Home > Uncategorized > Lawler and Nonaka Take QS Titles at Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill

Lawler and Nonaka Take QS Titles at Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill

June 17th, 2018


Jordan Lawler (Australia) and Minami Nonaka (Japan) captured the prestigious World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) Men’s and Women’s titles respectively in the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill which ended in small but contestable 0.5 to 1.0 metre waves at Big Bay in Bloubergstrand on Sunday.

Lawler played a patient game at the start of the Men’s final, but he fell behind his three South African opponents so he decided to get busy and it paid off. First he added a 7.0 to an earlier 6.0 to overtake Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) who had led the 25 minute encounter from the outset.

Shortly thereafter the Australian caught a wave that reformed on the inside and, surfing to the judging criteria, he performed several manoeuvres with speed, power and flow to be rewarded with an 8.25, the only score in the excellent range (8 points or more out of 10) and the highest score of the final.

His two wave heat tally of 15.25 left Adin Masencamp (Strand) needing a near-perfect 9.25 for victory, while McGillivray and Chad du Toit (Durban) each needed to replace both their counting rides as the clock wound down.

“I’m so stoked! It has been a while since I won a QS and I am over the moon,” said Lawler who has been in South Africa since the opening event of the WSL Africa Qualifying Series at the end of March. He has accumulated several good results, including a runner-up finish in Port Alfred, but this is his first QS victory since 2014 in Australia.

“I really love it here so much, every South African I have met is just the coolest guy ever and everybody is so nice. It definitely plays a role in my surfing over here,” he added.

The diminutive Nonaka is just 16 but posted the highest heat total, 15.50 points out of 20, in the women’s opening round held in pounding overhead surf at Melkbosstrand on Friday. Although she was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Junior Women’s event on Saturday, she kept advancing in the women’s event and went on to clinch her first QS victory.

She defeated two of South Africa’s top female talents, multiple event winner Sarah Baum (Durban) and reigning WSL Africa Women’s Champion Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), as well as local rising star Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) in a hard fought final.

Baum dominated the early exchanges of the matchup with a pair of six-point rides, consistently making the connection to the inside section and displaying great wave selection. But the petite Japanese girl found a runner that she worked over nearly all the way to the beach for a confidence-boosting 7.75 and then slammed the door on her rivals with a 6.50 in the dying minutes of the encounter.

“I just wanted to catch the best waves I could during the final,” said Nonaka through a translator. “I was in second place when I picked the best wave and got the 7.75 and that gave me the confidence to find the 6.5 at the end that gave me the win.”

Baum had to settle for second spot while Pallet and Nogueira took third and fourth respectively.

The next event, the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley, starts in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday and features a QS 3,000 Women’s event, a QS 1,500 Men’s event, Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 Men’s and Women’s events for surfers 18-and-under, and Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events for Men and Women.

Full results, photos and video footage for the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill – QS 1,000 Men’s Final Results
1. Jordan Lawler (Australia) 15.25 points
2. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 11.85
3. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 9.50
4. Chad du Toit (Durban) 9.25

Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill – QS 1,000 Women’s Final Results
1. Minami Nonaka (Japan) 14.255 points
2. Sarah Baum (Durban) 13.0
3. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 8.35
4. Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) 7.30


About 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 League, 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 in excess of 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 world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

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 Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

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

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Life’s a Beach Communications
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