Home > Contests, Girls Surfing, SSA, WSL > Maiden Event Titles for Dale Staples and Luke Thompson at Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits

Maiden Event Titles for Dale Staples and Luke Thompson at Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits

April 15th, 2018

Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) on his way to victory in the Men’s event at the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits in East London on Sunday Photo: WSL / Thurtell

Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) and Luke Thompson (Durban) earned their maiden World Surf League (WSL) event titles when they won the Men’s and Junior Men’s respectively at the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits in East London on Sunday.

Classic conditions and a pumping 1.5 to 2.0 metre swell at Nahoon Reef produced the ideal canvas for the country’s top surfers to perform their magic in the Qualifying Series (QS)1,000 rated men’s and Junior Qualifying Series (JQS)1,000 rated events.

After having to wait out a lull in the waves that saw the Men’s final restarted after no rides were had in the first 10 minutes, Staples raced into a commanding lead in the final, tearing his first wave apart and being rewarded with an excellent 8.50 out of 10 from the judges, before adding a 7.0 minutes later.

His opponent Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), currently the highest ranked South African in 10th place on the QS leaderboard, was left needing a massive 15.50 points before he had even caught a wave. Uncharacteristically McGillivray fell victim to a priority interference error that penalised him the full score of one of his two counting rides and effectively banished him to the runner-up spot.

Staples eventually ran out the winner by 15.50 vs. 5.00 to claim his first WSL event title and, even though he claims that he is no longer a full-time competitive surfer, he has moved into the top 5 on the WSL Africa rankings list with his victory.

The semi-finals saw Staples have the rare privilege of ousting East London surfing legend Greg Emslie in his home break while McGillivray dug deep and produced and epic ride that earned him the event’s highest score – a near-perfect 9.25 – to overtake Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) in the dying minutes of their last four encounter.

The Junior Men’s final showed that local surfing is in good hands when the four finalists all went ballistic in the pumping overhead surf and the lead changing hands after virtually every wave. When the siren sounded to end the final Luke Thompson from the Durban beachfront was leading by a slender 0.60 of a point over local favourite Thomas Lindhorst (East London).

Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) made a determined effort for victory with a great last ride, but had to settle for third place, 0.75 of a point behind Lindhorst, while East Londoner Mitch du Preez claimed fourth place.

Alongside the red hot surfing action, Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, ran activities coordinated by SSA Development Officer, Danielle Powis, designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background.

Full results, photos and video footage will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App.

Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro Men’s Final Results
1. Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) 15.50
2. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 5.0

Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro Men’s Semi-Final Results
SF1: Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) 12.25 def. Greg Emslie (East London) 9.50
SF2: Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 16.5 def. Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) 12.10

Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro Junior Men’s Final Results
1. Luke Thompson (Durban) 12.10
2. Thomas Lindhorst (East London) 11.50
3. Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) 10.75
4. Mitch du Preez (East London) 7.35

WSL Africa Men’s Rankings (After Mitchum Port Alfred Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits)
1 Maree, Jordan Kalk Bay 1955
2 Van Zyl, David Glenashley 1720
3 Lightfoot, Dylan Jeffreys Bay 1400
4 Staples, Dale St Francis Bay 1185
5 Masencamp, Adin Strand 1170

WSL Africa Junior Men’s Rankings (After Mitchum Port Alfred Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits)
1 Hendricks, Dillon Jeffreys Bay 1280
2 Elkington, Max Kommetjie 1050
3 Thompson, Luke Durban 1000
4 Slijpen, Luke Hout Bay 955
5 Lindhorst, Thomas East London 950


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

Compiled & Distributed by:

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



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