Round 4 and then won his Quarterfinal before placing third in his Semifinal encounter, pocketing US $600 (about R8,000) and 420 valuable QS rankings points.

Benji Brand (Cape Town, ZAF) in action on his way to 5th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii  Image: WSL / Keoki

Benji Brand (Cape Town, ZAF) in action on his way to 5th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii  Image: WSL / Keoki

Sixteen year-old Williams’ confidence boosting performance in his debut QS event at Sunset Beach showed a maturity far beyond his years. Starting his campaign with a heat win in Round 2, he selected the best waves on offer in the 25 minute clash and earned an excellent 8.50 (out of 10) from the judging panel.

Finishing runner-up in his Round 3 match-up, Williams bounced back to win his Round 4 duel, relegating eventual finalist Bino Lopez (BRA) to the runner-up berth as the pair advanced to the Quarterfinals, eliminating Sunset Beach standouts Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) and big wave charger and two-time Pe’ahi Challenge winner Billy Kemper (HAW) in the process.

The Durbanite’s wave-starved Quarterfinal was won by Brand with Miguel Tudela (PER) grabbing second spot just ahead of Williams, who took home R4,000 and 300 points.

The Sunset Open was won by Australian prodigy Jack Robinson who defeated 16-year-old Hawaiian standout Finn McGill, Lopez and Tudela in the Final.

Williams also took advantage of an alternate slot when one of the competitors in the Sunset Pro Junior withdrew last weekend, posting the highest heat scores in both Round 1 and 2 in the 18-and-under event. He again came up short in the Semifinals when he could not find a good backup score to go with the 7.50 he had bagged early in the heat.

The next event in Hawaii is the QS3,000 Volcom Pipe Pro in the hallowed waves of Pipeline where 11-time world champion Kelly Slater is the defending event winner and reigning WSL champion John John Florence is the top seed. The waiting period for the event begins starts on Tuesday and Benji Brand starts in Heat 13 of Round 2 while Sebastian Williams is on standby for an alternate slot.

Full results, images, video footage and more from the Sunset Pro events can be found at www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App.

Sunset Open Results
Surfers shown 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted

Final
1st – Jack Robinson (AUS), 14.35 // 1000 points
2nd – Finn McGill (HAW), 14.25 // 750 points
3rd – Bino Lopes (BRA), 11.65 // 560 points
4th – Miguel Tudela (PER), 5.25 // 525 points

Semifinal, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place
SF1: Miguel Tudela (PER), Bino Lopes (BRA), Benji Brand, Kai Lenny
SF2: Jack Robinson (AUS), Finn McGill, Ian Walsh, Imaikalani deVault

Quarterfinal, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place
QF1: Bino Lopes (BRA), Kai Lenny, Josh Moniz, Taumata Puhetini (PYF)
QF2: Benji Brand, Miguel Tudela (PER), Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Kekoa Cazimero
QF3: Ian Walsh, Finn McGill, Barron Mamiya, Cody Young
QF4: Jack Robinson (AUS), Imaikalani deVault, Seth Moniz, Sheldon Paishon

Round of 32, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17 places, 4th = 25th place
H1: Joshua Moniz, Miguel Tudela (PER), Eli Olson, Kai Mana Henry
H2: Kai Lenny, Benji Brand, Keoni Yan, Yago Dora (BRA)
H3: Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Bino Lopes (BRA), Kaimana Jaquias, Billy Kemper
H4: Kekoa Cazimero, Taumata Puhetini (PYF), Parker Coffin (USA), Elijah Gates
H5: Finn McGill, Imaikalani deVault, Logan Bediamol, Noah Beschen
H6: Ian Walsh, Sheldon Paishon, Koa Smith, Reo Inaba (JPN)
H7: Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Carlos Munoz (CRI), Danny Fuller
H8: Jack Robinson (AUS), Cody Young, Evan Valiere, Tanner Hendrickson

++++++++

Sunset Open Pro Junior Results
Surfers shown 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted.

Men’s Final
1st – Barron Mamiya, 1000 points
2nd – Finn McGill, 750 points
3rd – Kauli Vaast (PYF), 560 points
4th – Cody Young, 525 points

Men’s Semifinals (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place)
SF1: Barron Mamiya, Cody Young, Ryder Guest, Kade Matson (USA)
SF2: Kauli Vaast (PYF), Finn McGill, Wyatt McHale, Sebastian Williams (ZAF)

Men’s Quarterfinals (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place)
QF1: Barron Mamiya, Cody Young, Ocean Macedo, Jake Riccobuano
QF2: Ryder Guest, Kade Matson (USA), Troy Osada, Joh Azuchi (JPN)
QF3: Finn McGill, Kaula Vaast (PYF), Logan Bediamol, Cole Alves
QF4: Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Wyatt McHale, Dylan Franzmann, Makana Pang

Men’s Round of 32 (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17th place, 4th = 25th place)
H1: Cody Young, Ryder Guest, Marco Mignot, Luke Swanson
H2: Ocean Macedo, Troy Osada, Kyle Tester (USA), Rian Son (USA)
H3: Kade Matson (USA), Barron Mamiya, Dante Silva, Sacha Levy-Agami (PYF)
H4: Joh Azuchi (JPN), Jake Riccobuano, Kainehe Hunt, Eli Hanneman
H5: Finn McGill, Dylan Franzmann, Taro Watanabe (USA), Tony Nunez
H6: Cole Alves, Makana Pang, Kanoa Shannon, Levi Young
H7: Wyatt McHale, Kauli Vaast (PYF), Noah Beschen, Gavin Hogan
H8: Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Logan Bediamol, Robert Grilho III, Daiki Matsunaga (JPN)

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary high resolution images are available on request for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Issued on behalf of:

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

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

#labcomm

Jordy Maree Ends 5th as Australians Ewing & Callaghan Crowned World Junior Surfing Champions

January 9th, 2017 No comments
Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) takes to the air on his way to 5th place in the WSL World Junior Surfing Championships in Australia Image: WSL / Cestari

Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) takes to the air on his way to 5th place in the WSL World Junior Surfing Championships in Australia Image: WSL / Cestari

Bombo Beach, Kiama, NSW/AUS (Monday, January 9, 2017) – South African Jordy Maree ended his glittering junior surfing career with a meritorious fifth place finish in the World Junior Championship (WJC) which concluded in tricky 0.6 – 1 metre waves at Bombo Beach in Kiama in Australia today.

Australian duo Ethan Ewing and Macy Callaghan claimed the boys’ and girls’ titles at the annual event which features the world’s top 36 male and 18 female competitive surfers aged 18-and-under.

Maree opened his campaign on the final day by placing second behind Mateus Herdy (BRA) as the pair progressed to the quarterfinals by eliminating Marco Mignot (FRA) in a high-scoring Round 4 encounter. But there the Capetonian could not match top seeded Ewing’s march to the title and he was ousted in equal fifth place overall, pocketing US $3,000 (approx. R41 000)

The boys’ final was a showdown between the top two seeds and great friends, Ewing and Griffin Colapinto (USA), who were the standout performers throughout the event. The finale was affected by a front that blew through in the opening minutes and after Ewing found two scoring waves early, Colapinto was unable to find any waves of substance. Ewing now joins an illustrious list of World Junior Champions including Joel Parkinson, Andy Irons, Jordy Smith and Gabriel Medina, just to name a few.

“This feels so amazing,” Ewing said. “Coming into this event as the top seed gave me confidence from the get go and it all just kept running smoothly from the start of the week. It all just went to plan. It was funny because Griffin (Colapinto) and I talked about the chances of the two of us meeting in the final early in the week, so the fact it happened was really cool. Griffin is a great friend of mine so it is special to share this with him.”

When a little known Ewing took out the Burleigh Pro QS1,000 at the beginning of 2016, he grabbed the attention of the surfing world. He then went on to win the WSL Australasia Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) and finish runner up on the Qualifying Series (QS) booking himself a spot on the 2017 elite Championship Tour (CT), something the young Stradbroke Island native had never set out to do in such quick succession.

“I never planned on any of this happening this year,” Ewing continued. “I did aim to win the JQS, but everything else just kind of happened unexpectedly. This is a great way to start my year off and I can’t wait for the start of the CT.”

After dominating the Australasia Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), Callaghan was a clear favourite heading into the WJC. She continued her terrific form through every heat, posting some of the highest single wave scores and heat totals of the event.

This was no different in the final where the young Central Coaster found herself up against 2014 Junior World title-holder Mahina Maeda (HAW), who also finished runner-up in 2015. Callaghan locked in two solid scores early and continued to build on her score eventually putting Maeda in a combination situation (needing two scores) to win with a heat total of 15.67, the highest of the entire event.

“I’m so excited, this is the biggest event I have ever been in so to win is amazing,” Callaghan said. “That heat was really tricky, there weren’t a huge amount of waves so you really had to pick the good ones. Once I got the 8.17 I knew I was in a good position and could just keep building on it. 2016 was so amazing for me so to start off this year like this is just a dream, I can’t wait for what lies ahead.”

WSL Africa junior champion Adin Masencamp (Strand) was the next best of the seven South Africans in the event, finishing equal 13th after losing out in Round 3. Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Bevan Willis (uMdloti), who received a wildcard into the event, were both eliminated in Round 2 while Sebastian Williams (Durban) could not get to the event due to visa problems.

Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) and Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), the top two girls on the WSL Africa junior rankings, were also both sidelined in Round 2 of the girls’ event, finishing equal 13th overall.

For more information on the WSL World Junior Championships go to www.WorldSurfLeague.com or the WSL App.

The event was secured for Kiama by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Boys Final Result
Ethan Ewing (AUS) 11.34 def. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 1.97

Girls Final Result
Macy Callaghan (AUS) 15.67 def. Mahina Maeda (HAW) 4.60

Boys Semifinal Results
SF 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 12.70 def. Cody Young (HAW) 10.63
SF 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.60 def. Finn McGill (HAW) 8.74

Girls Semifinal Results
SF 1: Mahina Maeda (HAW) 8.90 def. Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 8.26
SF 2: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 13.26 def. Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 9.13

Boys Quarterfinal Results
QF 1: Cody Young (HAW) 12.74 def. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 11.83
QF 2: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.76 def. Jordy Maree (ZAF, Kalk Bay) 10.67
QF 3: Finn McGill (HAW) 13.53 def. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 13.00
QF 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.67 def. Che Allan (BRB) 10.84

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary high resolution images are available on request for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Issued on behalf of:

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

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

#labcomm

Masencamp & Maree Upset the Seeds at World Junior Surfing Championships in Australia

January 4th, 2017 No comments
Adin Masencamp (Strand) on his way to winning his Round 1 heat at the WSL World Junior Surfing Championships in Australia Image: WSL / Cestari

Adin Masencamp (Strand) on his way to winning his Round 1 heat at the WSL World Junior Surfing Championships in Australia Image: WSL / Cestari

Bombo Beach, Kiama, NSW/AUS (Thursday, January 4, 2017) – The 2016 World Junior Surfing Championship got underway at Kiama on the NSW South Coast of Australia today with South Africans Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) creating upsets by defeating top seeded surfers in Round 1.

Competing in peaky one metre waves with light onshore winds at Bombo Beach, the top two seeds in the WSL Africa squad both won their respective opening encounters to advance directly to Round 3 in the annual event that features a field of 36 of surfing’s biggest names aged 18-and-under from the seven WSL regions.

Up against highly touted Nolan Rapoza (USA) and Harley Ross-Webster (AUS), Masencamp caused a massive upset in the last heat of the round as he posted two average scores early to hold the lead and then put the nail in the coffin with a 6.83 late in the heat to claim the heat win.

“I never really think much about names before a heat,” Masencamp said. “Round 1 heats are always a worry regardless of who you’re up against so I just wanted to stay busy and get my scores early. It seemed to work so I’m stoked.”

Earlier in the day, Maree was the first member of the seven-strong WSL Africa squad to take to the surf and the Capetonian surprised event No. 3 seed, Hawaiian phenom Finn McGill, and Chauncey Robinson (USA) by posting a pair of high five point scores to win his match-up.

Jordy Maree Photo: WSL / Cestari

Jordy Maree Photo: WSL / Cestari

Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Bevan Willis (uMdloti), who was given a wild card into the world’s most prestigious junior event, placed third in their respective Round 1 clashes while Sebastian Williams (Durban) missed his heat due to visa problems. All three will get a second opportunity to progress to Round 3 in cutthroat, man-on-man Round 2 duels where the winner advances and the loser is eliminated in equal 25th position overall.

Jake Marshall (USA) produced the highest single ride score of the opening day, 8.33 out of 10, and the highest heat tally of 14.0 out of 20. Other standouts included Weslley Dantas (BRA), Luiz Diaz (CNY), Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Australian Ethan Ewing, who is the top seed for the event after qualifying for the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) at the end of 2016 season at the age of 18.

The opening round of the Girl’s event saw excellent performances from Brisa Hennessey (HAW), Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) and Australians Macy Callaghan and Kobie Enright. South Africa’s Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) and Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) face Leilani McGonagle (CRI) and Ariane Ochoa (EUK) in Round 2 respectively after each placing third in their Round 1 heats.

Kirsty McGillivray Pho: WSL / Cestari

Kirsty McGillivray Pho: WSL / Cestari

The WSL World Junior Championships will run from January 4-12, 2017. Check back at www.WorldSurfLeague.com or check out the WSL app for more information on the event and for the live webcast starting at approximately 10.30pm (SA time) daily.

The event has been secured for Kiama by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary high resolution images are available on request for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Issued on behalf of:

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

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

#labcomm