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

Grant “Twiggy” Baker Ready for Giant Surf as Nazare Challenge Called ON for Friday

November 15th, 2018 No comments

Nazare, Portugal, home to the biggest waves ever surfed, will see the world’s best big wave surfers compete on Friday 16 November in the first event on the 2018/19 WSL Big Wave Tour (BWT) Credit: WSL / Masurel

6 to 10 Metre (20 to 35 foot) Waves Predicted for Portugal on Friday

Former two-time world big wave champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker is ready to take on the giant surf at Praia do Norte (North Beach) in Portugal on Friday after the Nazare Challenge was given the Green Light to run at the home of the biggest wave ever surfed.

The first of three events on the 2018 / 19 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) schedule takes place at Nazare, a Portuguese town that has embraced big wave surfing, and Baker has spent considerable time there acclimatising himself and fine-tuning his equipment after finishing fifth in last season’s edition of the event.

“I’ve been in Europe for 6 weeks with the family getting ready for the event, surfing Nazare in all different conditions, so I’ve put in the time to give myself the best possible chance to do well,” said Baker after hearing the event had been called ON for Friday. “I have some great boards over here and I’ve been working on my positioning in the lineup and have a better idea of what a good wave looks like out there.

“Hopefully I can use that to catch the best waves in the middle of the peak and surf them to the best of my ability. Defending event winner Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (BRA), reigning Big Wave Tour champion Billy Kemper (HAW), renowned waterman Kai Lenny (HAW) and Nathan Florence (USA) have been the standouts lately and I’m looking forward to competing against the hungry youngsters,” commented Baker, who at 45 is the oldest competitor in the field.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is predicting:

A developing storm near Greenland is expected to produce a strong WNW swell for Friday. Confidence is medium to high for a swell to provide good surf throughout the day. We expect to see wave face size in the 20-30’ range (through the day on Friday), with the very largest sets of the morning up to 35’.

While this isn’t a giant swell, especially by Nazare standards, local wind and conditions look about as good as it gets on Friday: light+ offshore ESE wind through the morning, trending more SE (still offshore) for the early afternoon hours, generally below 10 knots. Furthermore, the two previous days (Wednesday-Thursday) are also expected to see light offshore wind and small swell, which should mean conditions are extra clean on Friday.

According to Baker the swell is likely to get even bigger over the weekend and he feels that the world record wave height of 80 feet (23.77 meters), set by Rodrigo Koxa (BRA) when he was towed into a wave by a jetski at Nazare recently, may even be broken. The BWT events only allow waves to be caught paddling in with arm-strength although there will be numerous jetskis in the surf zone to conduct rescue and safety duties.

“There is a huge swell coming this weekend that will probably see the World tow record broken,” said Baker, the 2013 and 2017 BWT champion. “We have to work around this swell and the event has been called for the beginning of it all. Hopefully we get some giant waves with epic conditions and Nazare at its best for paddle surfing.

“There is so much support for surfing here with everyone in the town showing us a welcoming spirit. The government has opened a surf training centre with a gym, pool and other facilities. It’s an amazing place to visit and surf.”

The WSL Nazaré Challenge will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page starting at approximately 9.30 am South African time.

2018/2019 Nazaré Challenge Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Billy Kemper (HAW), Lucas Chianca (BRA), Greg Long (USA), Nathan Florence (HAW), Francisco Porcella (ITA), Antonia Silva (PRT)
Heat 2: Ian Walsh (HAW), Tom Lowe (GBR), Will Skudin (USA), Russell Bierke (AUS), João De Macedo (PRT), Rodrigo Koxa (BRA)
Heat 3: Kai Lenny (HAW), Jamie Mitchell (AUS), Natxo Gonzalez (EUK), Jojo Roper (USA), Pedro Calado (BRA), Andrew Cotton (GBR)
Heat 4: Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Alex Botelho (PRT), Grant Baker (ZAF), Nic Lamb (USA), Nic von Rupp (PRT), João Guedes (PRT)

The 2018/2019 Big Wave Tour 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

 

Elkington & Steyn Clinch Pro Junior Titles at Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS

September 30th, 2018 No comments

Max Elkington and Zoe Steyn won the U18 Men’s and Women’s titles at the Billabong Junior Series pres. by BOS in Seal Point on Sunday Photo: Thurtell

Slijpen and Woolf Clinch 2018 WSL Africa Junior Crowns

Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – Breezy onshore conditions and a slight surge in swell greeted competitors on the final day of competition at the Billabong Junior Series Finale, and the first heat of the day – the U12 Girls Final – was sent straight out into the Seal Point lineup..

Gabi Herbst was the surfer of the morning with a few incredible rides in the mixed up conditions, including an excellent 8.0 out of 10 for one ride which secured the title. Sarah Scott was the runner up.

Kai Hall was the champion in the U12 Boys final, banking one huge score for two critical turns on a big set wave for a near-perfect score of 9.33 and an unassailable lead. Hall was closely followed by Joel Fowles who surfed impressively on his backhand.

The U14 Girls division was a slow heat, with low scores and at the end of the heat it was Aimee Du Preez who emerged as the winner, with Olivia Winter in second place.

Luke Thompson caught 11 waves in his Final heat to defeat James Ribbink in what was an exciting U14 Boys heat. Thompson’s strategy of hard and fast surfing, catch anything that moved, proved to be the winning formula, with Ribbink, Daniel Emslie and Brad Scott filling up the minor slots.

As the tide dropped out and the onshore waves continued to pour through relentlessly, the U16 Girls headed out for their final, and it was an action-packed exchange with three of the girls on their backhand and one on her forehand. Zoe Steyn emerged victorious with a convincing win against her counterparts Kayla Nogueira, Ceara Knight and Caroline Brown who placed second, third and fourth respectively.

The U16 Boys was another final dogged by few waves and low scores. Tide-Lee Ireland snagged the win from York Van Jaarsveldt with a combined score of less than 9 points. Mitch Du Preez and Reilly Mare’ finished off the results with third and fourth spots.

The World Surf League (WSL) Junior Women’s final a nail-biting affair as Zoe Steyn and Kai Woolf took centre stage. Both surfers had been surfing phenomenally all event and it was going to be about the surfer who caught the best waves. That was Steyn, and she won the final by a close margin from Woolf.

Then Max Elkington and Luke Slijpen took to the water to battle it out for event honours in the WSL Junior Men’s event. It was all about Elkington who took the win and broke his year-long victory drought with his first place.

“I haven’t had a win this year, and for a bit of last year, so I am really happy with the win today,” said a stoked Elkington. “I also won it last here two years ago, so just very happy with the win.”

Billabong Junior Series Seal Point pres by BOS
Final Results:

U12 Girls
1. Gabi Herbst
2. Sarah Scott
3. Anastasia Venter
4. Meka Loots
U12 Boys
1. Kai Hall
2. Joel Fowles
3. Ntokozo ‘Surprise’ Maphumalo
4. Asha Steytler
U14 Girls
1. Aimee Du Preez
2. Olivia Winter
3. Adrian Wolmarans
4. Kaylee Shaw Nell
U14 Boys
1. Luke Thompson
2. James Ribbink
3. Daniel Emslie
4. Brad Scott
U16 Girls
1. Zoe Steyn
2. Kayla Nogueira
3. Ceara Knight
4. Caroline Brown
U16 Boys
1. Tide Lee Ireland
2. York Van Jaarsveldt
3. Mitch Du Preez
4. Reilly Mare
WSL Junior Men
1. Max Elkington
2. Luke Slijpen
WSL Junior Women
1. Zoe Steyn
2. Kai Woolf
VonZipper Expression Session
Luke Slijpen
BOS Highest Heat Score Award
Zoe Steyn

2018 Billabong Junior Series Results (Including Ballito & Seal Point)
U12 Girls
1. Gabi Herbst
2. Anastasia venter
U12 Boys
1. Ntokozo Maphumalo
2. Joel Fowles
U14 Girls
1. Aimee Du Prees
2. Olivia Winter
U14 Boys
1. Luke Thompson
2. Dan Emslie
U16 Boys
1. Mitch Du Preez
2. York Van Jaarsveldt
WSL Junior Women
1. Zoe Steyn
2. Kirsty McGillivray
WSL Junior Men
1. Luke Slijpen
2. Max Elkington

2018 WSL Africa Junior Men’s Rankings (After Billabong Junior Series Seal Point –event 8 of 8)
1 Luke Slijpen 4060 points 2018 Champion
2 Max Elkington 3090
3 Eli Beukes 2634
4 Luke Thompson 2440
5 Bryce Du Preez 2435

2018 WSL Africa Junior Women’s Rankings (After Billabong Junior Series Seal Point –event 7 of 7)
1 Kai Woolf 4750 points 2018 Champion
2 Zoe Steyn 3870
3 Sophie Bell 2815
4 Kirsty McGillivray 2685
5 Kayla Nogueira 2380

2018 WSL Africa Junior squad to attend the WSL World Junior Championships (Taiwan in December)
Men – Luke Slijpen, Max Elkington, Eli Beukes, Luke Thompson.
Women – Kai Woolf, Zoe Steyn.

Full results, images and news for the WSL JQS events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

Results and more for the other divisions are available at www.surfingsouthafrica,co.za

Facebook:

Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Contacts.
Chad D’Arcy:
1. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
2. 079 519 5990
or

Jason Mendonca
1. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
2. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
1. info@craigjarvis.co.za
2. 082 376 4443

 

Distributed by

Life’s a Beach Communications
C: 082 423 1964
E: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Excellent Surf for Day 2 of the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS

September 29th, 2018 No comments

Zoe Steyn was the top performer in the WSL Africa JQS women’s event at the Billabong Junior Series pres. by BOS and has advanced to the final where she will meet Kai Woolf on Sunday Photo: Thurtell

Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – Excellent one metre waves with offshore conditions greeted the surfers on day 2 of the Billabong Junior Series Finale pres. by BOS, and the Pro Junior (U18) divisions were sent straight out in the early morning light.

It was high action from the get-go, and Bryce Du Preez and Calvin Goor were the Men’s standouts along with Ceara Knight and Zoe Steyn in the Women’s division. Steyn was awarded a 9,33 out of a possible 10 points for her best ride, in which she executed a series of radical turns along the inside, ending up on the rocks.

“I just saw such a good section on that wave and managed to hook it all the way past the rocks,” said Steyn. “There wasn’t priority at that stage so I had to hussle a bit to get that wave.”

In the U14 Boys James Ribbink dominated his heat and although it was a bit wave-starved he banked two good scores for the heat win.

“There weren’t too many waves out there in that heat, so I got an insider just to quickly open up my score,” said Ribbink. “Then I saw another decent looking wave and paddled further out and got it. I managed a couple of carves on it and so had two decent scores quite early on in the heat.”

Ribbink advanced along with Connor Slijpen. Other surfers who shone in this division were Christian Venter, an on-form Daniel Emslie and Brad Scott. Ribbink went on to win his semi-final and will compete in Sunday’s U14 Boy’s Final.

In the highly competitive U16 Boys division, Mitch Du Preez and York Van Jaarsveldt advanced to the Final, leaving Aya Gericke and Josh Daniel in their wake. The second Semifinal in this division was a close affair, with Tide-Lee Ireland winning ahead of Reilly Mare. Sam Bennie and Nathan Perris were both eliminated in the process.

The U16 Girls division was a spirited affair with Zoe Steyn showing her skills to advance along with Kayla Nogueira in the first Semifinal heat. The inform Ceara Knight was the winner of the second Semifinal and marched on to the final with Caroline Brown.

The Pro Junior Divisions took much of the action today, completing three rounds, all the way to the man-on-man Semifinals. Excellent surfing by the best U18 surfers in the country resulted in massive turns, innovative and polished routines and some huge scores along the route to the finals.

When the spray settled at the end of the day’s surfing it was Max Elkington and Luke Slijpen set to duel it out tomorrow in the Men’s Pro Junior final, while in the Women’s Pro Junior division final, Kai Woolf will come up against the dynamic Zoe Steyn.

Full results, images and news for the WSL JQS events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com, which webcasts live scoring while the events are running

Results and more for the other divisions are available at www.surfingsouthafrica,co.za

Facebook:

Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Contacts.
Chad D’Arcy:
1. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
2. 079 519 5990
or

Jason Mendonca
1. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
2. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
1. info@craigjarvis.co.za
2. 082 376 4443

 

Distributed by

Life’s a Beach Communications
C: 082 423 1964
E: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Small Wave Skills Displayed on Opening Day of Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS

September 28th, 2018 No comments

Zoe Steyn in action on the opening day of the Billabong Junior Series Seal Point pres. by BOS Photo: Thurtell

Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – A calm morning soon turned into a blustery day as Seal Point – the venue for the Billabong Junior Series Final pres. by BOS – felt the brunt of a passing cold front and was hit with rain and wind during the early morning. The rain soon stopped however, and the surfing continued unabated in the good point-break conditions.

The surfing kicked off with the U16 Boys, and stand-outs included Josh Daniel and Brett Taylor as well as Manoa Robb and Nathan Perris, with Robb the highest scorer of this round.

The U14 Boys were next in, and there was some great surfing in this competitive division, with young Leo Faclier the stand-out with an excellent heat total of 13.17 (out of a possible 20 points). Other surfers excelling in this division were Luke Van Wyk, Connor Slijpen and Nate Colby.

In the U12 Girls Semifinals, Anastasia Venter and Meka Loots, along with Sarah Scott and Gabi Herbst, all surfed excellently to advance through to the finals in their division, while in the U14 Girls it was Aimee Du Preez and Kaylee Shaw Nell who advanced to their respective final, along with Adriel Wolmarans and Olivia Winter.

By the time the WSL Africa junior men’s event took to the water, the surf had improved considerably, and there were several great performances by the best 18-and-under surfers in the country.

York Van Jaarsveldt put on an excellent opening heat performance, winning his heat and advancing along with Karl Steen. Both surfers were on form and surfed with style and maturity.

Aya Gericke advanced along with Brad Scott in the second heat, and Bryce Du Preez and Thomas Lindhorst emerged successfully from their encounter, eliminating Daniel Orpen and James Ribbink in the process.

The final heat of Round 1 was won by Luke Thompson whose surfing showed a maturity beyond his years. Along with rising young East London star Daniel Emslie, the pair eliminated Samuel Loppnow and Manoa Robb from the event.

The opening heat of the WSL Junior women’s JQS 1,000 rated event saw Ceara Knight beat runaway rankings leader and event favourite Kai Woolf with fast and dynamic surfing as both girls advanced into the next round.

“It was so much fun out there despite the wind,” said Knight after her heat. “There were actually some really good waves to be had. I just had to make sure that I surfed them in such a way that I didn’t get blown over the back of them.”

Kayla Nogueira also won her opening encounter, taking heat runner-up Kirsty McGillivray along with her to the next round. Zoe Steyn put on a polished performance on her backhand to win her heat, and advanced along with Tayla De Coning, while Aimee Du Preez and Olivia Izzard survived their encounter and will be back in the water first thing tomorrow morning.

The forecast for Saturday looks promising, and the event organisers have their sights set on an early start. A slight lift in the swell, less wind and an afternoon high-tide could all come together for an amazing day of surfing.

Full results, images and news for the WSL JQS events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com, which webcasts live scoring while the events are running

Results and more for the other divisions are available at www.surfingsouthafrica,co.za

Facebook:

Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Contacts.
Chad D’Arcy:
1. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
2. 079 519 5990
or

Jason Mendonca
1. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
2. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
1. info@craigjarvis.co.za
2. 082 376 4443

 

Distributed by

Life’s a Beach Communications
C: 082 423 1964
E: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Champions to be Decided at Billabong Junior Series in Cape St Francis this Weekend

September 27th, 2018 No comments

WSL Africa Junior Men’s rankings leader Luke Slijpen is the top seed for the Billabong Junior Series U18 division, Photo: WSL/ Cestari

Event: Billabong Junior Series Seal Point
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – The best junior surfers in the country are arriving in Seal Point for the final event in the 2018 Billabong Junior Series. The surf forecast for the contest has signs that it might be an epic weekend of surfing at the ever-consistent Seal Point, with plenty of swell around for the competitors to display their top surfing skills to the judges.

This event is possibly one of the most crucial junior surfing tournaments of the year, with much at stake for the competitors. Firstly there are the stand-alone event results, with surfers wanting to win this contest for points and prize money. Leading on from this, there are the Billabong Junior Series winners. Two event results count for these winners – from both the Billabong Junior Series Ballito and Seal Point events.

This event will also crown the World Surf League (WSL) Africa Junior champions, which will also lead on to the qualification for the WSL World Junior Championships, including the top four men and top two women surfers who will compete in the World Junior Championships in Taiwan in December 2018. It promises to be an action-packed and dramatic weekend of surfing.

The WSL Africa Men’s Junior Tour is currently being led by Luke Slijpen, with Eli Beukes and Max Elkington hot on his heels, and Dillon Hendricks and Bryce Du Preez not far behind. Slijpen has had an excellent competitive year and has a healthy lead in this division, with Beukes more than one thousand points behind him.

In the WSL Africa Women’s Junior Tour rankings, Kai Woolf is out in front with a comfortable lead over second ranked Zoe Steyn, with Sophie Bell in third place going in to this event. Kirsty McGillivray and Kayla Nogueira make up the remainder of the top five positions.

Both divisions contain a number of surfers who have improved dramatically over the last year, and there is every possibility of an upset in either division from the likes of Karl Steen and Daniel Emslie in the men’s, and Ceara Knight and Sne Makhubu in the women’s divisions respectively, to name a few.

In the U16 Boys division, all eyes will be on Tide Lee Ireland, York Van Jaarsveldt and Mitch du Preez, while in the U16 Girls division Zoe Steyn, Kayla Nogueira and Gabi Lailvaux are just three surfers who look set to dominate.

“It has been a good year for Junior Surfing in the country, and the Billabong Junior Series has been a great success,” said Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “We’re immensely proud of this series as it finishes its 21st year in the country, and we are looking forward to another positive year next year for both Junior Surfing as well as the Billabong Junior Series.”

The Billabong Junior Series runs from Friday to Sunday when all the event and series champions will crowned at the awards ceremony on the beach.

Facebook:
Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

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

Jason Mendonca
e. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
t. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443

Michael February Delivers Career Best Result with Fifth Place in Tahiti Pro

August 20th, 2018 No comments

Cape Town’s Michael February (ZAF) finished fifth in the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o on Sunday and moved up to No. 27 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) rankings Credit: © WSL / Poullenot

– Gabriel Medina Earns Second CT win at Teahupo’o
– Filipe Toledo Retains Jeep Rankings Leader Jersey

TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Sunday, August 19, 2018) – South African Michael February delivered his career best result on Sunday when he finished fifth in the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o, event No. 7 of 11 on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).

February, who had not progressed beyond Round 3 in his previous seven events on the elite 34-man tour, was eventually ousted by Jeep Rankings Leader Filipe Toledo (BRA) in their quarter-final match-up.

The CT rookie from Cape Town had earlier defeated compatriot Jordy Smith (Durban) in Round 3 and then won his three-man Round 4 heat over Wade Carmichael (AUS) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW). The 4,745 points he earned saw February jump four places to No. 27 on the CT rankings and within 2,000 points of a qualifying spot for the 2019 elite tour with four events remaining in the 2018 season.

Gabriel Medina (BRA) claimed his second Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o title and his first event win of 2018 by defeating Owen Wright (AUS) in the final held in clean but inconsistent 1 – 1.5 metre waves at the famed South Pacific reef pass.

“I’m just so happy to win here again and, first, I just want to thank God,” Medina said. “I came here and trained a lot, and I was just waiting for the victory. I love Tahiti and I’ve had some great Finals here. I’ve won here before, two second-place finishes, and another win now.”

Since his first Tahiti Pro win in 2014, the Brazilian superstar has never dropped below third place at the event. His win over Wright came after he ousted Jeremy Flores (FRA) in the semi-finals and fellow Brazilian Italo Ferreira in the quarters.

“Now I can kind of start thinking about winning a World Title. I think anything is possible. There’re a couple of events to go and I just want to keep giving it my best.”

Medina’s victory moves him up from 3rd to 2nd on the Jeep Leaderboard, 6,300 points behind Toledo and well within striking distance of capturing a second WSL Title this year if he maintains strong results in the final four events, two of which he won last year.

Medina added. “I’m really happy right now, but I know Owen’s got the same feeling I had last year, which was horrible for me, but it’s competition and that’s why we love competing. I feel blessed to have been in the right spots at this event and now I’m going to enjoy this moment, then I’m focusing on the next event.”

Wright’s runner-up finish today marks his best result in Tahiti and his best result of the season. To make his first final in Tahiti the Australian took down Jeep frontrunner Toledo in the semis and Carmichael in the quarters. Before Tahiti, Wright sat at 11th on the Jeep Leaderboard, but his result now boosts him up to 6th.

“It’s a sting, but it’s just nice to be back in the final,” Wright said. “Right now, it’s a hard loss to take a second, but it’s been an incredible week. It all came down to those last two waves. I made the wrong decision and I’m already feeling that deep burn and drive. I’m stoked for Gabby, well-deserved win for him after it got taken off him by Julian (Wilson) just last year. Congratulations to Gabby.”

Toledo fell just short of his third final of the year, losing to eventual runner-up Wright in a hard-fought semi-final bout. The rankings leader’s form was impeccable throughout the event, including a brilliant quarter-final win over rookie Michael February (ZAF), and he will retain the Jeep Leader Jersey going into the next stop, the Surf Ranch Pro.

“I feel really happy and proud of myself with all the hard work I put out here, and a semi-final result in Tahiti is definitely a keeper,” Toledo said. “I’ve been on the Tour for six years now and this is one of those years where everything is clicking and everything’s happening. I’m just making sure to capitalise and get the job done. It’s important to just keep the focus on what I’ve been doing – my training, my surfing – and not worrying about the outside world.”

The next stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Surf Ranch Pro pres. by Hurley in Lemoore, California from September 6 – 9, 2018.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Tahiti Pro Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.50
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07

Tahiti Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.60 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.03
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.17 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.10

Tahiti Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.43 def. Michael February (ZAF) 8.60
QF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.00 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.57
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.57. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.57
QF 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.34 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.74

WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Tahiti Pro):
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 41,985 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 35,685 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 32,380 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 30,160 pts
5 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 25,550 pts

South Africans
7 – Jordy Smith (Durban) 23,575 pts
27 – Michael February (Cape Town) 11,000 pts
43 – Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 420 pts

ENDS

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

Issued on behalf of:

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

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