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Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill to Showcase Festival of Surfing Action in June

May 7th, 2019 No comments

Jordy Smith (Durban), the current World No. 3, will be promoting his new SMTH Shapes surfboard brand at the 2019 Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza in June Photo: (c) O’Neill / Wez Lewis

The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill will showcase a festival of surfing action with events featuring all levels of the sport, from the world’s best professionals right through to learn to surf lessons, when it is staged in the mid-winter warmth of the KwaDukuza coastline from June 27 to 7 July.

The 51st edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event has added an exciting new Pro Junior event and the finals of the provincial schools surfing league to a schedule that again includes 2019’s highly anticipated first WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event for men, a QS1,000 rated event for women and the Ballito Pro Trials where the country’s top surfers compete for a prestigious wildcard into the continent’s highest rated QS event.

The inaugural O’Neill SMTH Shapes Pro Junior kicks off the festival program from 27-29 June and is a collaboration between global wetsuit and apparel giant O’Neill and former World Junior Champion and two-time Ballito Pro winner Jordy Smith, who is always keen to support opportunities for the country’s junior surfers.

“I’m really stoked to be promoting my new surfboard brand, SMTH Shapes, at Ballito in June,” said Smith, the current World No. 3. “This is a perfect partnership with my sponsor O’Neill.”

The event enables South Africa’s top 18-and-under men and women to meet, mingle and compete against their international peers. Competitors earn prize-money and rankings points that count towards the prized annual WSL Africa Junior titles and the selection of the regional squad invited to the WSL World Junior Championships in December.

“We’re honoured to have SMTH Shapes come on board with the Pro Junior,” said Paul Canning, O’Neill South Africa Brand Director. “Jordy is such a great ambassador for South African surfing and is always amazing with all the kids, so we welcome this partnership.”

KwaZulu-Natal’s top surfing scholars will get the opportunity to display their talent on the big stage when the top five High School teams in the O’Neill KZN Schools Surfing League contest the final tag team heat that will crown the top surfing school in the province. The league runs from April to June and is always a fiercely contested battle with the favourites this year including defending champions Clifton, Northwood, Westville, Glenwood, Michaelhouse and St Henry’s along with the North Coast’s Ashton and Crawford who will definitely have local knowledge on their side.

“The league is a great platform for any young surfer to get involved in the sport in a fun and team environment and I am very excited to see the final included in this year’s festival,” said Canning

For the eleventh consecutive year the KwaDukuza Municipality have embraced the Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill which offers 10,000 points to the winner, the highest points haul available for men on the QS leaderboard.

The 112-man entry for the event traditionally includes at least a dozen of the world’s elite surfers who compete on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) along with the highest ranked QS surfers fighting for the right to qualify for the top tier.

The prestigious event also provides the best of the local WSL Africa members with invaluable experience competing against the world’s top professionals and the opportunity to earn plenty of coveted rankings points which assist them in gaining entry to the higher rated events internationally.

The locals will include the WSL Africa champion Adin Masencamp (Strand) plus those who finished in the Top 100 on the 2018 year end QS rankings, six wildcards chosen by the WSL, the Africa regional office and the event, and the winner of the Ballito Pro Trials to be held on Sunday 30 June.

The women’s event will again feature a mix of international and local competitors with the South Africans bidding to become the 22nd champion and to join 2015 winner Nikita Robb (East London) as the only home grown women’s champions. The men’s and women’s events run in parallel from Monday to Sunday, 1-7 July.

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa’s hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes – rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance – will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors to this coastal holiday highlight.

For more information, visit:
Website: www.theballitopro.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/theballitopro/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBallitoPro
Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheBallitoPro
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theballitopro
Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro

The Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, O’Neill, Capitec, Casio G-Shock, SMTH Shapes, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, North Coast Courier, SMG MINI, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

About O’Neill
Jack O’Neill opened the world’s first surf shop in 1952 out of a garage off the Great Highway, San Francisco. He started out shaping boards and selling wax, eventually experimenting with insulated surf vests to extend sessions in the frigid waters of Northern California. This thought process lead to the creation of the neoprene wetsuit, an invention of Jack’s that changed the surf world forever. The shop later moved to Santa Cruz and went full force into the wetsuit business. That same progressive spirit still drives the company forward today. We at O’Neill strive to innovate, evolve, and produce timeless products to benefit those who live the surf lifestyle.

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for surfing 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

Contact: Bianca van Aardt – Media Manager
Tel: 082 773 5407
Email: bvanaardt@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

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

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organizers of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach festival, music concerts and culinary contests please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

Jordy Smith Finishes Third in Booming Waves at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

April 27th, 2019 No comments

Jordy Smith (Durban) carves off the top of a huge wave on his way to third place in the Rip Curl Bells Beach which ended on Saturday
Photo: WSL / Dunbar

– John John Florence (HAW) Wins Men’s Title and Moves to Top of Rankings
– Courtney Conlogue Rings the Bell for the Third Time

DOWNLOAD HI-RES IMAGES FROM FINALS DAY – https://wdrv.it/b1a4635eb

BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Saturday, April 27, 2019) – Courtney Conlogue (USA) and John John Florence (HAW) won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Stop No. 2 on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) in picturesque conditions with pumping 2 – 3 metre waves on Saturday

Although he fell in the Semifinals to eventual winner Florence in the Semifinals, 2017 Bells Beach champion Jordy Smith (Durban) was a clear standout on the last two days of competition. The South African powered through the unruly 3 – 5 metre waves on Friday, defeating Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN).

In classic Bells conditions on Saturday, Smith overcame Jeep rankings leader Italo Ferreira (BRA) in their quarter-final clash when the Brazilian incurred an interference call and had one of his two counting scores reduced to zero.

Smith’s second-consecutive 3rd place finish saw him solidify his third place in the latest rankings behind Florence and Ferreira, and ahead of Bells Beach runner-up Filipe Toledo and fellow Brazilian and reigning world champion Gabriel Medina.

After carrying an injury for the majority of the 2018 season, former two-time WSL Champion Florence returned to competition with a bang, finishing in 3rd on the Gold Coast and now winning his maiden Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title. Florence’s trademark power and finesse perfectly matched the huge walls of the last two days.

“It’s a surreal feeling to have won this event,” Florence said. “Especially an event like this where we started at Winki with small waves then to how big it was yesterday and then just totally perfect today. There have been so many different faces and challenges and then surfing against Filipe (Toledo) is always pretty scary.”

In addition to the conditions, the win was not without its fierce opponents as Florence overcame Medina (BRA) in the Quarterfinals, Smith (ZAF) in the Semifinals, and Brazilian contender Filipe Toledo (BRA) in the Final. Florence’s win gives him his career’s best start to the season and he will head to the Stop No 3, the Corona Bali Protected, wearing the Jeep Leader Jersey, a frightening prospect for the rest of the men’s CT.

Following an injury-plagued 2018 of herown, and a 9th place result at Stop No. 1 on the Gold Coast, Conlogue is back on top of the podium after winning her third Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title. The Californian surfed well through the early rounds, but then came into her own on the last two days in the massive surf, standing out from the rest of the field with her committed and critical turns.

“What an event! I went from being out of rhythm with the ocean to the ocean being in the kind of rhythm I enjoy,” Conlogue said. “I was trying to contain my ‘grom froth’ watching the waves all day. It feels incredible to get another Bell, they’re not easy to come by. Every single Bell has its own special path and journey that got me it and this one was definitely an amazing one to win.”

Conlogue defeated fellow Californian Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Semifinal and went on to meet Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Final where she earned the year’s first Perfect 10 point ride to secure her win at Bells. This was Conlogue’s second win over Manuel in a Final. The win moves Conlogue from 9th to 3rd on the Jeep Leaderboard.

For full results, images and highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

The next stop on the 2019 WSL Championship Tour will be the Corona Bali Protected at Keramas on the East Coast of Bali. The event window will open on May 13 and run through May 25, 2019. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and Facebook.com/WSL.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Final Results:
1 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.83
2 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.84

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.50 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.67
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.33 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 7.80

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Final Results:
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 14.30
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.83

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.40 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.84
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.80 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.24

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.67 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 5.67
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.06
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 16.87 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.17
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.23 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.40

2019 WSL Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1 – Caroline Marks (USA) 16,085 points
2 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 13,885 points
3 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12,610 points
4 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 12,545 points
5 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9,490 points

2019 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 16,085 points
2 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14,745 points
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12,170 points
4 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11,120 points
5 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9,490 points

ENDS

Caption: Jordy Smith (Durban) carves off the top of a huge wave on his way to third place in the Rip Curl Bells Beach which ended on Saturday
Photo: WSL / Dunbar

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

 

Jordy Smith Finishes Third at WSL Championship Tour Opener in Australia

April 8th, 2019 No comments

Jordy Smith (Durban) takes to the air on his way to third place in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, the opening event of the 2019 WSL Championship Tour, which ended at Duranbah Beach in Australia on Monday  Photo: WSL / Dunbar

– Italo Ferreira Flies to Victory in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
– 17-Year-Old Caroline Marks Wins Boost Mobile Pro – First CT Event to Award Equal Prize Money

DOWNLOAD HI-RES IMAGES FROM FINALS DAY – https://wdrv.it/1e167ac03

COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Monday, April 8, 2019) – Today, Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Caroline Marks (USA) won the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, the opening stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The final day’s action took place at Duranbah Beach, the event’s backup site, in 0.6 – 1.2 metre waves to determine the first winners of the season.

South Africa’s Jordy Smith (Durban) finished third overall to jumpstart his 2019 world title campaign and possible qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games. Smith, the biggest surfer on the CT, struggled to post high scoring rides in the early rounds but improved as the event progressed.

The Durbanite’s semi-final clash with eventual winner Ferreira was a see-saw duel in which the lead change hands several times as the two protagonists took to the air with futuristic manoeuvres in the small but clean beach-break waves. Despite recording the single highest score of the clash – an excellent 8.67 out of 10 for a high-flying 360 degree rotation, Smith was overtaken by the Brazilian who racked up a heat total of 15.33 out of 20 (8.0 + 7.33) to clinch his place in the final.

Having ended the 2018 season at No. 5 on the Jeep Rankings, Smith now heads for the second event on the schedule, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach near Melbourne next week, buoyed by an opening result that is a big improvement on the13th place he earned on the Gold Coast last year.

The 2019 CT is also the first opportunity for the world’s best surfers to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where surfing will make its Olympic debut. The Championship Tour rankings at the end of this season will determine 18 of the 40 available places (10 men and 8 women). After today’s results, the surfers are one step closer to both qualifying for the Olympics and winning the prestigious WSL World Title.

In 2018, Ferreira proved himself to be one of the most exciting surfers, winning three CT events and finishing the year in fourth place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Today, the 24-year-old got his World Title campaign off to a perfect start with a come-from-behind victory over Californian Kolohe Andino (USA). Ferreira will now sport the Jeep Leader Jersey and focus his attention to Stop No. 2 of 11 on the men’s CT.

“Winning this event at the start of the year is unbelievable, ” Ferreira said. “I knew it would be so hard to beat Kolohe (Andino). I feel really lucky to have beaten him and especially in waves like this. The support on the beach is so unreal. I love all of the Brazilians on the beach. They are incredible cheering us all on. I’m excited to be in the Jeep Leader Jersey again, but it is a long year and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.”

The innovative surfer posted some of the event’s highest scores in the earlier rounds, while also winning the Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast at the start of the waiting period.

17-year-old Marks earned her career-first event win today when she defeated former three-time women’s world champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the final. Marks takes the early lead on the World Rankings and with only one year on the CT to her name, the young competitor is off to a phenomenal start in her career, already reaching the very top to set the tone for the year ahead.

“I’m really emotional right now,” Marks said. “I can’t believe it. I’m speechless. It’s incredible to be a part of this sport. I just want to thank everyone at WSL, I’m so grateful. It’s so amazing to be a part of women’s surfing. Carissa (Moore) has always been my hero and she still is. To have my first win over her is incredible. This has been the best event and best week of my life. There’s still a lot of work to do for the rest of the year, but I’m definitely going to enjoy this moment.”

In addition to the year’s first elite surfing event, today marked the first CT event to award equal prize money to the female and male competitors following WSL’s commitment in September last year. Each stop on the Championship Tour, in 2019 and beyond, will award equal prize money and continue to host the Rising Tides – WSL Girls Program, the beachside engagement program aimed to inspire the next generation of young girls to take to the surf.

Men’s World Champions Fall Short in Opening Event

After almost a decade of competing on the WSL Championship Tour, two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) has only made the semi-finals twice at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, once in 2017 and again today, when he was stopped by Andino this morning. Florence recently returned to full-time competition after a sidelining knee injury and now sits in third on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into the next event.

Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) was eliminated by Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the quarter-finals. Medina was a standout at D-Bah, posting the highest heat total of the entire event during the earlier rounds. However, Medina was unable to find two decent scores against Smith and finished the event in equal 5th place meaning he will head to Bells without the Jeep Leader Jersey.

Kelly Slater (USA), the 11-time world champion who has missed most of the events in the past 18 months while recovering from an ankle injury incurred in Jeffreys Bay in 2017, returned fit and focussed for another tilt at an unprecedented 12th world title. The 45-year-old continues to match the feats of surfers less than half his age at the world’s most challenging venues but was eliminated early in the 0.5 to 1 metre beach break waves, finishing equal 33rd at Duranbah.

2019 WSL Championship Tour will now head to Stop No. 2, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. The event window will open on April 17 and run through April 27, 2019. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and Facebook.com/WSL. Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For highlights from the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Caroline Marks (USA) 13.83
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.67

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.67 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.50
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.90 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.87

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.57
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.43

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.23 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 8.96
SF 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.33 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarter-final Results:
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 11.00 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.56
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.33 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.47
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.17 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.23
QF 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.07 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.77

2019 WSL Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):
1 -Caroline Marks (USA) 10,000 points
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 7,800 points
3 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,085 points
3 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 6,085 points
5 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 4,745 points
5 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 4,745 points
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 4,745 points
5 – Sage Erickson (USA) 4,745 points

2019 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10,000 points
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 7,800 points
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6,085 points
3 – John John Florence (HAW) 6,085 points
5 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4,745 points
5 – Conner Coffin (USA) 4,745 points
5 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 4,745
5 – Seth Moniz (HAW) 4,745 points

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Jordy Maree Heads South African Contingent at Historic Senegal Pro in West Africa

March 31st, 2019 No comments

Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) on his way to third place in the inaugural Senegal Pro at Surfers Paradise in Dakar on Saturday Photo: WSL / Masurel

Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) posted the best result by a member of the South African contingent in the inaugural Senegal Pro presented by BKS when he placed third in the historic first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event to be staged in West Africa

A QS1,500 rated event for men and women, the Senegal Pro attracted nearly 70 international competitors with Timothee Bisso (FRA) and Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) claiming commanding victories in the finals against Aboubakar Bouaouda (MAR) and Emily Nishimoto (JPN) respectively in one metre waves at Surfer Paradise in Dakar.

Stop No. 1 on the 2019 WSL Africa regional QS circuit was graced with beautiful conditions and great performances by a talented group of international athletes as well as a handful Senegalese surfers.

Maree was in form throughout the event, winning his four-man Round of 32 and Round of 16 heats and then defeating compatriot Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in their man-on-man quarter-final.

Maree was narrowly outpointed by eventual runner-up Bouaouda in their semi-final encounter but his haul of 840 points saw the South African leapfrog 239 places up the QS rankings list to No. 146 and he takes the early lead on the WSL Africa regional leaderboard.

The final started with both surfers posting mid-range scores and at the 10-minute mark they were neck and neck. Bisso, a former runner-up at the World Junior Championship who won his first QS event in Tenerife last month, then re-gained the lead with a 7.50 (out of 10) and closed the door on his Moroccan rival with an excellent 8.25 to claim back-to-back wins in the space of three weeks.

“I can’t believe I’ve just won another one!” Bisso said. “I didn’t expect to have such a great time this week but hats off to Oumar the organizer, he put on an incredible event and I think everyone had just the best time. It feels like I really shared this win with everyone here today.”

The women’s final was also an all-goofy foot battle and Erostarbe was the first to fire with excellent backhand turns right in the lip to put a 6 and a 7 on the board and take an early lead over Emily Nishimoto (JPN) who only recorded average numbers. The Basque surfer continued to build momentum and gained confidence, hitting all the right turns in the right sections and posted a 7.50 to nail her first-ever win on the Qualifying Series.

“I can’t believe it, I’m just in a dream right now,” Erostarbe stated. “The waves and weather was awesome today so I had a lot of fun. There’s a really good righthand point break close to home so I’ve been working on my backhand and I’m glad it works out. I still need to work a lot but it’s great to win and feel like it’s worth the work.”

Surfers from Europe will now focus on the men’s QS3,000 Pro Santa Cruz pres. by Noah Surf House from April 8-13, while the next African event will be QS1,000 Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro from April 18-20, 2019.

The Senegal Pro pres. by BKS ran from March 27-30, 2019 at Surfer Paradise, Dakar – Senegal. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.

The Senegal Pro was produced by Surfer Paradise, Blacks Surf and supported by the Fédération Sénégalaise de Surf, Teranga Digital, Smile Wave Fund, Eiffage, Groupe Kirène, la République Française, Icom Groupe and Bonjour Sénégal among others.

SENEGAL PRO MEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Timothee Bisso (FRA) 15.75
2 – Aboubakar Bouaouda (MAR) 13.40

SENEGAL PRO WOMEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 14.50
2 – Emily Nishimoto (JPN) 10.95

SENEGAL PRO MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF1: Aboubakar Bouaouda (MAR) 13.00 def. Jordan Maree (ZAF) 11.75
SF2: Timothee Bisso (FRA) 15.70 def. Ian Fontaine (FRA) 12.30

SENEGAL PRO WOMEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF1: Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 13.85 def. Camilla Kemp (PRT) 9.90
SF2: Emily Nishimoto (JPN) 11.00 def. Peony Knight (GBR) 10.35

WSL QS Rankings after Senegal Pro
1 Andre,Jadson BRA 15000 pts
2 Banting,Matt AUS 10350
3 Robinson,Jack AUS 8070
4 Lawler,Jordan AUS 7910
5 Ribeiro,Alex BRA 7700

South Africans
20 Masencamp,Adin (Strand) 4010 pts
42 McGillivray,Matthew (Jeffreys Bay) 2900
48 De Vries,Beyrick (uMhlanga) 2700
72 Lightfoot,Dylan (Jeffreys Bay) 2100
146 Maree,Jordan (Kalk Bay) 1160

WSL QS Women’s Rankings after Senegal Pro
1 Nichols,Isabella AUS 10680 pts
2 Spencer,Alyssa USA 7140
3 Quizon,Alessa HAW 7050
4 Bulard,Cannelle FRA 6860
5 Kelly,Zahli AUS 6610

South Africans
26 Buitendag,Bianca (Victoria Bay) 3360 pts
58 Baum,Sarah (Australia) 1795
119 Hogg,Teal (uMhlanga) 643
136 Hoffman,Tanika (Cape Town) 450
165 Bell,Sophie (Salt Rock) 300
177 Makhubu,S’Nenhlanhla (Durban) 280

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Ballito Pro Welcomes O’Neill as Presenting Sponsor Going into Sixth Decade in June

March 19th, 2019 No comments

Two-time event champion Jordy Smith (Durban) will be one of the favourites for the 2019 Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill men’s title at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza in July Photo: WSL / Poullenot

Events:
Men – Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill (QS10,000)
Women – Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by O’Neill (QS1,000)
Juniors – O’Neill Pro Junior (JQS1,000) for 18-and-under Men & Women
Venue: Willard Beach, Ballito, KwaDukuza, South Africa
Dates: June 27 – 7 July, 2019

The Ballito Pro, the world’s longest running professional surfing event, welcomes global wetsuit and apparel giant O’Neill as the new presenting sponsor when it enters its sixth decade of attracting the world’s top surfers to compete in South Africa in June.

The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill will again be a key event on the World Surf League (WSL) schedule, showcasing the best juniors, women and men in the surf at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza from June 27-July 7 when it will be the cornerstone of the continent’s biggest beach festival.

For the eleventh consecutive year the region will host a Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event for men with the highest possible points on the international rankings at stake.

The women will again display their talent in the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by O’Neill while the inaugural O’Neill Pro Junior includes events for men and women aged 18-and-under at Ballito for the first time.

“As the KwaDukuza Municipality we are once again jovial to be hosting the renowned Ballito Pro,” said the Mayor of KwaDukuza, Cllr Ricardo Mthembu. “We wish to thank O’Neill for taking the baton of being the new presenting sponsor – thank you for believing in this magnificent event, which has enormously succeeded in its task to being a nation building platform and a catalyst for introducing this sport to rural communities.”

This year’s edition will be bigger and better than ever with O’Neill excited to be involved in one of the planet’s icon watersports events.

“O’Neill is very proud to be coming on board as the presenting sponsor for the Ballito Pro,” said Paul Canning, O’Neill South Africa Brand Director. “The event has such an amazing history in South African surfing and has been an instrumental platform in getting our local professional surfers onto the world surfing stage for over five decades. We look forward to building a long relationship with the KwaDukuza Municipality and presenting another world class surfing festival.”

Last year’s men’s field included a dozen of the world’s elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers and was won by Brazilian Peterson Crisanto who, along with runner-up Jack Freestone (AUS), went on to qualify for the prestigious 2019 CT thanks to the huge haul of ranking points they both earned at Ballito.

The 112-man entry for the event provides local WSL Africa members with invaluable experience competing against the world’s best, along with opportunities to earn prize-money and coveted rankings points which assist them in gaining entry to the higher rated events internationally, and also count towards the annual WSL Africa title.

Competitors in the Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by O’Neill also earn prize-money and points on both the international and regional rankings while the18-and-under competitors in the O’Neill Pro Junior will be striving for the prestigious event titles and selection for the WSL Africa squad that is invited to the annual World Junior Championship.

“It’s been such a fantastic 10 years with Ballito and the KDM Municipality, we have grown up together,” said WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch. “And huge thanks to O’Neill for stepping up to perpetuate the legacy of this icon event that has brought the world’s best surfers to our shores for the past 50 years and continues to provide WSL Africa members, juniors, women and men, with a springboard onto the world tour.

“Ballito’s surroundings and great winter weather are so similar to Hawaii’s North Shore – the surfers love the event. The friendliness of the community, the way the great setup for the competitors and spectators blends into the landscape, the clean beaches and great waves combine to produce a truly a magical event.”

The Ballito Pro Surf Festival kicks off with the O’Neill Pro Junior from June 27-30 before the crown jewel of the festival, the QS10,000 Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill, and the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by O’Neill take centre stage from Monday to Sunday, July 1-7.

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa’s hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes – rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance – will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors to this coastal holiday highlight.

For more information, visit:
Website: www.theballitopro.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/theballitopro/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBallitoPro
Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheBallitoPro
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theballitopro
Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro

The Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, O’Neill, Capitec, Casio G-Shock, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, North Coast Courier, SMG MINI, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

About O’Neill
Jack O’Neill opened the world’s first surf shop in 1952 out of a garage off the Great Highway, San Francisco. He started out shaping boards and selling wax, eventually experimenting with insulated surf vests to extend sessions in the frigid waters of Northern California. This thought process lead to the creation of the neoprene wetsuit, an invention of Jack’s that changed the surf world forever. The shop later moved to Santa Cruz and went full force into the wetsuit business. That same progressive spirit still drives the company forward today. We at O’Neill strive to innovate, evolve, and produce timeless products to benefit those who live the surf lifestyle.

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for surfing 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

Compiled & Distributed by:

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

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organizers of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach festival, music concerts and culinary contests please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

 

 

Adin Masencamp Climbs to Career-High Ninth Place on World Surf League QS Rankings

March 4th, 2019 No comments

Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) on his way to fifth place at the Vissla Central Coast Pro at Avoca Beach in Australia on Monday Photo: WSL / Smith

– Unprecedented Four South Africans in Top 10 at Vissla and Sisstrevolution Events in Australia
– Dylan Lightfoot and Bianca Buitendag Reach Quarter-Finals

South Africa’s Adin Masencamp (Strand) climbed to a career-high No. 9 on the latest World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rankings after placing equal ninth in the Vissla Central Coast Pro in Australia on Monday

Completed in bumpy one metre right-breaking waves at Avoca Beach in New South Wales, the QS3,000 rated event saw compatriot Dylan Lightfoot finish fifth after reaching the quarter-finals and fellow Jeffreys Bay surfer Matt McGillivray match Masencamp’s result with equal ninth place.

Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay) made it an unprecedented four South Africans in the Top 10 at a QS3,000 rated event in Australia when she claimed fifth place in the Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro women’s event run in conjunction with the men’s event.

Masencamp continued the phenomenal run of WSL event results that has seen the 19-year-old from Strand in the Western Cape dominate the WSL Africa regional rankings for the past two years, claiming the Junior Men’s crown in 2017 and following that up with the Open Men’s title last year.

An outstanding fifth place finish in his first event of the season, the QS6,000 Oi Hang Loose Pro in Brazil last week where he was up against many of the world’s best surfers, and his ninth place at Avoca today has seen Masencamp accumulate 3,550 points and he is the highest rated South African on the international QS rankings.

McGillivray, the country’s highest placed surfer in the 2018 yearend rankings where he finished No. 30, earned 900 points at Avoca which along with the 1,260 for his quarter-final result in Israel earlier this year, saw the 21-year-old leapfrog from No. 45 to 23rd in the current rankings.

Lightfoot enters the 2019 rankings in 63rd place thanks to his confidence-boosting run to the quarters in his first event of the year, while Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) is the only other South African in Top 100 after his results in Israel and then the Canary Islands combined see the Capetonian occupying 92nd spot.

The Vissla Central Coast Pro was won by former WSL Championship Tour (CT) member Connor O’Leary who beat compatriot Matt Banting in a high-scoring final in which the winner scored the only perfect 10-point ride of the event

Buitendag, who was ranked as high as No. 4 on the elite Women’s WSL CT at the end of 2015 before a longstanding back injury saw her slide down the rankings, started her 2019 challenge strongly by advancing through three rounds of competition before she was ousted by eventual event winner Sage Erickson (USA).

The South African contingent in Australia will be joined by Michael February (Cape Town), Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) and Slade Prestwich (Durban) for back-to-back QS6,000 rated events at Merewether Beach in Newcastle and Manly Beach in Sydney later this month.

Full results, news, images and video footage from Avoca are available at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

 

Matt McGillivray Launches His World Surf League Campaign with Fifth Place in Israel

January 19th, 2019 No comments

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) on his way to fifth place at the first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event of 2019, the QS3,000 Seat Pro Netanya in Israel Photo: WSL / Poullenot

– Jake Elkington and Liam de Villiers Bow Out Early
– Eithan Osborne (USA) Takes Maiden QS Victory

Matt McGillivray launched his 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) campaign with a fifth place finish on Friday in the first event of the season, the QS3,000 rated Seat Pro Netanya in Israel.

The 21-year-old from Jeffreys Bay, who won the corresponding event in Israel last year, narrowly advanced through three rounds where he finished second in each of his four-man heats, before he was ousted in his man-on-man quarter-final encounter with eventual event runner-up Tristan Guilbaud (FRA).

“I have such good memories from last year so I was really excited to be back here again,” McGillivray said after scraping through his Round 4 encounter with a last minute ride. “It was a momentum shift for me winning here and it helped so much with the confidence. I finished with a good seeding, picking up more points in Hawaii and I’m just hoping to make the best of it in the first half of this year.”

The event was won by Eithan Osborne (USA) who defeated Guilbaud in the inconsistent 1 -1.5 metre waves to clinch his maiden QS event title.

South Africa’s Liam de Villiers (Richards Bay) finished 65th after placing third in his Round 2 match-up while Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) won his Round 3 clash but bowed out in equal 25th spot overall after placing fourth in his Round 4 clash.

McGillivray, ranked No.30 in the QS rankings at the end of 2018, the highest by a South African, is set for a busy first three months of the season that will see him circle the globe competing in events in Hawaii, Brazil and Australia.

He has entered the QS3,000 Volcom Pipe Pro at Pipeline in Hawaii, which starts on 29 January and runs until 10 February, where he will be joined by compatriot Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay). McGillivray then jets to the island of Fernando do Noronha, off the coast of Brazil, for the QS6,000 Hang Loose Pro (19-24 Feb) which will also feature WSL Africa 2018 men’s champion Adin Masencamp (Strand).

Three days later the pair are due to get their campaigns underway in the QS3,000 Vissla Central Coast Pro at Avoca, Australia (27 Feb – 4 Mar) before participating in the QS6,000 Burton Automotive Pro at Newcastle, Australia, (11-17 March) where they will be joined by Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga).

South Africans enjoyed one of the country’s best ever years on the international surfing stage in 2018 with Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) clinching the WSL World Longboard Surfing title, Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (Durban) heading the WSL Big Wave Tour rankings (with just one event to go), Jordy Smith (Durban) finishing fourth in chase for the WSL Men’s World Title and a record-setting eight South African surfers ranked in the Top 100 of the yearend QS rankings.

These annual rankings are based on each surfer’s best five results after 64 events rated from QS1,000 to QS10,000 on all five continents, which in 2018 featured a total of 1384 competitors. The top 10 in the rankings automatically qualify for the following year’s elite Championship Tour (CT) and also for starts in the limited fields in the biggest QS events for the first half of 2019.

For full results from the Seat Pro Netanya, along with news, images, videos and more see www.worldsurfleague.com

SEAT PRO NETANYA FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Eithan Osborne (USA) 11.53
2 – Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 8.93

SEAT PRO NETANYA SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Eithan Osborne (USA) 14.10 def. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 12.97
SF 2: Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 12.37 def. Cole Houshmand (USA) 11.50

SEAT PRO NETANYA QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 13.80 def. Leon Glatzer (DEU) 12.50
QF 2: Eithan Osborne (USA) 11.73 def. Reo Inaba (JPN) 11.73
QF 3: Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 12.10 def. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 8.13
QF 4: Cole Houshmand (USA) 13.43 def. Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 12.06

SEAT PRO NETANYA ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Leon Glatzer (DEU) 11.10, Reo Inaba (JPN) 10.90, Justin Becret (FRA) 9.70, Luan Carvalho (BRA) 7.20
Heat 2: Eithan Osborne (USA) 14.50, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 14.33, Alonso Correa (PER) 12.60, Kade Matson (USA) 7.87
Heat 3: Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 11.07, Cole Houshmand (USA) 9.87, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 9.54, Ian Fontaine (FRA) 8.00
Heat 4: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 11.83, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 10.37, Leo Paul Etienne (FRA) 10.24, Jordy Collins (USA) 10.16

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a 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, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

 

Gabriel Medina Claims Second World Title, Wins Billabong Pipe Masters

December 18th, 2018 No comments

Gabriel Medina (BRA) deep inside the barrel at Backdoor Pipeline Credit: WSL / Cestari

• Brazilian Superstar Defeats Australian Julian Wilson to Clinch Second WSL Title
• South Africa’s Jordy Smith Finishes Third at Pipe :: Ends 2018 Ranked World No. 5
• Jesse Mendes Claims Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title
• Coco Ho Wins Women’s Pipe Invitational

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Monday, December 17, 2018) – Gabriel Medina (BRA) has won the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Title by claiming victory at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons at Pipeline in Hawaii in epic 2 to 3 metre (6-10 foot) barrels.

Medina, 23, made history in 2014 as the first Brazilian to win a WSL World Title and has now cemented himself into the annals of surfing history with a second crown and his first event win at Pipeline..

“All my heroes have won this contest,” Medina said. “I’m stoked to be a part of everything here. Winning this event is a little different. I really wanted this one, and I worked really hard for this one so I’m so happy. That was a good final. Julian (Wilson) is the toughest competitor to go up against so I’m lucky I got two good waves. He won in a final against me a few years ago and I got this one, so it feels good.

Medina’s road to the Title in 2018 was bumpy at first but then the Brazilian switched gears mid-season and claimed back-to-back wins in Tahiti and at the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro. He continued to impress as one of the most consistent surfers through the European leg with two equal-third places and arrived in Hawaii with a 4,740-point lead over his nearest rival Julian Wilson (AUS). The rest is history as Medina reached the final at Pipeline to claim his second WSL Title.

“It’s hard to believe, this year was a long and intense year,” Medina continued. “Everyone put in a lot of hard work and this is the day. I’m so happy and thankful. To have the opportunity to travel the world with family and friends and to do what I love…it’s the most fun job in the whole world. This is such a special day for me and I’m so happy to do it again.

“Julian and I always have great battles. He’s always pushing the limits, and Filipe (Toledo) too – he’s a great surfer who had a great year. I love to watch them surfing and I’m a big fan of both of them. I’m so happy to get this trophy again. I had to put in a lot of work to get here. I like to surf when there is pressure and I think that’s when I do my best. After Jeffreys Bay (South Africa) I just put a bit more of me into each surf and each training. At the beginning of the year it all felt so far away but after Europe, it felt much closer.”

In 2014, the then-20-year-old Medina wrote a new page in surfing’s history books as the first Brazilian to win a WSL World Title, in an exciting year-long race against Mick Fanning (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Kelly Slater (USA). It was also the year the phenomenal surfer from Maresias shut down all criticism about his bigger-surf prowess by winning two of the most prestigious events in Fiji and Tahiti, finishing off the season with a runner-up at Pipeline.

It took two more years for the phenomenon to find his competitive rhythm, winning his first World Title in 2014. His success inspired compatriot Adriano de Souza (BRA), who went on to win Brazil’s second World Title the following season. In 2018, Brazilians Italo Ferreira, Filipe Toledo, Willian Cardoso, and Medina were collectively responsible for nine out of 11 CT event wins, with Wilson claiming the other two.

The Pipeline Masters final was a clash of epic proportions between the two strongest surfers in the field Medina and Wilson. Both surfers threaded lefts and rights to put big scores on the board, but ultimately it was Medina who took out the final matchup of the year and claimed the prestigious Billabong Pipe Masters title for the first time in his career.

Gabriel Medina (BRA) with the spoils of victory Credit: WSL / Cestari

Australia’s Julian Wilson Earns Runner-Up Finish and Career-Best CT Finish

Wilson capped off an incredibly consistent season where he claimed two event victories in Australia and France, two additional final appearances and another four strong results to finish second overall for the first time in his career. On finals day at Pipeline, the Australian needed to make the final for a shot at bringing the World Title home, and he delivered with inspiring performances, most notably facing the 11x World Champion Slater in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Medina reaching the final left no chance for Wilson to lift surfing’s most prestigious trophy.

“I’m so thankful for the incredible waves and the locals for allowing us to surf here,” Wilson said. “The hopes and dreams of the World Title were there today and it’s been an emotional one. It came down to the final heat of the year and I’m ready to do it again next year. I put my heart out there and gave it my all, but Medina deservedly took the title and I’m so happy for him.

“Beating Kelly out here in great conditions is no mean feat and I take a lot of confidence from that. I’m so happy to represent my country and do my very best. It wasn’t enough to get the title but it was enough to share a final with the 2018 Champion. I’ll take some time to rest and come back in 2019 fired up for sure.”

Jordy Smith Finishes Third at Pipe :: Ends 2018 Ranked World No. 5

South Africa’s Jordy Smith delivered his career-best Pipeline result, finishing third in the event after a narrow defeat by eventual winner Medina in their semi-final duel. The lead changed hands several times during the 30 minute encounter with both surfers posting their best scores on the rights at Backdoor.

Earlier in the day Smith had seen off the challenges of Conner Coffin (USA) and wildcard Ryan Callinan (AUS) in Round 4 and Sebastian Zietz (HAW) in their quarter-final clash to get into contention to become the first South African to win the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title (after Heather Clark in 2001) if he could reach the final.

The big Durbanite is a perennial world title contender and his third place result at Pipe saw him move up one spot in the rankings to end 2018 as the World No. 5.

Brazil’s Jesse Mendes Clinches Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title

Jesse Mendes (BRA) won the VANS Triple Crown of Surfing title following Jordy Smith’s (ZAF) semi-final loss to Medina. Mendes collected a fifth place at Haleiwa, a runner-up in Sunset and a 9th at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Mendes is only the second surfer from Brazil to claim the prestigious award after Medina in 2015.

“I’ve been coming here for 13 years already,” said Mendes. “It was a dream but a far dream. I’m so thankful, so blessed and thank God for making this happen. Going against Joel (Parkinson), one of the best surfers ever, was such an honour. I want to thank my family for always supporting me no matter what, my girlfriend, my coach, WSL, my fans, and the surfers – it couldn’t have been a better final. I also want to thank the local community for giving us the best waves over the past few weeks.”

Coco Ho Steals Show at Women’s Pipe Invitational

The break before the men’s final saw 3x WSL Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) take on compatriots Alessa Quizon (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) in a women’s invitational heat. World No. 11 Ho dominated with radical manoeuvres on rights at Backdoor and she took out the win ahead of Moore in second, Quizon and McDougall placing 3rd and 4th respectfully.

Joel Parkinson Says Farewell to Elite Surfing Stage

Earlier in the day, Joel Parkinson (AUS) surfed the last heat of his professional career on the Championship Tour, defeated by Yago Dora (BRA) and Wilson in Round 4. The 37-year-old Australian, who claimed the World Title in 2012, spent 18 seasons among the world’s best surfers and received many accolades, being regarded as the most stylish surfer on tour.

“I was having such an emotional reception with everyone there,” Parkinson said. “It’s been an honour, I’m proud of what I achieved. It’s given me an amazing lifestyle and so many good moments. The tour has so many hills and valleys, all these emotional rollercoasters. Like any professional sport, it’s just the way it rolls. It’s nice to get to the end of it and finally maybe just run on an even keel for a while. I guess Kelly is the really last one of our generation and I’m sure it will be pretty emotional once he goes. But surfing’s in good hands now with the next generation.”

For highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.34
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.70

Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.27 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.83
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.20 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.17

Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.16 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.93
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.43 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 14.26
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.53 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.17
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 10.07

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.50, Conner Coffin (USA) 9.43, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 7.93
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.90, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.93, Michel Bourez (PYF) 6.57
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 15.97, Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.44, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.77
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.80, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.20, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.00

Men’s 2018 Jeep Leaderboard (after Billabong Pipe Masters):
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) – 62,490 points
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) – 57,585 points
3 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) – 51,450 points
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) – 43,070 points
5 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) – 36,440 points

32. Michael February (ZAF) – 13,085 points

Final VANS Triple Crown of Surfing Top 5:
1 – Jesse Mendes (BRA)
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS)
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF)
4 – Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
5 – Joan Duru (FRA)

Gabriel Medina’s 2018 WSL Championship Tour Results:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast – 13th
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach – 3rd
Oi Rio Pro – 5th
Corona Bali Protected – 9th
Uluwatu CT – 5th
Corona Open J-Bay – 5th
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o – 1st
Surf Ranch Pro – 1st
Quiksilver Pro France – 3rd
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal – 3rd
Billabong Pipe Masters – 1st

Gabriel Medina’s Championship Tour Career Rankings:
2018 – 1st
2017 – 2nd
2016 – 3rd
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 1st
2013 – 14th
2012 – 7th
2011 – 12th

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a 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, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Record Setting Eight South Africans in Top 100 on 2018 Yearend WSL Rankings

December 12th, 2018 No comments

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) carves off the top of meaty Sunset Beach wave on his way to ninth place in the Vans World Cup of Surfing in Hawaii Photo: WSL / Keoki

– Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) Highest Ranked Saffa at No. 30
– McGillivray, David van Zyl, Adin Masencamp and Dylan Lightfoot Crack Top 100 for First Time

A record-setting eight South African surfers have ended the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) ranked in the Top 100, improving on the five in 2017, three in 2016 and just two in 2015.

The annual rankings are based on each surfer’s best five results after 64 events rated from QS1,000 to QS10,000 on all five continents and featured a total of 1384 surfers. The top 10 in the rankings automatically qualify for the following year’s elite Championship Tour (CT). Qualification for the limited fields in the biggest QS events for the first half of 2019 also will be based on the 2018 rankings.

Matt McGillivray is the country’s highest ranked QS campaigner, ending the season at No. 30. Thanks to his victory in the first event of the year, a QSS3,000 in Israel, the Jeffreys Bay surfer was well seeded in events through the first half of the year. He finished 17th in the QS6,000 Burton Automotive Pro in Australia and won the QS1,500 Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay.

McGillivray went on to take 17th place in QS10,000 EDP Pro Ericeira in Portugal and finished the season strongly with 9th place, and a season’s best haul of 3,800 points, in the QS10,000 Vans World Cup held in giant waves at Sunset Beach in Hawaii last week.

Jordy Smith (Durban) has been a fixture among the world’s Top 32 on the CT for the past 11 seasons and only competed in three QS events this year, finishing No 38 overall after grabbing fifth and 13th place results in the two QS10,000’s in Hawaii along with a low 73rd place for his token appearance at the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong in June.

Currently CT No. 6 on the CT, Smith is out of contention for the world title heading into the season ending Billabong Pipe Masters, but still has a mathematical chance of becoming the first South African male to clinch the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) title if he can better his career best fifth place result at Pipeline.

Smith was awarded the VTCS Rookie of the Year title in 2007, while back in 2001Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) won the VTCS women’s crown and she remains the only Saffa to claim the accolade which is second only to the World Champion title in status.

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) retained his position in the Top100 for the sixth consecutive year, finishing 49th this year after being the country’s top QS surfers from 2013 to 2016. The KwaDukuza based 25 year-old’s strong performances in Hawaii, where he famously scored a perfect 10-point ride for what has been described as the ‘best tube ride in a contest at Sunset Beach’, saw him maintain his seeding for the major events next year.

Indeed, the Hawaiian performances of all the Saffas was really encouraging as the QS season wraps up with back-to-back QS10,000’s where career-changing qualification hopes and preferential seeding can be realised or dashed on a single heat result.

McGillivray’s familiarity with the powerful island waves has developed exponentially thanks to the amount of time he spends with his Hawaiian girlfriend Zoe McDougall on the North Shore of Oahu and this will stand him in good stead for future campaigns. Hawaiian based Capetonian Benji Brand is a standout there and has already won several events and also earned a coveted wildcard into last season’s Billabong Pipe Masters.

Michael February (Cape Town) will complete his rookie CT season at Pipeline over the next week and the difficulty of competing on both tours showed in his QS results as he dropped from 15th to 50th this year, while David van Zyl (Glenashley) has become a force to be reckoned with at both the Hawaiian venues of Haleiwa and Sunset Beach.

QS rookie Adin Masencamp (Strand), who clinched the WSL Africa junior title in 2017 and franked his contest credentials by claiming the region’s open men’s title this year, showed great promise in his maiden visit to Hawaii and has ensured he will qualify for big events next year with 87th place ranking.

Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) secured his Top 100 status with his 49th place result in the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa while Slade Prestwich (Durban) showed the benefits of his busy international travelling schedule and earned his best points haul when he reached the final of QS3,000 HIC Pro at Sunset, finishing fourth behind third placed Beyrick de Vries.

The significant improvement in the ranking of South African surfers can be attributed to the expanded series of regional events organised by WSL Africa Operations Manager Colin Fitch whose tireless efforts to provide local surfers with the opportunities to make surfing their career have really paid off in the last two years.

After more than five years as WSL Africa’s marketing agents, Accelerate Sport have created an exciting package for local businesses which has seen six events added to the regional calendar, encompassing juniors (18-and-under), open and longboard events for both men and women.

The WSL Africa membership base has also increased dramatically to more than 150 and the prize-money on offer has kept pace with over R6 million up for grabs this year. Much of that comes from the QS10,000 rated Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong which crowned it’s 50th champion this year and has the distinction of being the world’s longest running professional surfing event.

With the likes of Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) clinching the 2018 WSL World Longboard Surfing title, Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (Durban) heading the WSL Big Wave Tour rankings with just one event to go, Jordy Smith a perennial threat for the WSL Men’s World Title and rapidly improving results being achieved by the QS warriors, professional surfing in the region heads into 2019 in robust good health.

See www.worldsurfleague.com for more information

2018 WSL Qualifying Series (QS) – Yearend Rankings
1 Kanoa Igarashi JPN 26800
2 Griffin Colapinto USA 24300
3 Seth Moniz HAW 22300
4 Ryan Callinan AUS 21660
5 Peterson Crisanto BRA 20750

South Africans (Top 150)
30 Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 11550
38 Jordy Smith (Durban) 9450
49 Beyrick De Vries (uMhlanga) 8080
50 Michael February (Cape Town) 8050
60 David Van Zyl (Glenashley) 6900
87 Adin Masencamp (Strand) 5350
93 Benji Brand (Kommetjie/Hawaii) 4910
98 Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 4695
115 Slade Prestwich (Durban) 3860
129 Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) 3435

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a 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, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Grant “Twig” Baker Wins Nazare Challenge in Giant Waves in Portugal!

November 16th, 2018 No comments

Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (Durban, centre) holds aloft the trophy for winning the Nazare Challenge in giant waves in Portugal today  Credit: WSL / Poullenot

8 to 13 Metre (25 to 40 foot) Waves Test the World’s Best Big Wave Surfers

South African Grant ‘Twig’ Baker today won the Nazare Challenge, the first event on the 2018 / 19 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT), in huge 8 to 13 metre (25 to 40 foot) waves at Praia do Norte (North Beach), Nazare in Portugal.

Baker, the 2013 and 2016 WSL BWT world champion and at 45 the oldest competitor in the event, claimed the fifth BWT event title of his storied career and he now holds the early lead in this year’s BWT rankings.

“I’m really happy to win here at Nazare,” said Baker on exiting the water. “I have spent the last six weeks here with my family, Kate and Billi, surfing every day in one foot to 20 foot (0.5 to 6 metre) waves and it has certainly helped me know more about the break.

“I’d like to thank all my fellow competitors. We all love riding big waves and the vibe out there was incredible. Everyone was sharing waves, everybody knew whose turn it was, it was epic.”

The Durbanite squeaked through his Round 1 and Semi-final heats, placing third in each and in danger of being eliminated from the event if he had been overtaken as the time ran out in the 45 minute encounters.

Baker caught the first ride in the 60 minute final, earning a score of 5.33 out of 10, and he followed that up almost immediately with a 4.93. With two scores in his pocket he had the luxury of being able to position himself to wait for the biggest waves to arrive while the other five finalists needed to chase around the break trying to record their counting scores.

Despite replacing his 4.93 with 6.07, Baker was overtaken by hard-charging Portuguese local Naxto Gonzalez, who had posted the only perfect 10-point score of the event for a ride deep inside an enormous 10 metre tube in the semis, and defending event champion and eventual 2018 event runner-up Lucas ‘Chombo’ Chianca (BRA).

With 10 minutes remaining the horizon went black as a set of massive waves came thundering through ultra-deep underwater canyon that refracts the world’s biggest rideable waves into the surf zone at Nazare. Baker held his nerve and as the biggest wave of the day was about to break on his head he swung around, paddled in and dropped down the face.

Grant Baker drops into a big wave on his way to winning the Nazare Challenge in Portugal Photo: WSL / Poullenot

Holding his line as the wall of water estimated at 13 metres (40 foot) in height by the commentators towered over him, Baker guided himself around the tons of crushing white-water and onto the shoulder, raising his arms in exultation as he cut-out over the back of the wave.

The judges awarded Baker 8.67, the highest scoring ride of the final, and when he added a 7.70 in the dying minutes, the title was his.

“That wave was coming right to me and Lucas was on the shoulder so I had do some manoeuvring, but I had to go,” said Baker on the podium. “Out at Nazare you’re not too sure where it’s going to break so I had to wait, and wait, and wait. So when I eventually turned and went, it was pretty late and it was really steep, but I made it to the shoulder, and now I’m the champion!”

The Nazare Challenge was given a Silver coefficient by BWT Commissioner Mike Parsons based on the waves being in the 35 foot (12 metre) range which means that Baker earns 11,000 points on the rankings, 10% more than the10,000 points awarded to the winner of a Bronze coefficient event.

Nazare Challenge
Final Results
1. Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (ZAF, Durban)
2. Lucas ‘Chombo’ Chianca (BRA)
3. Natxo Gonzalez (Basque)
4. Alex Botelho (PRT)
5. Joao de Macedo (PRT)
6. Russell Bierke (AUS)

The 2018/2019 Big Wave Tour (BWT) hosts three events: the Nazaré Challenge, the Jaws Challenge, and the Mavericks Challenge. All holding periods for this season are now open and will await the biggest waves until the season’s close on March 31, 2019. For the Jaws Challenge and Mavericks Challenge, the world’s best male and female big wave surfers will prepare for conditions that will produce waves in the 30-to-60-foot range. Once the decision is made to run the event, a “Green Alert” is issued and competitors will have 48 hours’ notice to be ready to compete.

The WSL Big Wave Tour is proudly supported by Surfline, and Corona, with special thanks to Nazaré Challenge partners Jogos Santa Casa, Visit Portugal, Portuguese Waves, The City of Nazaré, MEO, Hertz, and Praia do Norte.

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a 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, annually running more than 180 global events across the 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, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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