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Archive for March, 2017

Max Elkington Continues Winning Streak in Billabong Junior Series

March 26th, 2017 No comments
Max Elkington (Kommetjie) on his way to victory in the U16 Boys division of the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Billabong / McGregor

Max Elkington (Kommetjie) on his way to victory in the U16 Boys division of the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Billabong / McGregor

Max Elkington continued his phenomenal winning streak by claiming his 15th national age group event title when he clinched the U16 Boys crown in the Billabong Junior Series presented All Aboard Travel at Loch Ness in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The first of four surfing events that will crown champions in five age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year in October was held in good waves at the Pipe in Port Elizabeth on Saturday before small waves and onshore winds saw organisers move to the open ocean ‘wildside’ where the finals were completed in tricky head-high surf.

Elkington, 15, caught the best wave that came through in the final and belted a series of radical manoeuvres to register his sixth consecutive Billabong Junior Series event win, pocketing R1,200 and taking the early lead in the series rankings. Fellow Kommetjie resident Eli Beukes hung onto second place ahead of Bryce Du Preez (East London) and Dillon Hendriks (Jeffreys Bay) who were third and fourth respectively.

In the U16 Girls’, Kayla Nogueira turned the tables on fellow Durbanite S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (who won the series title last year) in a tightly fought duel where the winning points were scored on the last ride of the final. Tayla de Coning (East London) and Zoe Steyn (Kalk Bay) took the minor places.

The U14 Boys was another tight affair with Daniel Emslie, up from the U12 division last year, found the best backup wave after all four finalists registered one good ride each. Nate Spalding (Durban), Mitch du Preez (East London) and Travis Pearce finished in that order.

Kayla Nogueira secured her second title at the event when she dominated the U14 Girls division, winning each heat she contested including the final where the Durbanite finished in front of Lisa van Heerden (Strand) and Aimee du Preez (EL). Caroline Brown (CT) incurred a priority interference penalty that saw her lose one of her two counting rides and she dropped from second to fourth place.

The U12 Boys title went to Kyra Bennie (Durban) who convincingly beat local pair Nathan Plomaritis and C-Jay Posthumus with Ethan Currin in fourth. The U12 Girls result was also affected by an interference call that saw Lisa van Heerden relegated to second spot behind winner Zia Hendriks, with Emma Bedser and Luanne Hurst collecting third and fourth places.

The newly introduced U10 division was completed in tricky waves at the Pipe before the event was moved and was dominated by Sergio Nogueira (Durban). Davey Emslie, Michael Russel and Josh Malherbe finished second to fourth in the youngest division in the series events, which is supported by Sea Harvest.

Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) boosted the best aerial manoeuvre during the VonZipper Airshow and took home R2,000 from the winner-takes all 30 minute heat, while Davey Emslie was awarded the Billabong Best Claim of the Contest and a hamper of Billabong products.

Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel – Event #1 – Port Elizabeth
Final Results

U/16 Boys
1 Max Elkington (Kommetjie) R1,200
2 Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) R800
3 Bryce du Preez (East London) R600
4 Dillon Hendriks (Jeffreys Bay) R400

U/16 Girls
1 Kayla Nogueira (Durban) R1,100
2 S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) R750
3 Tayla de Coning (East London) R550
4 Zoe Steyn (Kalk Bay) R350

U/14 Boys
1 Daniel Emslie (East London) R1,200
2 Nate Spalding (Durban) R800
3 Mitch du Preez (East London) R600
4 Travis Pearce (Cape Town) R400

U/14 Girls
1 Kayla Nogueira (Durban) R1,200
2 Lisa van Heerden (Strand) R750
3 Aimee du Preez (East London) R550
4 Caroline Brown (Cape Town) R400

U/12 Boys
1 Kyra Bennie (Durban) R1,200
2 Nathan Plomaritis (Port Elizabeth) R800
3 C-Jay Posthumus (Port Elizabeth) R600
4 Ethan Currin R400

U/12 Girls
1 Zia Hendriks (Jeffreys Bay) R1,000
2 Lisa van Heerden (Strand) R700
3 Emma Bedser R500
4 Luanne Hurst R300

U/10
1 Sergio Nogueira (Durban) R900
2 Davey Emslie (East London) R450
3 Michael Russel R350
4 Josh Malherbe (East London) R300

Special Awards

VonZipper Airshow – R2 000
Luke Slijpen (Llandudno)

Billabong – Best Claim of the Event – Product Hamper
Davey Emslie (East London)

See all the results and a gallery of images from the event at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by All Aboard Travel, BOS, VonZipper and Zigzag.

The event is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the recognised governing body for the sport of surfing in South Africa and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

ENDS

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

For more details contact

Chad D’Arcy:
e.chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
t. 079 519 5990
or

Grant Beck
e. grant.beck@billabong.co.za
t. 079 332 9434

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443
Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

Billabong Junior Series Gets Underway in Port Elizabeth this Weekend

March 24th, 2017 No comments
Reigning Billabong Junior Series U16 Boys’ champion Max Elkington (Kommetjie) heads the lineup for the opening event of the 2017 series in Port Elizabeth this weekend  Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

Reigning Billabong Junior Series U16 Boys’ champion Max Elkington (Kommetjie) heads the lineup for the opening event of the 2017 series in Port Elizabeth this weekend  Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

The Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel gets underway at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth this weekend with the first of four surfing events that will crown champions in five age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year.

The world’s longest running junior surfing series has nurtured the competitive careers of countless local surfers including 2016 world title runner-up Jordy Smith and former CT campaigners Bianca Buitendag, Travis Logie, and Rosy Hodge along with current QS standouts Beyrick de Vries, Michael February and Matt McGillivray.

Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 March, this weekend’s event features 3A rated Surfing South Africa (SSA) events for U16, U14, U12 and U10 boys and girls with prize-money in all divisions and ranking points counting towards both the Billabong Junior Series and South African Surf Tour (SAST) 2017 titles.

“We are excited to be launching the 20th annual Billabong Junior Series in Port Elizabeth,” said Billabong Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “It’s a great time to be a junior surfer in South Africa at the moment, and Billabong is proud of our junior surfing legacy.”

All Aboard Travel, the new presenting sponsor for the series, will up the ante by providing tickets to Bali for the overall series winners of the U18 Men’s and Women’s JQS Pro Jnr divisions. BOS Ice Tea will enhance their long standing support for junior surfing by taking the title sponsorship for the second event in the series, the BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong in Cape Town in May.

The U10 division, supported by Sea Harvest, makes its debut in the Billabong Junior Series and has been introduced to foster and encourage youngsters to become involved in competitive surfing as early as possible.

The huge entry from the country’s top surfers aged 16 and under for this weekend is headed by Max Elkington (Kommetjie), Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) and S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) in the U16 Boys and Girls’ divisions. The U14, U12 and U10 divisions are filled by the best competitors from all points of the coastline.

Competitor registration takes place at the event site from 2pm on Friday and continues on Saturday morning.

See the provisional Event Format (subject to change) and the heat draws for all divisions at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by All Aboard Travel, BOS, VonZipper and Zigzag.

The event is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the recognised governing body for the sport of surfing in South Africa and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

ENDS

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

For more details contact

Chad D’Arcy:
e.chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
t. 079 519 5990
or

Grant Beck
e. grant.beck@billabong.co.za
t. 079 332 9434

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443
Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

 

Early Exits for Sawyer, Moir and Peters in Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships

March 22nd, 2017 No comments
Steve Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in action during his Round 3 heat win Photo: WSL / Hain

Steve Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in action during his Round 3 heat win Photo: WSL / Hain

All three South African longboard surfers who jetted halfway around the world to compete in the inaugural Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships suffered early exits as the top seeds were upset by their peers in the outstanding surf.

The first of two events that will determine the 2017 WSL longboard champion, the event is also the first WSL event to be staged in Papua New Guinea in the South-West Pacific.

Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay), the No. 2 seed following his runner-up finish in the 2016 WSL World Longboard Championships on Hainan Island, China in December, placed second in his Round 1 heat before receiving a walk-thru to Round 3 when his opponent did not show up.

In Round 3 Sawyer dispatched Bage Brayner (BRA) with a heat tally of 13.07, which included an excellent ride that earned 8.0 out of 10, but could not maintain his momentum in his three-man Round 4 encounter where he placed third and was eliminated from the event in equal ninth place overall.

Matthew Moir (Cape Town) followed a similar path, taking the runner-up position in his opening encounter and then walking though to Round 3. The former two-time ISA world longboard champ faced Adam Griffiths (GBR) for a second time and again finished second, ending his campaign in equal 13th spot.

Alfonso Peters (Muizenberg), the third member of the WSL Africa contingent, also finished runner-up in his first ever heat outside South Africa. But the 27 year-old former Manenberg street child who was mentored by the Surf Shack outreach program and defeated Moir in the Tigers Milk Surf Classic at his home break last year, was outpointed by the experienced Kevin Skvarna (USA) in Round 2, placing 25th overall.

Alfonso Peters hangs five at the Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Photo: WSL / Hain

Alfonso Peters hangs five at the Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Photo: WSL / Hain

Both the men’s and women’s events are down to the last eight competitors. The event has three days of waiting period remaining for the organisers to find the best possible conditions at the long righthand reef break in order to crown the respective champions.

See more details at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App

Upcoming Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Kai Sallas (HAW) vs. Harley Ingleby (AUS)
QF 2: Antoine Delpero (FRA) vs. Piccolo Clemente (PER)
QF 3: Edouard Delpero (FRA) vs. Adam Griffiths (GBR)
QF 4: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Cole Robbins (USA)

Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Men’s Round Four Results:
Heat 1: Kai Sallas (HAW) 18.33, Piccolo Clemente (PER) 16.34, Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 13.20
Heat 2: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 15.76, Harley Ingleby (AUS) 14.56, Phil Rajzman (BRA) 12.90
Heat 3: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 16.67, Cole Robbins (USA) 14.34, Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 12.24
Heat 4: Taylor Jensen (USA) 16.73, Adam Griffiths (GBR) 15.94, Tony Silvagni (USA) 12.24

Remaining Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Men’s Round Three Results:
Heat 6: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 16.20 def. Dane Pioli (AUS) 14.77
Heat 7: Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 13.07 def. Bage Brayner (BRA) 8.00
Heat 8: Cole Robbins (USA) 17.17 def. Jared Neal (AUS) 13.90
Heat 9: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 17.93 def. Kevin Skvarna (USA) 12.90
Heat 10: Ben Skinner (GBR) 15.93 def. Tony Silvagni (USA) 14.36
Heat 11: Adam Griffiths (GBR) 15.43 def. Matthew Moir (ZAF) 12.66
Heat 12: Taylor Jensen (USA) 18.10 def. Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 10.34

ENDS

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

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

#labcomm

South African Surfing Icons Honoured in Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame

March 20th, 2017 No comments
Surfer’s Circle Walk of Fame inductees with their commemorative certificates at the official opening of South Africa’s first national monument to surfing Photo: SCWOF

Surfer’s Circle Walk of Fame inductees with their commemorative certificates at the official opening of South Africa’s first national monument to surfing Photo: SCWOF

South Africa’s surfing icons were honoured in the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame on Sunday when tablets commemorating the first 30 inductees who established and developed the sport and lifestyle on the Southern tip of Africa were officially unveiled at Muizenberg in Cape Town.

A selection of Pioneers, Legends and World Champions, ranging from Heather Price, the first South African recorded riding a wave standing on a surfboard at Muizenberg in 1919, to Justin Strong who won the ASP World Pro-Am title in 1991, had their names recorded for posterity in the country’s first national monument dedicated to surfing.

South Africa’s most famous surfing personality, Shaun Tomson, delivered a heartfelt talk of the importance of preserving and promoting surfing’s heritage before fittingly cutting a surfboard leash to open the monument. Tomson is touring the country promoting his book ‘The Code’ and was the 1977 ASP World Champion, has become an author, filmmaker and motivational speaker and is acknowledged as one of the world’s most influential surfers.

Other high-profile inductees in attendance included multiple SA Champion and Springbok team captain in the 1960’s and early ‘70’s, George Thompson, who flew in from England for the occasion; Jeffreys Bay’s Cheron Kraak; 1978 ISA World champ Ant Brodowicz from KZN and Graham Hynes from St Francis Bay, the former owner of Safari Surfboards and arguably the world’s best surfing coach.

After the completion of the public opening ceremony at the monument on the beachfront, the inductees and VIP’s attended a post event function where they were treated to speeches by former local councilor Dave D’Alton, Muizenberg Improvement District’s Chevone Peterson, Surfing South Africa Deputy President Bruce Anderson and former United Surfing Council of South Africa Secretary General, Schani Nagia.

The national monument has been seven years in the making, stemming from the highly successful Surfers Corner 60’s Reunion event in 2010. This was followed by the launch of the Surfer’s Circle Walk of Fame in 2014 when the original 12 Pioneers, three each from Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London were selected.

The SCWOF committee is in the process of forming an NPO to run the project, solicit donations for the ultimate aim of erecting a suitable statue to complement the plaques and to the select the inductees, who will be officially ratified by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport.

Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame
2017 Inductees

Pioneers
Heather Price
John Whitmore
Dave Meneses
John Grendon
John Heath
Leo Davis
Sandy McGillivray
Bobby Joubert
Roger Taylor
Mike Hornsey
George Thompson
Leon ‘Dux’ Coetzee
George Bell
Ahmed Collier
Schani Nagia
Addie Jappie
Basil Lomberg
Baron Stander
Peter Burness

Legends
Robbie Abrahams
Cecil Whiteman
Graham Hynes
Max Wetteland
Cheron Kraak
Ant Van Den Heuvel

World Champions
Shaun Tomson
Antoni Brodowicz
Wendy Botha
David Malherbe
Justin Strong

For more information on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame see www.thesurferscircle.co.za (under construction) or the Facebook page Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg

ENDS

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame to Honour Legends of South African Surfing

March 9th, 2017 No comments
The Surfers' Circle Walk of Fame is South Africa's first national monument dedicated to surfing

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame is South Africa’s first national monument dedicated to surfing

South Africa’s first national monument dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of surfing will be officially opened when the plaques honouring the first 30 inductees into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame are unveiled at Muizenberg in Cape Town on Sunday 19 March.

Featuring Pioneers, Legends and World Champions who contributed to the development and growth of the country’s surfing lifestyle and sport prior to 1992, 25 years ago, the monument has been seven years in the making and will be formally opened by 1977 world surfing champion Shaun Tomson.

The day’s activities comprise the public unveiling ceremony at the monument on the traffic circle in the centre of Surfers’ Corner at 11am, followed by a private function for the inductees, their families and invited dignitaries where each honouree will be presented with a certificate commemorating the auspicious occasion.

Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg is considered the birthplace of surfing in South Africa since Heather Price became the first South African to be recorded riding waves standing up on a surfboard there in 1919. It was recognised as one of the world’s top 20 surf towns by National Geographic in 2013.

Originally mooted by the organisers of the hugely successful Surfers’ Corner ‘60’s Reunion in 2010, it took four years of tireless effort by the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), and in particular their Beach representative Peter Wright, to obtain permission from the local authorities to use the circle for a national surfing monument.

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame was launched in 2014 when 12 Pioneers (three each from Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town) were selected for their contributions to surfing during the 1950’s and ‘60’s. A committee has subsequently been formed to run the project with Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, providing the official endorsement of the inductees selected.

The 12 Pioneers selected in 2014 were John Whitmore, Dave Meneses and John Grendon from Cape Town; George Thompson, Leon Coetsee and George Bell from Durban; Sandy McGillivray, Leo Davis and John Heath from Port Elizabeth and Bobby Joubert, Mike Hornsey and Roger Taylor from East London.

Since then 18 more Pioneers, Legends and World Champions have been added to the list of honourees, each of whom will have an engraved black granite plaque in their name unveiled at the ceremony.

South Africans who won world titles prior to 1992 are Tomson (Durban), 1978 ISA champion Ant Brodowicz (Margate) and four-time (1987, ‘89, ’91 & ‘92) ASP women’s champ Wendy Botha (East London), along with David Malherbe (EL) and Justin Strong (Cape Town) who won the ASP world pro-am title in 1990 and 1991 respectively.

The Pioneers include Durbanites Peter Burness and Baron Stander; Capetonians Heather Price, Basil Lomberg, Ahmed Collier and Schani Nagia and Port Elizabeth’s Addie Jappie.

Those being honoured as Legends of the sport are Cheron Kraak from Jeffreys Bay; Ant van den Heuvel, Graham Hynes and Max Wetteland from Durban and Robbie Abrahams and Cecil Whiteman from Cape Town.

More honourees, including world title winning SA surfing teams, will be inducted into the Surfers Circle Walk of Fame annually, with the design and construction of a suitable statue honouring surfing’s heritage also in the pipeline.

Next Sunday’s activities will commence at 9am with an inspirational workshop for young surfers conducted by Shaun Tomson, one of the greatest surfers of all time and an internationally celebrated motivational speaker.

Titled “Commit to a Positive Wave: How to be the best you can be”, the 90 minute session complements the motivational messages in his best-selling book ‘The Code’. Shaun will be signing copies of the book purchased at the event on Sunday. Bookings can be made via howzitaway@gmail.com. Note that space is limited.

More on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame can be found at www.thesurferscircle.co.za and on the Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg Facebook page.

ENDS

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Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

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Launch of City Surf Series Heralds Africa’s Best Ever Year for WSL Surfing

March 1st, 2017 No comments
The inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley was launched at a function in Durban on Tuesday Photo: Luellen Smith

The inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley was launched at a function in Durban on Tuesday
Photo: Luellen Smith

– WSL Africa to Host 13 Events Offering Prize-Money Totalling R13 million in 2017
– Participants Include Men, Women, Junior Men, Junior Women and Outreach Programmes

Africa’s best ever year for professional surfing was launched yesterday (Tuesday) when the 2017 WSL Africa schedule featuring 13 events totaling R13 million in prize-money was unveiled at a media function in Durban to announce the inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley.

Taking place at locations that range from Lamberts Bay on the West Coast to Durban on the East Coast, and including an event in Morocco co-sanctioned with WSL Europe, the schedule comprises events for men, women, junior (18-and-under) men and women and also incorporates outreach programmes designed to spread the stoke of surfing.

The local events will be a huge benefit to South Africa’s current and future surf stars who will be able to accumulate prize-money and coveted World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) ranking points at their home breaks and without having to incur exorbitant international travel costs. The points will also qualify them for entry into the major events overseas.

The season starts with the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong from April 7-9, the first WSL rated event ever to be staged in Port Elizabeth. Featuring QS1,000 rated events for men and women plus JQS1,000 rated events for junior men and women, the three-day tournament offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 and is the first of five events in the City Surf Series.

Next up is the Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits over the Easter weekend (April 15-17), where pro surfing returns to East London for the first time in a decade, and the Corona Durban City Surf Pro presented by Quiksilver (April 21-23), both offering the same format and prize-money as the Port Elizabeth event.

May 20-21 sees the BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong in Cape Town, the first of three stand-alone JQS1,000 events for junior men and women that include the Billabong Junior Series events at Ballito (June 27-29) and Cape St Francis (Sep 22-25). Points from these events will also count towards the 2017 WSL Africa Junior titles and selection of the four men and two women who will represent the region at the World Junior Championships in Australia next January.

The second annual Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay (June 2-4) has added a QS1,000 women’s event to the men’s and junior men’s events this year before the focus moves back to KwaZulu-Natal for the inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing in Durban (June 14-18) where the men’s event carries a QS3,000 rating and a R1 million prize-pool alongside QS1,000 women’s and junior men’s and women’s events.

Competitors in all four categories will be logging up the air miles as they return to Big Bay in Bloubergstrand for QS1,000 and JQS1,000 rated events in the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro presented by O’Neill (June 23-25) under the iconic landmark of Table Mountain.

Then it’s back to the mid-winter warmth of KZN for the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong where the women’s event runs June 30 to 2 July and the R3.3 million, QS10,000 rated men’s event will feature 100 of the world’s best surfers from July 3 to 9.

All of the world’s top 34 ranked surfers will be in action at Jeffreys Bay from July 12 to 23 in the newly named Corona Open J-Bay, the sixth of 11 stops on the Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, where they compete for a share of R7.5 million and ranking points in the race for the 2017 world surfing title.

The final WSL Africa event for men and women is the co-sanctioned Anfa Place Casablanca Pro in Morocco from September 12 to 17 which offers QS1,500 rated events for both categories.

“I’m proud and honoured that WSL Africa has now grown to the point where the country’s current and future surf stars can compete in locally based events and advance their careers by earning enough rankings points and prize-money to qualify for major events elsewhere without having to spend a small fortune chasing around the globe,” said long serving WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch.

“My sincere appreciation goes to the local authorities and the SA surfing industry for their support and we welcome the contribution from sponsors like Volkswagen, Corona, Red Bull and Jordy Smith. Huge thanks also to our marketing agents, Accelerate Sport, and to Surfing South Africa and its Districts who are great partners in this region. And finally, this goal could not have been reached without the input of WSL Africa’s dedicated staff and of course our surfers whose continuing support is the reason we now have one of the WSL’s strongest regional schedules of events.”

The Cell C Goodwave, an invitational event that holds a one year waiting period for the best waves at New Pier in Durban, has received a specialty sanctioning from the WSL. The one day event offers a R100,000 prize-purse to the winning surfer.

The five events making up the City Surf Series will each host activities coordinated by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, and run by the outreach projects in the various locations, designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background.

2017 WSL Africa Schedule of Events

Apr 7-9 Port Elizabeth Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Apr 15-17 East London Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits
Apr 21-23 Durban Corona Durban City Surf Pro pres. by Quiksilver
May 20-21 Cape Town BOS Cape Crown pres. by Billabong
Jun 2-4 Lamberts Bay Vans Surf Pro Classic
Jun 14-18 Durban Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
Jun 23-25 Cape Town Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill
Jun 27-29 Ballito Billabong Junior Series #1
Jun 30-Jul 9 Ballito Ballito Pro Women & Men pres. by Billabong
Jul 12-23 Jeffreys Bay Corona J-Bay Open – Men’s WSL Championship Tour
Sep 12-17 Casablanca Anfa Place Casablanca Pro
Sep 22-25 Cape St Francis Billabong Junior Series #2
Jan 13-Dec31 Durban Cell C Goodwave

See more about the WSL schedule of events at www.WorldSurfLeague.Com and on the WSL App

ENDS

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.

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for all disciplines of surfriding in South Africa by the Department of Sport and Recreation. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).
Issued on behalf of:

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

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Grant “Twiggy” Baker and Paige Alms Claim 2016/17 WSL Big Wave Tour Titles

March 1st, 2017 No comments
Grant "Twiggy" Baker (Durban, ZAF) celebrates on the podium after winning the Puerto Escondido Challenge before going on to claim the 2016/17 WSL Big Wave Tour title  Photo: WSL / Heff

Grant “Twiggy” Baker (Durban, ZAF) celebrates on the podium after winning the Puerto Escondido Challenge before going on to claim the 2016/17 WSL Big Wave Tour title  Photo: WSL / Heff

– Baker Captures Second WSL BWT Title
– Alms Earns Historic Women’s Big Wave Crown
– More Available At Worldsurfleague.Com

LOS ANGELES, CA/USA (Tuesday, February 28, 2017) – With the conclusion of the 2016/2017 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) today, Grant “Twiggy” Baker (ZAF) and Paige Alms (HAW) have claimed the WSL BWT men’s and women’s titles.

Today’s achievement marks Baker’s second BWT title, after securing his first in 2013. Baker competed in all three events that ran on this year’s men’s BWT, kicking off his year-long lead with an emphatic victory at the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico.

The Durbanite then continued to carry the momentum to a strong showing at the Pe’ahi Challenge in Hawaii, where he captured the 3rd place trophy before solidifying his position atop the rankings after a Semifinal finish at the inaugural Nazaré Challenge in Portugal.

“To be the Big Wave Tour Champion means the world to me,” Baker said. “I put in a lot of time and effort into this year and it is amazing that it has paid off. I got married two years ago and had a daughter last year, so my priorities to surf big waves have definitely changed to give them the best possible future. They drive me to catch bigger waves. This year, everything came together in the contests. I did what I had to do competitively and it feels good. I am super stoked.”

Grant "Twiggy" Baker (Durban, ZAF) charged at Jaws in Hawaii on his way to 3rd place in the Pe'ahi Challenge Photo: WSL / Cestari

Grant “Twiggy” Baker (Durban, ZAF) charged at Jaws in Hawaii on his way to 3rd place in the Pe’ahi Challenge Photo: WSL / Cestari

Baker started his incredible career in 2003 with a Finals appearance at his first ever big wave event at Dungeons in South Africa. Since then, the South African has continued to push the limits of big wave surfing with numerous event wins at venues ranging from Maverick’s in California to Punta de Lobos in Chile and Punta Galea in the Basque Country of Spain. Additionally, Baker’s remarkable career is brimming with accolades from the Big Wave Awards, and today’s victory further cements his place in surfing history.

“The progression of big wave surfing in the past few years has been exponential,” continued Baker. “The competition side is pushing the performance level of the sport. What this title means for me is that we are getting something going for the future. We are building something for the kids that are coming up now. The Championship means a lot and it is a great feeling to have that pressure off and to win.”

Baker completed his season with 25,018 points on the year-end rankings, edging out the 20-year old Brazilian charger, Pedro Calado (BRA), by 3,075 points. Defending two-time BWT Champion Greg Long (USA) came in third place with a total of 22,921 points.

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On November 11, 2016, the first ever women’s WSL Big Wave Tour competition was held at the Pe’ahi Challenge. The historic event witnessed incredible performances as 12 individuals took to the water to compete for both the event win and the maiden Women’s Big Wave Champion Title.

Alms made history on the world stage when she won the Pe’ahi Challenge to become the first ever Big Wave Women’s Champion.

Paige Alms (HAW) took on massive waves at the 2016 Pe'ahi Challenge to make history as the first ever Big Wave Women's Champion  Photo: WSL / Heff

Paige Alms (HAW) took on massive waves at the 2016 Pe’ahi Challenge to make history as the first ever Big Wave Women’s Champion  Photo: WSL / Heff

“Being the first Big Wave Women’s Champion at Pe’ahi is an amazing feeling,” said Alms. “I am stoked to be able to put that notch on my belt. I am happy to be an ambassador for the sport and for women in surfing. That was a win for women’s surfing and a win for the Maui community. It wasn’t just a win for me.”

Alms, who lives on Maui, started charging big waves at the age of 15. Like most female big wave surfers, Alms’ career has been self-supported through juggling multiple jobs to fund her travel and training. Her commitment, hard work and passion is not only evidenced through her accolades, but predominantly through her undoubted elevation of big wave surfing.

“Every session we have for big wave surfing for men or women [means] the sport is being progressed,” continued Alms. “For female big wave surfing, the more opportunities that we have like that in an empty line up, the more you’re going to see the best big wave women doing the best big wave surfing. I am really looking forward to seeing what the WSL has in store for next year. This is just the beginning and this was one contest. I think we are going to look back in ten years and say, ‘remember that time?’ I think the possibilities are endless.”

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com

2016/17 Men’s WSL Big Wave Tour Top 5:
1 – Grant Baker (ZAF) 25,018 points
2 – Pedro Calado (BRA) 21,943
3 – Greg Long (USA) 21,921 points
4 – Carlos Burle (BRA) 18,175
5 – Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 15,690

2016/17 Women’s WSL Big Wave Tour Top 5:
1 – Paige Alms (HAW) 12,500 points
2 – Justine Dupont (FRA) 10,416 points
3 – Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 8,680 points
4 – Emily Erickson (HAW) 6,029 points
4 – Keala Kennelly (HAW) 6,029 points
4 – Laura Enever (AUS) 6,029 points

ENDS

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