Jordy Smith Heads World Rankings after Third Place Finish at Billabong Pro Tahiti

August 14th, 2017 No comments

 

Jordy Smith (Durban) on his way to 3rd place in the Billabong Pro Tahiti and the No. 1 spot on the Jeep Leaderboard Photo: WSL / Cestari

Jordy Smith (Durban) on his way to 3rd place in the Billabong Pro Tahiti and the No. 1 spot on the Jeep Leaderboard Photo: WSL / Cestari

Julian Wilson Takes Tahiti Title

South Africa’s Jordy Smith moved to the top of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) rankings after posting a career-best third place finish in the Billabong Pro Tahiti on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Durbanite, who started the event ranked No. 3, recorded hard-fought victories over Conner Coffin (USA) and reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) on the final day before losing out to eventual winner, Julian Wilson (AUS) in their semifinal encounter.

“I am still learning a lot and I wish I had figured it out earlier in the event,” Smith said. “I am stoked to be in the top spot. Obviously, it is a long way to go, but it is sick to be in the front there. This is a new year and I just want to bring something new, something fresh, and keep trying my hardest.”

Smith will be eager to keep his lead over the world’s best surfers and improve his World Title campaign at the next event, the Hurley Pro at Trestles, which is close to his adopted home town of San Clemente in California and where he is also the defending event winner,

The Billabong Pro Tahiti was won by Julian Wilson (AUS) who defeated Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the final held in 1.5 to 2 metre waves at the fabled break of Teahupo’o to clinch his third CT victory and best result in Tahiti. The victory moves Wilson up from 8th to 5th place on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into Trestles.

“It has been a few years,” said Wilson. “It is so special to win. I am ecstatic and I have nothing left in me. I am just so happy and relieved to finally win an event again. It took so many good waves to win this event and I was lucky enough to get those. I was already enjoying myself on tour and even more so now. I cannot wait for the rest of the year.”

The exciting final saw an all-out battle between Medina and Wilson. The Brazilian took the lead with an incredible 17.87 combined score including a near-perfect 9.20 and an excellent 8.67. Wilson was stuck in a combination situation and needed two new scores with time running out but he fought back with a critical 8.10 and an outstanding 9.23. Still trailing by 1.09 points, Wilson found his way out of a deep tube to earn a near-perfect 9.73 for the win in the dying minutes of the clash.

The runner-up finish for Medina is his best result this season. The 2014 WSL Champion and event winner has struggled to excel past the Semifinals in 2017, but his final appearance today proves that Medina is back in the game heading into the second-half of the season. The Brazilian superstar improved two places to 7th on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“I am stoked to make another final against Julian (Wilson),” said Medina. “He has been surfing really well the whole event and I think it is a little harder on your backhand, so good job to him. I am stoked. It feels good to be back in the game and now I am thinking about Trestles.”

The next stop on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro which run from September 6 through 17, 2017, at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California.

Highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti can be found at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Billabong Pro Tahiti Final Results:
1 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.96
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.87

Billabong Pro Tahiti Semifinal Results:
SF 1:Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.90
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.26 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.33

Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.23 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.94
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.33 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 7.67
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.50 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.10
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.16 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 9.00

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.37 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 11.66
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.00
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.93 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 11.40
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.24 def Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.60

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.50, Connor O’Leary (AUS 13.40), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.40
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.37, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.50, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.00
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 15.76, Conner Coffin (USA) 7.90, Julian Wilson (AUS) 4.00
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 12.33, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.43, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.40

2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Billabong Pro Tahiti):
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 37,850 pts
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 36,900 pts
3 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 35,950 pts
4 – Owen Wright (AUS) 35,350 pts
5 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 33,200 pts

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 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, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, 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.
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

February Finishes Fifth at Vans US Open of Surfing :: Jumps to No 2 in Rankings

August 7th, 2017 No comments
Michael February (Kommetjie) takes to the air on his way to 5th place in the Vans US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach in California Photo: WSL / Morris

Michael February (Kommetjie) takes to the air on his way to 5th place in the Vans US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach in California Photo: WSL / Morris

Bianca Buitendag Places 13th in Women’s Championship Tour Event

South Africa’s Michael February finished fifth in the QS10,000 Vans US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach in California on Sunday to surge into second place on the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rankings.

The 24-year-old from Kommetjie in Cape Town continued his superlative 2017 form, winning four consecutive heats against the world’s best surfers to reach the quarterfinals in California. There he lost to Carlos Munoz (CRI) in a wave-starved heat where each surfer only had two rides in the 35 minute clash.

February’s haul of US $7,000 (approx. R94,000) and 5,200 points saw him take the tally from his best five results this season to 14,750 points, overtaking Brazilians Willian Cardoso and Yago Dora and moving up to No. 2 on the QS leaderboard behind runaway rankings leader Jesse Mendes, also of Brazil.

The Capetonian, who ended 2016 ranked 53rd, has already won 26 competitive heats this year, six more than No. 8 ranked Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) whose 20 heat wins is the second highest for 2017. February has featured in the final of four QS1,000 events, winning three, and also reached the semifinals of QS10,000 Ballito Pro last month.

“This has been my best start to a season and just thinking about what’s different, we usually have a big gap between events after Australia, but this year we had about four or five events in South Africa,” said February last week. “Just to be able to surf a lot of heats has been nice to get that practice in leading up to Ballito, getting a result there, and really just enjoying surfing, which is always great.”

Based on the 2016 season, February will need a minimum of around 19,000 points to have a chance of finishing in the Top 10 on the QS rankings and joining Jordy Smith on the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) in 2018.

“I’m not going to lie and say I don’t want to qualify, everyone on the QS is trying to do that and I’m stoked with results from my last few events and just want to keep the positives alive going into the next few,” February continued.

He will be targeting the QS6,000 rated events scheduled for Pantin in Spain, the Azores (where he posted his previous career-best performance with 3rd place last year) and in Maresias, Brazil; along with the QS10,000 in Cascais, Portugal to try an pick up the necessary points.

The final two QS10,000 events in Hawaii in November and December are notoriously difficult, not only featuring some of the world’s biggest and most powerful waves, but also a host of highly competitive local entries and also all the CT members who are in danger of not making the Top 22 cutoff for re-qualification on the elite tour.

The Vans US Open of Surfing was won by Huntington Beach local Kanoa Igarashi (USA) who secured a popular victory over Tomas Hermes (BRA) in the final to clinch the US $100,000 winner’s pay cheque and 10,000 points that resulted in the Californian rocketing up 66 places to No. 3 on the QS rankings.

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS10,000 Final Results:
1 – Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 17.23
2 – Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.10

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS10,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.26 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.92
SF 2: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.84 def. Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.70

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS10,000 Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 13.30 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.83.
QF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.43 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.10
QF 3: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.06 def. Michael February (ZAF) 5.17
QF 4: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.47 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.40

2017 WSL Men’s Qualifying Series Rankings (After Vans US Open of Surfing):
1 – Jesse Mendes (BRA) 22,700 pts
2 – Michael February (ZAF, Kommetjie) 14,750 pts
3 – Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 13,310 pts
4 – Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13,010 pts
5 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12,380 pts

South Africans (Top 100)
11 – Jordy Smith (ZAF, Durban) 10,000 pts
46 – Beyrick de Vries (ZAF, uMhlanga) 5.375 pts
70 – David van Zyl (ZAF, Glenashley) 4,090 pts

+++++++++++

The Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s event, Stop No. 6 of 10 on the WSL Women’s CT, was won by Sage Erickson (USA) who secured her maiden CT event victory by outpointing defending event winner Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in the final on Sunday.

Earlier last week, South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag got a start in the event as an injury replacement for Malia Manuel (HAW). Buitendag finished second in her Round 1 heat and was then eliminated from the event in equal 13th place overall when she narrowly lost to eventual semifinalist Courtney Conlogue (USA) in Round 2.

See full results, news, images, video footage and more at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s CT Final Results:

1 – Sage Erickson (USA) 11.84
2 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 9.80

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s CT Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.10 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 7.34
SF 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.33 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.46

2017 WSL Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Vans US Open of Surfing):
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 41,400 pts
2 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 39,900 pts
3 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 38,300 pts
4 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 34,750 pts
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 33,400 pts

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 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, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, 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.
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

Filipe Toledo Takes Title at Corona Open J-Bay

July 20th, 2017 No comments
Filipe Toledo (BRA, left) and Frederico Morais (PRT) celebrate on the podium at the Corona Open J-Bay in Jeffreys Bay on Thursday Photo: WSL / Cestari

Filipe Toledo (BRA, left) and Frederico Morais (PRT) celebrate on the podium at the Corona Open J-Bay in Jeffreys Bay on Thursday Photo: WSL / Cestari

Jordy Smith Retains 3rd Place on Rankings After Quarterfinal Exit

Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the Corona Open J-Bay today, defeating rookie Frederico Morais (PRT) in the final held in pumping 2.0 to 2.5 metre waves at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay.

Stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) was graced with seven days of flawless conditions, resulting in barrier-breaking performances by the world’s best surfers, including eight perfect 10-point rides and no shortage of drama.

Toledo, who posted two of the perfect 10s, showcased a new level to his progressive approach and jumped from 14th to 7th on the Jeep Leaderboard following his best finish of the season to re-ignite his 2017 World Title campaign.

“I can’t believe it,” said Toledo. “J-Bay is always a contest that’s been my dream to win. To surf perfect waves like we did the entire contest, I’ve got to thank god for the amazing week that we’ve had. I’ve got my entire family here and supporting me. It’s unbelievable and I’m speechless. I think I might leave my hair like this for the rest of the year.”

Toledo’s fourth career CT win did not come easily as he was tested by a stacked field of competitors. The 22-year-old dispatched local favourite Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the quarterfinals with two impressive 9-point rides and then eliminated Julian Wilson (AUS) in the Semifinals.

“It has been an amazing week,” Toledo said. “This is definitely going to be the competition I remember for forty or fifty years, not just because I won but because of the level of surfing during this whole week.”

The final saw exciting exchanges between the Toledo and Morais as they matched each other with excellent-range scores in the long sweeping lines of overhead swell peeling down the Supertubes racetrack. With ten minutes left on the clock and Toledo leading, Morais locked in a near-perfect 9.40 to close the gap to just 0.27 points. But even though Toledo left his opponent with priority for the last two minutes of the heat, Morais was not able to surpass Toledo’s total of 18.0 out of 20.

Morais delivered phenomenal surfing throughout his first CT event in South Africa, causing an upset when he delivered a perfect 10 to defeat reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) in the quarterfinals, before eliminating 2015 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the semifinals. Morais’ career-best finish will now move him up from World No. 18 to 12th on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“I just love this place, it is amazing,” Morais said. “Everyone is so nice, the waves are amazing, the weather is really similar to home, and the vibe that you feel here is crazy good. It is an unforgettable place. Thank you to everyone for watching and supporting us. First Final ever on the World Tour and it is amazing.

South Africa’s two-time event winner Jordy Smith (Durban) was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Toledo to finish fifth overall. It was an incredible event for Smith who posted a perfect 20-point heat total in Round 3 and another perfect 10 point ride in Round 5.

“This comp has had some amazing points for me and some where I’ve struggled, but overall I’m proud of myself and I stood tall between those moments and dealt with them,” Smith said. “Filipe (Toledo) surfed great in that last heat and he definitely got better waves than I did and that’s really the difference out there.

“I’m just really, really tired. Yesterday was just a big day for me. I just want to thank Jeffreys Bay for all the support and everybody that came down, it really meant a lot and I really appreciate that. I learn every time when I come here. There’s a lot of pressure because everybody wants me to do well and I want to do well you just have to take each heat for what it is. The year really starts now and Tahiti is next so I’m focused on that now and we’ll see where that puts me.”

With Matt Wilkinson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Smith all bowing out in the quarterfinals, they retain their respective top three positions on the Jeep Leaderboard after six of the 11 events on the 2017 Championship Tour have been completed.

The next stop on the 2017 Men’s WSL CT will be the Billabong Pro Tahiti from August 11 – 22, 2017. The women will next compete at the Vans US Open of Surfing, which opens July 31 and runs through August 6, 2017.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Open J-Bay Final Result:
1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.00
2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 17.73

Corona Open J-Bay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Frederico Morais (PRT) 17.37 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.70
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.63 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.33

Corona Open J-Bay Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.40 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.33
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 19.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 18.67
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.26
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.07 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.77

2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Corona Open J-Bay):
1 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 31,950 points
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 31,700 points
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 31,350 points
4 – Owen Wright (AUS) 30,150 points
5 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 27,900 points

The Corona Open J-Bay is the showcase event at the J-Bay Winterfest, a multi-sport and cultural festival in Jeffreys Bay from July 12-23. More details at www.jbaywinterfest.com. .

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 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 Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, 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: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

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

Jordy Smith Wins Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong in Home Surf

July 8th, 2017 No comments
Jordy Smith celebrates his victory in the 2017Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong with Cllr Ricardo Mthembu, the Mayor of Kwadukuza Photo: WSL / Cestari

Jordy Smith celebrates his victory in the 2017 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong with Cllr Ricardo Mthembu, the Mayor of Kwadukuza Photo: WSL / Cestari

Willian Cardoso (BRA) Takes Runner-Up Spot in Pulsing Waves at Willard Beach
Mikey February (ZAF) and Mikey Wright (AUS) Finish Equal Third

Jordy Smith (ZAF) won the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong in front of a packed beach of partisan spectators today, defeating powerful Brazilian Willian Cardoso (BRA) in a pulsating final to add the 2017 event title to his previous victory in 2010.

The big South African overcame a stomach bug that almost derailed his charge in mid week to reach the final of the first World Surf League (WSL) QS10,000 rated event of the year where he used his trademark repertoire of aerial manoeuvres to post an impressive heat total 18.06, including near perfect 9.73.

“I had a bit of a slow start, but I ended up sticking that first air and from there I was actually enjoying my surf out there and just taking my time as the waves came through,” said Smith. “Eventually I got that one wave with a nice section and got one of the biggest ramps all week and just went for it and I landed it.

“I’m really happy with my performance this week and hopefully I can take this momentum to J-Bay. Willian is a tenacious competitor as all the Brazilians are. He’s one of the most powerful surfers in the world and we’re both bigger guys so we were matching fire with fire.

“It’s such an honour winning this event with so many of my friends and family here. Thanks so much to everyone who’s come down to the event, your support makes a huge difference for us local surfers.”

His haul of 10,000 points sees Smith jump straight into fifth position on the QS rankings along with a massive boost of confidence as he heads to Jeffreys Bay for Stop No. 6 of 11 on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) starting on Wednesday where he is a former two-time event winner (2010 & 2011).

While he was disappointed not to claim the win, Cardoso was happy with his runner-up finish which bumped him up into No. 2 on the QS rankings heading into the second half of the year.

“I knew with Jordy it was going to be crazy in that heat and I tried to find the really good waves, but I just found one,” said Cardoso. “I’m just super stoked to be in the final, it’s been about two years since I was in a final so it’s really good to be in that position again.

“This result puts me in a really good position, but I’ve been in this position before so I hope to get more results in the next two primes (QS10,000 rated events) and a few 6 stars so I can go to Hawaii at the end of the year relaxed.”

Cardoso’s patented power moves saw him charge past Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) in the quarterfinals and Mikey Wright (AUS) in the semifinals on his way to the final.

Wright had delivered the highest single ride and heat total in the event with his blend of powerful carves and progressive aerial manoeuvres. But the brother of reigning WSL Women’s World Champion, Tyler, and men’s world title contender, Owen, came up just short against Cardoso and finished equal third at Ballito.

“I went out there to do my thing and catch a few waves, but I didn’t really catch the fun waves that I wanted to. I got a little ramp halfway through the heat, but I fell on the landing. Willian was surfing really good and I’m stoked for him,” said Wright. “This result gives me a lot of confidence. It’s my first year doing all the QS events and this is a really good setup for the rest of the year. I’m just going to try and keep it going.”

Crowd favourite Michael February (ZAF) had an incredible run through the event, posting his career-best result on his way to third place after suffering a narrow loss to Smith in their all-South African semifinal encounter. The Capetonian matched Smith ride-for-ride in the early stages before the heat burst into life in the last five minutes with a flurry of rides that saw Smith nail down his berth in the final with back-to back excellent rides that February could not equal as time ran out.

“When you surf against Jordy you’ve got to be at your best, he’s so good, and it was pretty cool to watch him from the water,” said February. “It’s awesome to surf against him because he is such an amazing surfer. And to have a heat against him at this stage of the contest is really good for me. At the end of the contest you’re always going to surf against the best in the world, and Jordy is definitely one of them.

“It boosts my confidence so much making semis in a 10 000 and I’m looking forward to keeping the positive vibes going, taking everything I learned from this event and just keep it going. It gets pretty busy now, it’s the US Open and after that the European leg so that’s my focus now, and then Hawaii. I had some nice words from Jordy after that heat which was really cool from someone I look up to, it gives you that extra push.”

His third place finish saw February leapfrog from 21st to No. 4 on the QS rankings, giving him an solid base from which to challenge for a place in top 10 in the yearend rankings and qualification for the elite CT

“Secretly I was a little bummed for Mikey February. I would have liked to be in the finals with him but that’s just the way our sport goes,” commented Smith on his compatriot. “I just wish him all the best, I really hope he brings it and joins me on the tour next year. He’s got the ability and the confidence to go all the way.”

Full results, video footage, photos and news from the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.

BALLITO PRO PRES. BY BILLABONG FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18.06
2 – Willian Cardoso (BRA) 15.37

BALLITO PRO PRES. BY BILLABONG SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def. Michael February (ZAF) 13.10
SF 2: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.0 def. Mikey Wright (AUS) 10,84

BALLITO PRO PRES. BY BILLABONG QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Michael February (ZAF) 15.33 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.43
QF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.50 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.20
QF 3: Mikey Wright (AUS) 14.66 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 6.70
QF 4: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 15.83 def. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 12.77

WORLD SURF LEAGUE QUALIFYING SERIES RANKINGS (After Ballito Pro pres, by Billabong)
1. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 22,060pts
2. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12,095
3. Yago Dora (BRA) 11,960
4. Michael February (ZAF) 10,550
5. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10,000

The QS10,000 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong is the anchor event in the 13-day Ballito Pro Surf Festival which included the Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel for surfers aged 18-and-under (27 to 29 June), the SSA Ballito Trials pres. by Billabong, which saw local Richie Kidd earn a wildcard into the main event (30 June) and the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro where Sophia Fulton (AUS) was crowned the champion on Saturday 1 July.

Alongside the surfing, visitors were 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 – performed live on Salt Rock Beach on Thursday and Friday 6 & 7 July. 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

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 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 Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, 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
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa which is recognised by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

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

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

#labcomm

Ballito Pro Surf Festival Brings World’s Best to KwaDukuza in June

May 9th, 2017 No comments
Connor O’Leary of Australia on his way to victory in the 2016 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong Photo: WSL / Cestari

Connor O’Leary of Australia on his way to victory in the 2016 Ballito Pro Photo: WSL / Cestari

The World Surf League’s top ranked performers will be joined by the cream of South Africa’s men, women and junior surfers for a 14 day festival of high performance action in the waves of Willard Beach in Ballito on the KwaDukuza coast from June 27 to 9 July this year.

For the ninth successive year the region will host the world’s best men in the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong, a WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event with a prize-pool of R3.4 million and the highest available ranking points on offer.

The women will showcase their talent in the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong while the Billabong Junior Series includes events for men and women aged 18-and-than ever under at Ballito for the second year.

“KwaDukuza Municipality is pleased to come together yet again with our valued partners to host yet another spectacular internationally renowned sporting event, which continues to position our area as a leading events tourism destination,” says the Mayor of KwaDukuza, Cllr Ricardo Mthembu. “We look forward to the upcoming event as it enters its 9th year on KwaDukuza soil.

“The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is an important stop on the World Surf League tour and plays a critical role as a platform for local South Africans to develop within the sport. Needless to say, it is our fundamental aim to develop our people both economically and socially through events of this nature and we anticipate another successful year in 2017. We are calling on our community and business community to ensure that they provide our visitors with an experience they will remember. We wish all our participants a happy stay in our district and hope that they will enjoy a spectacular experience. We are also looking forward to renewing our partnership with the World Surfing League beyond 2017.”

The 49th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event will be bigger and better than ever in 2017 as it again welcomes the support of global apparel and equipment giant Billabong, who are celebrating the 20th annual running of their acclaimed Billabong Junior Series this year.

“Billabong is honoured to continue our relationship with KwaDukuza,” says Chad D’Arcy, Group Marketing & Sales Manager for Billabong South Africa. “The Ballito Pro is the highlight of our competitive year and we look forward to once again presenting this amazing event in 2017.

“We are an authentic surf brand, with a proud legacy of hosting world class surfing events. We are excited to help nurture competitive surfing in South African and give our athletes the best platforms to compete on the world stage. Billabong would like to wish all of the competitors and spectators at this year’s event amazing waves and great weather.”

The 2016 field for the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong included a dozen of the world’s elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers and was won by Connor O’Leary (AUS), who along with runner-up Joan Duru (FRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Australians Ethan Ewing and Jack Freestone all went on to qualify for the prestigious 2017 CT thanks to the significant number of ranking points they earned in Ballito.

The 112-man field for the event provides the 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.

Similarly, those in the Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong earn prize-money and points on both the international and regional rankings while the competitors 18-and-under in the Billabong Junior Series will be striving for the prestigious event titles and selection for the WSL Africa squad that is invited to the annual WSL World Junior Championships.

“It’s been an honour and a pleasure for WSL Africa to work alongside such a progressive thinking municipality as KwaDukuza for the past nine years,” said WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch. “We’re so grateful to the town of Ballito and its residents for welcoming the surfers into their homes and surf for 14 days of world class surfing.”

“The Ballito Pro has become one of the most important events on the World Surf League Qualifying Series and most of the winners have gone on to qualify for the elite WSL Championship Tour the following year. Sincere thanks to KwaDukuza and Billabong for turning the dreams of so many South African surfers of all races into a reality.”

The Ballito Pro Surf Festival kicks off with the Billabong Junior Series from June 27-29 followed by the Surfing South Africa Trials pres. by Billabong on June 30 and the Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong on 1 and 2 July.

The crown jewel of the festival, the QS10,000 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong takes centre stage from Monday to Sunday, July 3-9.

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 Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

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 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 Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, 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
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa which is recognised by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

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

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

#labcomm

East London to Host Buffalo City Surf Pro Over Easter

April 14th, 2017 No comments

 

 

Michael February (Kommetjie) is the top seed for the Buffalo City Surf Pro at Nahoon Reef in East London which starts on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Michael February (Kommetjie) is the top seed for the Buffalo City Surf Pro at Nahoon Reef in East London which starts on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Second Stop in City Surf Series Attracts Top SA and International Entries

World class professional surfing returns to East London for the first time in a decade when the inaugural Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits runs from Saturday to Easter Monday, 15-17 April, in the challenging waves of Nahoon Reef.

An exceptional field of 128 of South African and international surfers will battle for titles, a share of the R80,000 prize-purse and points on the regional and international rankings in the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated events for Men and Women and Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for 18-and-under Men and Women.

The Buffalo City Surf Pro is the second of five events in the City Surf Series, an exciting new tour that started in Port Elizabeth last weekend and after East London will also visit Durban and Cape Town.

Michael February (Kommetjie), currently No. 35 on the QS rankings, is the top seed for QS1,000 rated Men’s event this weekend, and will be going all out to capitalise on his confidence boosting victory at the last stop to climb higher even higher on the international rankings and extend his early lead in the chase for 2017 WSL Africa Men’s title.

Among the 64 men standing in his way are last week’s runner-up Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Americans Nate Dorman and Austin Neumann, Kelly Norris (AUS) and vastly experienced hometown hero and Nahoon Reef expert, Greg Emslie (East London).

Australian Tayla Hanak heads the line-up for the QS1,000 Women’s event and in her first visit to East London faces strong opposition from former WSL Championship Tour (CT) competitor Nikita Robb (East London), whose knowledge of the waves of Nahoon Reef is unsurpassed in the 24 strong entry.

The likes of Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) and Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) will be determined to pocket as many points as possible so they can qualify for the big international women’s events overseas, while the effervescent Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) will be hoping to repeat her title winning achievement last weekend and hold onto the Skullcandy striped vest worn by the rankings leader.

With points on offer towards the selection of the WSL Africa squad that is invited to compete in the World Junior Championships in Australia next January, the JQS1,000 men’s and Women’s events will be fiercely contested.

Jake Elkington (Kommetjie), reigning WSL Africa junior champ Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) are the junior men’s favourites, but local standouts Bryce du Preez and Luke Malherbe hold the aces in their home surf.

Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) will be fully committed to re-establishing her dominance of the junior women’s rankings but 13 year-old Durban phenom Kayla Nogueira has been on a roll, taking out five titles in recent weeks, and currently tops the rankings. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Taghiti Gericke (Wilderness) complete the top four seeds.

Organisers will meet at Nahoon Reef early on Saturday morning and the decision on when to get the contest underway will be made at 7.30 am. The 16 heats in the Men’s event will be first up, followed by the eight heats in Round 1 of the Junior Men. Round 1 of the Women’s event is on standby for a possible start later in the day. The event champions will be crowned on Monday afternoon.

An outreach programme conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) at Nahoon Beach on Easter Monday morning will feature 60 young surfers from the Unstressed Surf School in Cintsa and Waves 4 Change. The participants will be involved in beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest, beach relays and an Easter egg hunt with all participants receiving breakfast, lunch and a commemorative medal.

The programme will be run by SSA Development Officer Danielle Johnson and her Swot team to highlight transformation projects in the Buffalo City district and is supported by the Buffalo City Surf Pro, Reef Wetsuits, Volkswagen and the National Lotteries Commission.

Live scoring, results, images, news and more for the Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits will be available at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Buffalo City Surf Pro is supported by Reef Wetsuits, Volkswagen, Corona, the Buffalo City Municipality, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

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 by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA 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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

February, Hulett, Elkington and Noguera Take Titles at Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

April 9th, 2017 No comments
Michael February (Kommetjie) flew to victory in the QS1,000 Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Michael February (Kommetjie) flew to victory in the QS1,000 Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Ian Thurtell

The inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong wrapped up three days of high performance surfing action on Sunday with Michael February (Kommetjie) and Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) taking out the Men’s and Women’s titles respectively while Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Kayla Nogueira (Durban) clinched the Junior men’s and Women’s crowns.

The first internationally rated World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) events to be staged in Port Elizabeth enjoyed contestable and testing surf for the three days and featured 128 competitors, including South Africa’s top exponents and entrants from the USA and Australia.

February demonstrated why he is country’s highest ranked QS surfer by dominating throughout, leaving his opponents in combination situations and needing to replace their best two scores at the end of heats, including the Men’s final. Surfing with unparalleled speed, power and flow, the 23 year-old Capetonian effortlessly connected long rides all the way to the beach, cruising over flat sections and performing powerful manoeuvres when ever the opportunity presented itself.

Fellow QS campaigner Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) kept pace for the first half of the 25 minute final, but an excellent 8.67 by February late in the heat left Lightfoot, third placed Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) and fourth placed Beyrick de Vries, the 2016 WSL Africa champion, all requiring 16.01 points for victory.

“Super happy with that result. I haven’t won an event for a couple of years and that’s my first QS1,000 event title,” said February. “The final was tricky, the waves were really far out and you couldn’t hear what the situation was, but after I’d had two decent rides I stayed close to Dylan (Lightfoot) and Jarred (Veldhuis) and used my priority to keep them off the good ones.

“It’s good to be home and be able to pick up the maximum points available and move up the rankings. I’m feeling positive and motivated for the rest of the events here and to wearing the rankings leader’s jersey next week.”

February pocketed R10,000 and 1,000 coveted rankings points that will see him vault from 91st into the top 40 on the QS leaderboard and he will wear the Skullcandy zebra striped ranking leader’s vest at the next event on the City Surf Series in East London next weekend.

Hulett, who scraped into the women’s final after losing half of one of her scores when she incurred an interference penalty in her semifinal match-up. But the youngest competitor in the last four went on to defeat her more experienced rivals, posting the highest score of the encounter, a 7.67 out of 10, before adding a mid-range 4.27 to clinch her first WSL QS event title.

“That’s my first big win and It’s a kind of weird feeling,” said Hulett. “To compete against my idols and people I look up to like Faye (Zoetmulder) and to match them is amazing. I’ve done the hardest training ever and this win has given me so much confidence. And I’m really pleased about the amount of support for women’s surfing – it’s wonderful!”

The Junior Men’s final was dominated by the Elkington brothers from Kommetjie, with younger brother Max leading until the last minute when Jake rdoe the highest scoing wave of the final to grab victory.

“I got that 7.23 in the last 30 seconds and I was really stoked to overtake Max and get my first WSL Junior title,’ said Jake. ‘I gives me the early lead in the WSL Africa junior rankings and will hopefully help me to secure a place in the squad for the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January. The win has really given me confidence and I’m looking forward to East London next weekend.

Nogueira has been on roll for the past three weeks with the 13 year-old Durbanite surfing to victories winning both the U14 and U16 titles on successive weekends before capturing the18-and-under title today. She stuck to her strategy and made sure that she caught to waves that gave her the opportunity to score a pair of five point rides.

“My first JQS win felt really good and hopefully I’ll be able to do it again,” said Nogueira. “I don’t feel intimidated by the older girls, I’ve surfed against them a couple of times before, but this a real boost to my confidence and it feels really great.”

The winners were presented with their trophies and cheques by Athol Trollip, the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Athol Trollip. The Mayor also presented special commemorative trophies to the 2016 WSL Africa champions Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis), Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock).

More than 50 excited youngsters had the time of their lives at the event today as part of a Surfing South Africa Outreach initiative that saw them participate in a Tag Team surfing event and a coaching clinic, as well as relay races and an Easter egg hunt at the beach.

Run by SSA Development Officer Danielle Johnson and SSA Event coordinator Shirley Fairall, the participants came from Missionvale, Motherwell and Jeffreys Bay and were supported by Volkswagen and the National Lotteries Commission.

Results, images and video footage from the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

Men’s Final
1. Michael February (Kommetjie) 1,000 pts
2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 750 pts
3. Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) 560 pts
4. Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) 525 pts

Women’s Final
1. Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 1,000 pts
2. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 750 pts
3. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 560 pts
4. Tayla Hanak (Australia) 525 pts

Junior Men’s Final
1. Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) 1,000 pts
2. Max Elkington (Kommetjie) 750 pts
3. Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) 560 pts
4. Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) 525 pts

Junior Women’s Final
1. Kayla Nogueira (Durban) 1,000 pts
2. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 750 pts
3. Julia Ploughman (Cape Town) 560 pts
4. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 525 pts

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

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

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

Michael February Produces Sensational Performance on Day 2 of Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

April 8th, 2017 No comments
Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) dominated the first two rounds of the Junior Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) dominated the first two rounds of the Junior Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Men, Women and Junior Men Post Excellent Scores at the Pipe in Port Elizabeth

Michael February produced a sensational performance at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong in Port Elizabeth today, starting his quarterfinal heat with an excellent ride of 9.57 and then backing that up with the first perfect 10 point ride of the event for a near perfect heat tally of 19.57 out of 20.

Greeted by wild conditions with 1 to 2 metre waves breaking 150 metres offshore and onshore winds, organisers delayed this morning’s start. This paid off with conditions cleaning up as the tide filled in and two rounds of Men, Women and Junior Men were completed,

While February (Kommetjie), the top seed in the QS1,000 rated Men’s event, was the day’s star performer, Women’s top seed Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) also stood out by delivering two rides in the excellent category (over 8 points out of 10) for a 16.50 heat total, while Luke Slijpen (Cape Town was the top points scorer among the Junior Men.

“I started the heat super far out and that first one just popped up next me,” said February of his quarterfinal. “I did a couple of turns and the wave kept delivering so I rode it all the way to the beach. It was a long paddle back but I heard that I got a nine something, so I just needed decent backup. Then I went left on a wave that allowed me three big turns and was stoked to be awarded the10!”

February was joined in tomorrow’s first semifinal by fellow Kommetjie residents Jordy Maree and Jarred Veldhuis, along with Brandon Jackson (Durban North). The second semifinal will be determined after the remaining two quarterfinals are completed on Sunday morning.

Pallet, who spent a month in Australia earlier this year competing in WSL events, overcame her nervousness about the conditions and the ability of her opponents to record the best return in the Women’s event by getting an early mid-range score before racking up her pair of eight plus rides.

“I was pretty nervous before the long paddle out because the waves were really messy and I had Australian Tayla Hanak in my heat,” said Pallet. “I had one ride and then my coach Quintin Jones put me in good spot and I caught that right that gave me an 8.33. Then Sophie (Bell) just missed one and I caught it further in and I managed to get an 8.17.

“I’m so glad that the girls are going to have seven events in South Africa this year. It’s great being able to earn points here at home so we can qualify for the big events overseas. And I’m really excited about tomorrow.”

Pallet faces Hanak again in the semifinals, along with 2016 WSL Africa women’s champion Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) and Tarryn Chudleigh (Cape Town). The second semifinal includes Teal Hogg (uMhlanga), Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay), Tasha Mentasti (Durban) and Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay).

The Junior Men’s event was dominated by Slijpen who delivered the two highest scores of 14.83 in Round 1 and 15.10 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis. Others to shine in the JQS1,000 rated event for surfers 18-and-under included Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach), Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) and Sebastian Williams (Durban).

The opening round of the Junior Women’s event was held over to Sunday and will be run before the semifinals and finals of all the events sees the champions crowned at the event site.

The Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Athol Trollip, will present the winners with their trophies and cheques. He will also present special commemorative trophies to the 2016 WSL Africa champions Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Faye Zoetmulder, Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock).

Organisers will meet at Pollock Beach at 7.15 am local time on Sunday to make a call on when to get the contest underway, with a 7.30 am start anticipated.

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

See Day 2’s full results at:

QS1,000 Men: http://bit.ly/2pcvQux
QS1,000 Women: http://bit.ly/2nVKwO8
JQS1,000 Junior Men: http://bit.ly/2nW1MDe

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

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

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

Top Seeds Dominate Opening Day of Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

April 7th, 2017 No comments
Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) takes to the air as he advanced to the last 16 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth Photo: Ian Thurtell

Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) takes to the air as he advanced to the last 16 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth Photo: Ian Thurtell

Men’s Round 1 and Half of Round 2 Completed at The Pipe in Port Elizabeth

The top seeded surfers dominated proceedings in today’s opening rounds of the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong, the first of eight events on the South African Qualifying Series (QS) leg that will crown the 2017 WSL Africa champions in September.

Organisers completed Round 1 and four of eight heats of Round 2 in the QS1,000 rated men’s event which was held in lumpy, wind affected but highly contestable waves that saw the 64-man field reduced to just 32.

Top seed Michael February (Kommetjie) got his campaign underway with a hard fought second place in the first heat of the day, but made amends in Round 2 where he posted the highest scores for a single ride (9.33 out of 10) and for his heat total of 16.0 out of 20.

“That first heat was a bit sketchy, but it woke me up,” said February. “In the second heat I found that proper wave at the start and was happy with a couple of my backup rides. It’s great to back at Pipe where I competed in five Grommet Games about 10 years ago.”

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), the 2016 WSL Africa champion and No. 2 seed, was wearing the Skullcandy WSL Africa rankings leader’s zebra striped vest in the first event of the year. De Vries made no mistakes in his opener, racking up an excellent 8.0 and a 6.33 to advance and he will be in the first heat when Round 2 of the Men’s event recommences.

Only one of the seven internationally ranked surfers is still in the event. James Tyler (USA) is yet to surf his Round 2 heat while his compatriots Braden Jones and Austin Neumann progressed to Round 2 but were eliminated there.

Other standouts on the opening day included Jason Harris (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jordy Maree and Jarred Veldhuis, all three of whom won their Round 3 match-ups to reach the last 16.

The men’s QS1,000 rated Nelson Mandela Surf Pro presented by Billabong offers a total prize-purse of R30,000 and coveted points on the regional and international rankings lists.

Saturday’s second day will see action in the QS1,000 women’s event plus the JQS1,000 men’s and women’s events for surfers aged 18 and under. Organisers will meet at Pollock Beach at 7.15 am local time to make a call on when to get the contest underway, with a 7.30 am start anticipated.

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

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

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

Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro Launches City Surf Series in Port Elizabeth

April 6th, 2017 No comments
Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) will be competing in both the men’s and junior men’s events in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth  Photo: Grant Beck

Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) will be competing in both the men’s and junior men’s events in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth  Photo: Grant Beck

The most exciting and lucrative series of professional surfing events ever staged in South Africa will be launched in Port Elizabeth on Friday when the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong hosts a huge field of local and international competitors at The Pipe on Pollock Beach.

Comprising World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated events for men and women, plus Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for men and women aged 18-and-under, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 plus points counting towards international and regional rankings lists.

The historic event has notched up a slew of landmarks including being the first professional surfing contest to be staged in the city; the first of five similar tournaments in the inaugural City Surf Series, which will also visit East London, Durban (twice) and Cape Town; the first of four JQS events in the 20th annual Billabong Junior Series and the first event counting towards the crowning of the 2017 WSL Africa regional champions in September.

The QS1,000 rated men’s event features a 64 man field including the cream of South Africa’s surfers. The top seed is Michael February (Kommetjie), currently the country’s highest QS ranked surfer at No. 65, followed by 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Braden Jones (USA).

The men will be battling for a share of the R30,000 on offer with the winner pocketing R10,000 and 1,000 precious ranking points on the 659 man WSL QS leaderboard.

The QS1,000 women’s seeding is headed by Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) and Fay Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) with Tayla Hanak (AUS) the only international among the 24 competitors.

Reigning WSL Africa Junior champion Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jake Elkington and Ford van Jaarsveldt are the top four in the JQS1,000 junior men’s event, while the JQS1,000 women’s field is headed by Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Taghiti Gericke (Mossel Bay) and Olivia Izzard (Umhlanga).

The rankings points accumulated in the JQS events determine the top four men and top two women who will represent WSL Africa at the annual WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January.

The three day event starts with two rounds of men’s competition on Friday, followed by the earlier rounds of the women’s and junior events on Saturday and concludes with the champions being crowned on Sunday.

Outreach programs designed to foster and encourage newcomers to surfing will be run during the event by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport.

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.World SurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona and the City of Port Elizabeth.

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

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